Halloween for Kids: Haunted Houses, Corn Mazes, and Pumpkin Activities in the NYC Area

Halloween for Kids: Haunted Houses, Corn Mazes, and Pumpkin Activities in the NYC Area


UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2017: Whether you’re looking for something spooky or just outdoor fall fun this Halloween season, these haunted houses, corn mazes, pumpkin blazes, and autumn activities in the New York area are sure to make this Halloween one to remember. Find events in Westchester County, Rockland County, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Fairfield County, and Bergen County.

RELATED: Get Our FREE Fall Activities Ebook!

Westchester County Halloween Activities

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
525 S Riverside Ave., Croton-On-Hudson

Thousands travel to Van Cortlandt Manor each year for this massively popular event, which features more than 7,000 illuminated jack-o’-lanterns, plus theme areas like Jurassic Park and the Undersea Aquarium. Sound effects and synchronized lighting make it even more impressive; parents who are Howard Stern fans will love that the original soundtrack is provided by the show’s own Richard Christy, a self-described Halloween fanatic. 

Scared by the Sound, Rye Playland
1 Playland Parkway, Rye

The park closes down its rides for this event, back for its 18th year this October. More than 100 actors help to make the crypt walk, morgue, and haunted wine cellar creepy without lots of gore; don’t miss the giant outdoor graveyard behind the haunted house.

The Haunt at Rocky Ledge
1446 Old Orchard St., West Harrison

Started in the mid-1980s (and known in the 2000s as Haunted Dead End on Gainsborg Avenue), the original haunted house has grown into two houses on five acres of land, complete with a haunted trail, woods, and a corn maze. The scares you’ll experience come from humans, not machines: The event employs actors to create them, and some have been with the event for more than 10 years.

Outhouse Orchards
139 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem

After visiting this family-owned farm (lovingly called ‘home of the happy apple’) for your munching and baking needs, learn about them as you help your kids navigate through the corn maze. The map provides interesting facts about apples, as well as hidden puzzle clues. 

Schuyler Farms
1124 Route 29, Schuylerville

Corn maze enthusiasts will love this seven-acre version, which is open during the day as a ‘regular’ maze and at night as the ‘Field of Screams,’ which features masked men and ghouls around every turn. This year's maze theme is Charlotte's Web. Remember to bring a flashlight!

Jay Ghoul’s House of Curiosities
635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown

Fans of classic monster movies will love touring this gothic Lyndhurst mansion, which pays homage to The Mummy, The Phantom of the Opera, and the Bride of Frankenstein through actor performances and decorations. Designed for adults and teens; also suitable for younger children.

Rockland County Halloween Actitvities

The Orchards of Concklin
2 S. Mountain Road, Pomona

The children’s activities at this orchard include a half-acre mini corn maze and haunted house, as well as inflatable slides and bouncers. This season’s pick-your-own schedule includes McIntosh Sept. 17, Red Delicious on Sept. 24, Empire and Cortland on Oct. 1, and more. Dates are approximate and weather permitting. Pick a pumpkin or two to take home and make your own jack-o’-lantern, and apple cider and cider donuts as seasonal treats.

Pure Terror Scream Park
299 Museum Village Road, Monroe

For Halloween freaks who can’t get enough, Pure Terror Scream Park offers five haunted houses for the price of one – past attractions have included clowns and a slaughterhouse. Best for pre-teens; supervision required for children younger than 10.

Annual Halloween Parade
Main Street and South Broadway, Downtown Nyack

This annual event doesn’t include a corn maze, jack-o’-lanterns, or haunted house, but since it’s the largest Halloween parade outside of NYC, it still deserves a place in our roundup. The parade begins at 5:30pm and festivities begin at 3pm. Expect marching bands, stilt walkers, and floats. This year's winner of the Best Float competition will take home a $750 cash prize.

Queens Halloween Activities

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park

This ‘maize’ maze is produced by the American Maze Company, whose first three corn mazes made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. This year’s upcoming events include the September Seasonal Farm Stand, the Queens County Fair, and of course The Amazing Maize Maze.

