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Halloween in New York City: Things to See and Do
Have you ever been to New York City? It's a fast paced place. There's always something going on and if you're not quick, you might get left behind. It's like this all year long. The hustle and the bustle of busy people partaking in both business and pleasure. There's never a dull moment here. If it's like this all year long, imagine how it is during a holiday like Halloween? You bet, it's even busier than usual. October, November and December are the busiest and the most fun times of the year in New York City. So if you're planning a trip, plan it for then. And we don't just celebrate on the date of the holiday, we celebrate all month long.
But this hub is going to focus on the month of October and Halloween. During this holiday, New Yorkers go all out. Whether it's haunted houses, pumpkin picking, or parties, there's plenty of Halloween fun going on in October, in New York City.
Not For Children
Blood Manor - New York's Premier Hauned House
Blood Manor is a Haunted House located at 163 Varick Street in the Heart of NYC's Hudson Square District. It's said to be the scariest haunted house in New York, using real actors to produce the scares more than animatronics. Blood Manor is 5,000 square feet of themed rooms, corridors and passageways, in which you journey through on foot in groups of 6. The journey usually lasts for about 20 to 25 minutes. Some of those themed rooms include: The Vampires' Lair, The Wolves' Den, Disgraceland and The Graveyard of the Doomed. Though the actors are trained to not touch anyone, there are several emergency exits if it should become to scary for anyone.
Blood Manor Staff do not recommend children under 14 entering the manor. They also recommend that people with heart and/or back problems, pregnant women, epileptics or anyone with a condition that is worsened or affected by anxiety or flashing lights, should not enter the manor.
You can purchase tickets online, in person or by phone and they range in price from $25-$45 depending on the type of ticket, how you purchase it and the date. The lines can be quite long,s o I recommend purchasing your general admission tickets ($25 + $3.50 handling) in advance online or by phone or you can purchase the express entry ticket for a higher price ($40 + $3.50 handling). Keep in mind e-tickets are only good for the date printed on them.
From Oct. 7 to Nov. 5 Blood Manor's hours of operation for the 2011 season are:
Thursdays 7:30pm to 12am
Fridays & Saturdays 7:30pm to 2am
Sundays 6pm to 11pm
October 25, 26 & 27 - 7:30pm to 1am
Halloween, Oct. 31 - 6pm to 1am
You can find more Haunted Houses listed in the Haunted house section of BooYork.org
Madam Tussauds After Dark
Madame Tussauds is a celebrity wax museum found in the biggest cities all over the world. For eight nights in October, right here in New York, Madame Tussauds hosts an event known as Madame Tussauds After Dark. The museum is located in Time Square. During the event you'll walk the halls of the museum after dark and hear the sounds of horrifying screams and ghostly noises. You're sure to have a paranormal experience.
This event uses real actors who are trained not to touch you and the museum asks that you don't touch them in return. It's also recommended that anyone affected by strobe lights should not attend the event. The museum will not allow flash photography and asks that you do not bring over-sized bags or strollers to the event. They also recommend that you dress comfortably.
Tickets can be purchased online for $23.95.
Dates & Times of the event:
Thursdays-Sundays (Oct. 20-23 and Oct. 27-30)
9pm to 12am
New York has some of the most famous Halloween parties in the country. Though they tend to be on the pricey side, they are highly entertaining. It's a real treat to see all the costumes and outfits you'll find at these events. Some of the most famous ones are Webster Hell, and The Vampire Ball. BooYork has a section dedicated to Halloween parties and balls on their site. There you'll find the above mentioned and more.
Here's a few:
- Webster Hell
This party is located at Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003
You must be 19+ to enter and 21+ to drink.
The general admission price is $40
- Joonbugs Annual Halloween Masquerade Ball
This party is located at Capitale, 130 Bowery, New York, NY 10013
The General Admission price is $10. Royal VIP Admission is $25
- Theater for the New City's Village Halloween Costume Ball
This party is located at The Theater for the New City, 155 1st Ave., New York, NY 10003
You must wear a costume or formal wear to attend.
The General Admission will cost you $2
The New York Village Parade
New York's annual Village Halloween Parade takes place in Greenwich Village on October the 31st. It's said to be the nation's most creative public participatory event. Every year the parade features a vast number of artists, dancers and musicians. Anyone in costume can march and anyone not in costume can volunteer as a puppeteer and help carry and control those huge puppets as you walk almost a mile. Every year 1 million people publicly gather for this event and another 2 million view it on TV.
The parade starts on 6th avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street. It begins at 7pm and goes to 10:30pm. Did I mention it's absolutely free?
Murder Mystery at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden
Every year, for two days in October the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden invites adults and families with children over age eight to join in on a fictional murder mystery game. In the game an unidentified skeleton is discovered, hidden under the floorboards. Your job is to play detective; solve puzzles and collect clues to crack the case.
The museum is located at 421 East 61st Street, New York, NY 10065
Check the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden's website for dates and times.
Tickets cost $25 for adults, $10 for kids under 12 and $15 for members.
October at the Queens County Farm Museum
Queens County Farm Museum is the only working farm surviving in the city today. It's located in Floral Park, Queens NY. They host events all year long and for all the big holidays. In October the Queens County Farm features The Amazing Maize Maze, the Pumpkin Patch, The Apple Festival, The Children's Fall Festival, the Halloween Haunted House, pony rides and hayrides. All of these events and attractions are very affordable most going at $10 and below.
Check out The Queens County Farm Museum's website for more information on dates, times, directions and admission fees.
For More On All Things Halloween
Boo at the Bronx Zoo
Boo at the Zoo takes place every weekend in October. You'll see their creepiest and scariest inhabitants including: bats, rats, owls and leopards. They also host an array of Halloween themed activities such as, magic shows, face painting, a haunted laboratory, pumpkin carving, spooky stories, costume parades, musical hayrides and trick or treating. All activities are included in the Zoo's total experience admission, which is about $30. Children under 3 are free always. But during this event children in costume under 12 get in free as well.
I can speak from personal experience when I tell you this is really fun. I took my 11 month old to this and as young as he was, he loved it. He wore his costume and ate s'mores, checked out the animals, rode the carousel and got some candy. Even my husband and I had a blast. The haunted laboratory is particularly amusing; we had quite a few laughs.
Check out the Bronx Zoo's website for more information.
The Annual Halloween Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History
From 4-7pm on October 31st every year, families can come to the American Museum of Natural History and join in on the festivities. Activities include: trick or treating, arts and crafts, costumed characters, and a Halloween Space Show. There's also live entertainment and the many halls to check out.
Again I speak from personal experience when I say this event is loads of fun. We took my niece to this last year. She had tons of fun eating candy and checking out the halls. She was only about 15 months old at the time. I had hoped to take my son this year (2012), but hurricane sandy canceled Halloween for residents of the eastern seaboard. The museum assured its patrons that the event will take place next year (2013).
Check out the Museum of Natural History's Website for more information.
Admission price is around $10 and $9 for museum members.
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