October is synonymous with Halloween, and New York City is getting into the spirit. It's evident in a handful of great festivals happening around the five boroughs.
At the Staten Island Children's Museum, kids can learn about healthy eating and diet while creating a Halloween-themed snack during its Healthy Plus Kids Cook programs throughout October. The culinary classes below take place every hour from 1-4pm on the designated date. $6 museum admission. Best suited for preschool and elementary school-aged children. Staten Island Children's Museum, 1000 RIchmond Terrace, Staten Island. 718-273-2060. www.statenislandkids.org.
Pumpkin Muffins - October 1
Ghoul Mix - October 8
Mummy Hands - October 15
Apple Crisp - October 22
Celebrate pumpkins with Play Lab Workshop: The Great Pumpkin at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. Kids will learn about the pumpkin's importance in history and everyday lives; explore the Museum's gourd collection; view It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and enjoy homemade pumpkin pudding. October 16-17 at 11:30am. Ages 5 and under. Museum admission: $7.50. Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue. 718-735-4400. www.brooklynkids.org.
Halloween is more than goblins, ghosts, vampires, and werewolves. During The Science Behind Spooky workshop at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, children encounter some of the living creatures that help give Halloween its scariness. October 17 at 1:30pm. Appropriate for preschool and elementary school-aged children. Museum admission: $7.50. Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue. 718-735-4400. www.brooklynkids.org.
The Bronx Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo event happens every weekend throughout October, and features a hay maze, spooky hay rides, and up close and personal encounters with creatures of the night. $21-$27 (includes zoo admission). 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx. 718-367-1010. www.bronxzoo.org.
More than just a chance to show off your costume a week before Halloween happens, the Ghouls and Gourds festival at Brooklyn Botanic Garden captures the holiday's energy while reveling in all things autumn. Ghouls abound as do plenty of gourds - fresh from the Garden's soil. This annual party features giant puppets, live music, craft-making stations (in which you can make a mask), seasonal food, and readings of scary children's stories by the authors. October 24, starts at 12pm. $8; $4 seniors 65 and older and students with valid ID; children under 12 free. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 900 Washington Avenue. 718-623-7200. www.bbg.org.
Trick or treat like it's 1959 during Halloween in Richmond Town. The Historic village will offer crafts, apple bobbing, games, and more. Go back in time when everyone knew all their neighbors and the town of Richmond was still the center of the world. Reservations are required. October 29, starts at 3:30pm. $3; $8 children. Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Avenue , Staten Island. 718-351-1611. www.historicrichmondtown.org.
Take a Haunted Tour at the Staten Island Children's Museum. Participants will create their own lantern, which they'll use as they tour the Halloween-inspired grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Finish the tour with hot cider and donuts. Pre-registration is required. October 29 at 5:30pm. $8 per tour. Staten Island Children's Musuem, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. 718-273-2060. www.statenislandkids.org.
Take your chances with the ghouls and goblins lurking within the trees, ready to scare you silly, at Prospect Park's Halloween Haunted Walk and Carnival. (Young children should be accompanied by an adult.) Plus, enjoy games and treats at the carnival. October 30, starts at 12pm. Prospect Park, Nethermead/Lookout Hill. 718-965-8951. www.prospectpark.org.
The Puppetry Arts organization puts on its Haunted Halloween Carnival, with its many puppet characters, an aquarium petting zoo, workshops, and performances. October 30. FREE. 11am-4pm. First Street Recreation Center, First Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues. 718-768-3903. www.puppetryarts.org.
Fort Greene Park does the Halloween thing with its Halloween Festival, featuring hayrides, a face-painting booth, a pumpkin patch, and a costume parade. It's a good reason to visit one of Brooklyn's oldest and most gothic neighborhoods. October 30. 12pm. FREE. Myrtle Avenue and Washington Park. 718-965-8900. www.fortgreenepark.org.
Dress up in costume and make a scary appearance at the Staten Island Children's Museum for some pre-trick or treating festivities during its Halloween Fun! day. October 31, 1-3pm. $6 museum admission. Staten Island Children's Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. 718-273-2060. www.statenislandkids.org.
Every Halloween season deserves a trip to a real pumpkin patch, and this year we are recommending a pumpkin-picking excursion in Staten Island at the Decker Farm homestead, which dates back to the 1800s. You can pick out a pre-cut pumpkin, observe some still in the patch, jump on a hayride, get trapped in a corn maze, and explore the historic grounds that are part of Historic Richmond Town. Visitors park at Historic Richmond Town's parking lot and take a shuttle to the farm. October 30. 11am-4pm. All ages. $5 per person or $16 per family of four. Decker Farm, 435 Richmond Hill Road, Staten Island. 718-351-1611. www.historicrichmondtown.org.
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