Halloween Harvest Festival
32-01 Sculpture Park at Broadway, Queens

At this free event, make your own Halloween costume, dance to live music, get crafty with art projects, ghoul up with some spooky face paint, and enjoy locally harvested treats! Got a cute canine that loves to dress up in costume? Enter them in the Annual Juried Canine Costume Contest!

Rockaway Fall Festival
Bay 32nd Street and Beach Channel Drive, Queens

Now in its 11th year, this (free!) festival offers a pumpkin patch, pony and hayrides, and other seasonal entertainment.

Brooklyn Halloween Activities

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel
186 Jay St., Brooklyn

Produced by City Tech’s theatrical troupe, Theatreworks, as their annual fall production, this visually stunning haunted house is high-tech as well; sensors react to visitors’ movements from Oct. 19 through Halloween.

Luna Park Halloween Harvest
1000 Surf Ave., Brooklyn

Not only can you see one of NYC’s largest pumpkins here (and win up to $1,000 if you guess its weight!), you can watch Maniac Pumpkin Carvers carve a giant pumpkin. Other offerings include a dog costume parade, marching bands, and pony rides. Wristbands are available for purchase online.

Ghouls and Gourds, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
150 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn

While pumpkin-related crafts are involved, there’s so much to do at this annual six-hour celebration. Enjoy book signings from renowned authors and illustrators, waltz with woodland creatures, and witness a flying flea circus. Costumes are essential: You’ll want to wear them to the day’s closing parade. Festivities will take place Oct. 28 at 12pm.

Puppetry Arts 13th Annual Haunted Halloween Carnival
1st Street Recreation Center, 1st Street at 4th Avenue, Brooklyn

The first 200 children to attend this Halloween-day carnival receive a free trick-or-treat bag! Expect Star Wars characters roaming around, puppet crafts, live music, and games. The carnival helps to give Halloween costumes to families in need through partnerships with local shelters and foster care programs.

RELATED: Find After-School Activities in Brooklyn

Manhattan Halloween Activities

Museum of Natural History 22nd Annual Halloween Celebration
Central Park W. at 79th St., Manhattan

Technically this isn’t a haunted house, but we’ll let that slide: It’s a chance to experience the Halloween version one of NYC’s most iconic buildings. Magic, zombie shows, origami and trick or treating are some of the top attractions; be sure to say hello to Clifford and Curious George if you see them roaming the halls!

Central Park Conservancy Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail
14 E. 60th St., Manhattan

After pre-registering for your ‘flotilla,’ bring your pre-carved pumpkin or jack-o’-lantern for a sunset journey across the Harlem Meer (note: Arrive early before it reaches capacity!). Other festive activities include spooky mask making and live carving demonstrations, as well as mask making and arts and crafts.

Haunted High Line Halloween
West 14th to West 17th streets, Manhattan

The haunted house at this event is actually a haunted train tunnel, created by puppet master Ralph Lee (Fun fact: Lee is responsible for turning the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade from a community event to the festival of today). Other memorable events include meeting ghosts from the West Side’s industrial past, and creating kites out of fears to be set free.

RELATED: Find After-school Activities in Manhattan 

Nassau County Halloween Activities

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns' Garden of Gourds
71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury

With three locations (Old Westbury, Los Angeles, and San Diego), this event features more than 5,000 hand-carved glowing pumpkins and live celebrity carving artists. Follow the 1/3-mile-long jack-o’-lantern walking trail made extra festive with an original Halloween-themed musical score. Look out for a 50-foot dragon comprised entirely of pumpkins, plus safari-themed creations at this year’s event. 

Wantagh Halloween Haunted House
1632 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh

In lieu of admission, this haunted house accepts food, personal care items, and/or pet food donations to Long Island Cares. Come in costume for the haunted house; stay for the Halloween party and spook walk on haunted trails.

Bayville Scream Park
8 Bayville Ave., Bayville

Amusement park enthusiasts will want to take advantage of unlimited one- and two-day passes to the scream park, featuring tamer versions of the park’s nighttime haunted houses. Other fun activities include the tombstone treasure hunt, storytelling and Halloween arts and crafts.

Suffolk County, LI, Halloween Activities

Chamber of Horrors
1745 Express Drive N., Hauppauge

Great for groups (you can buy tickets in advance for specific dates and times) and younger children: This haunted house offers family days, when costumed guides provide tours of the house with the lights on and without spooky noises. Bring your camera for a memorable post-tour photo with your guide!

Harbes Family Farm
715 Sound Ave., Mattituck

Take part in new attractions for this season, including Jumbo Jumpers bounce pillows, an animatronic chicken show, sports zone, and of course everyone’s favorite hedge maze. This year’s theme is Gnomes.

The Haunted Mansion of Melville
26 Pinelawn Road, Melville

Those with young children can visit the daytime corn maze on Schmitt’s Family Farm; older kids who scare less easily should opt for Schmitt’s Haunt, which offers a mansion, stage show, and nighttime corn maze. All are haunted by a doctor who ‘lives’ at the farm, who became possessed after given a book of ancient texts by a former patient.

Pumpkin Park at Adventureland 
2245 Broad Hollow Road (Route 110), Farmingdale

Sick of haunted houses? Visit Pumpkin Park for haunted train rides instead: The park offers two, one for children of all ages, and a scarier version for teens and adults. In lieu of admission, this attraction accepts food, personal care items, and/or pet food donations to Helping Hands Foundation. Bonus: Your kids can enjoy free trick or treating in the park, and unlimited admission bracelets to use on other rides during the day. Festivities will be held from Oct. 21-22.

Fairfield County, CT, Halloween Activities

The Great Pumpkin Festival
2725 Main St., Stratford

There aren’t any illuminated jack-o’-lanterns here, but you’ll want to hit this festival to see the Great Pumpkin Carving Contest, where entrants whittle 100-pound pumpkins into unforgettable works of art. Children are encouraged to wear costumes and participate in face painting and horse-drawn hayrides.

The Enchanted Castle
739 Old Post Road, Fairfield

Kids who love costumes of the non-scary sort will love this haunted house alternative, which includes storybook-themed rooms inhabited by characters from each tale. Past rooms themes include Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, and The Little Mermaid. All admission proceeds benefit the Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers at Bridgeport Hospital, which has been running the event for more than 22 years.

Wells Hollow Creamery/Farm
656 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton

While the corn maze at Wells Hollow Farm is open from late September through October during the day and at night (reminder: bring your flashlight!), you’ll want to save time to savor one of more than 50 flavors of ice cream from the creamery on the 3,000-square-foot patio. Look out for seasonal fall flavors.

Plasko’s Farm
670 Daniels Farm Road, Trumbull

The corn maze at this beloved farm (which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year) changes annually, but it becomes no less popular – owner John Plasko says about 300 kids a day navigate through it. Admission is for a good cause: $1 from each ticket is donated to Swim Across the Sound, an organization Plasko chose on behalf of a customer’s cancer survival (and his own).

Bergen County, NJ, Halloween Activities

Abma’s Farm Market and Garden Center
700 Lawlins Road, Wyckoff

This 34-acre farm dates back to the 1790s; the homestead and outbuildings are well preserved and kept in their original state. Take part in daytime or nighttime hayrides, pony rides, and petting zoo activities. Pick pumpkins from the patch and check out the market for apple cider doughnuts. On Sept. 30, certain activities such as hayrides, build a barnyard animal, pony rides, and more will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to Tackle Kids Cancer.

Halloween Haunted Harvest
East Ridgewood Avenue and Oak Street, Ridgewood

Join the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce for this event at Van Neste Square in Memorial Park on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 1-4pm (weather permitting) with activities such as the haunted Halloween hay maze, parades, and arts and crafts.

Saddle River Youth Theatre’s ‘Poe’s Phantoms’
Archer Hall, 37 E. Allendale Ave., Allendale

Saddle River Youth Theatre presents Poe’s Phantoms for the Halloween Season, in which six haunted tales are brought to life at the John Fell House Historic Site Oct. 20-21. Recommended for children 8 and older.

RELATED: Find the Best Family Activities in Our Newsletter

Looking for more family fun this season? Get our FREE fall actitivities ebook!