The fiery-colored leaves have crunched and crumbled beneath our feet as the air grows crisp and cool. Fall has arrived, bringing with it a plethora of activities in which people of all ages can partake.
At Luna Park’s “Nights of Horror,” however, enter at your own risk! Wander into Farmer Cudie’s haunted corn maze, if you dare. The $15 admissions ticket is your key to 12 rides and two haunted mazes. Nights of Horror are on weekends throughout the month: October 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28, and go from 6 p.m. to midnight each night. Luna Park is located at 1000 Surf Avenue. For details and ticket deals, visit http://lunaparknyc.com/nightsofhorror. On Halloween day, the 31st, from noon to 3 p.m., Luna Park will be transformed into a haunted playground—giving small children a chance to experience not-so-scary Halloween fun.
The New York Aquarium will give you its fair share of spook with its ‘Halloween at the Ascarium,’ pirate-themed festivities during the last three weekends of October: 13-14, 20-21, 27-28. Kids in costumes get in free to enjoy live music, storytelling, magic shows and the special Halloween 4-D feature, The Curse of Skull Rock. They will collect treats and venture into a ‘haunted seafari.’ From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., meet sea monsters and experience crafts and shanty musical performances. The Aquarium is located at Surf Avenue and West Eighth Street. Adult admission is $14.95 ($11.95 for seniors, $10.95 for kids aged 3-12.). Visit www.nyaquarium.com.
The fall season would not be complete without a good old fashioned pumpkin-picking, and the Red Hook Pumpkin Patch will open its fields to kids of all ages from October 12 through 31. Supplementing its child-oriented tours, the farm will host the eighth annual Red Hook Farm Harvest Festival on October 22. The festival will include local musicians, a farmer’s market, and farm-to-table restaurants. Admission is free and the event lasts from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Red Hook Community Farm at 3-49 Halleck Street.
What better way to celebrate the month of October than a tour through the Gravesend Inn haunted hotel? The inn is Theatreworks’ high-tech haunted hotel, will offer tours that showcase the work of students from New York City College of Technology. Tickets are $6 for general sales and $5 for students with an I.D. and for group admission. The “hotel” is open October 18- 20, 25-27 and 31 at 186 Jay Street; for more information, visit www.gravesendinn.org.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s annual Harvest Festival will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 20, at Pier 6, which is located at 334 Furman Street. Music performances from the Bilingual Birdies (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.) and The Pop Ups (12 to 1 p.m.) will complement the face painting, mask making, storytelling, art activities, and craft workshops for kids of all ages. For more details, go to www.brooklynbridgepark.org.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 27, 28
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum kicks off the weekend with a Monster Mash on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. There will be family-friendly Spooky Street trick-or-treat, a Michael Jackson “Thriller” tribute, a museum-wide costume parade and spooky arts and crafts. Children of all ages are welcome and encouraged to wear their costumes. Tickets to Friday’s Monster Mash are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Tickets to Saturday’s event are $6/$12. To purchase tickets, visit the museum at 145 Brooklyn Avenue or e-mail email@example.com.
On Saturday, the 27th, get ready for the Prospect Park Halloween Haunted Walk and Carnival where zombies, witches, fairies and scary creatures come out on a harrowing hike leading to Lookout Hill. Enjoy the carnival on the Nethermead, featuring all kinds of fun, games, pony rides, face painting, and seasonal treats. Both events begin at noon and last until 3 p.m. Enter at Prospect Park Southwest and 16th Street. Everyone is welcome!
The Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Avenue, will host its annual Boo at the Zoo Weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Zoo festivities involve Wild Life Witch shows, face painting, bat chats, costume parades and dance parties and many more child-oriented activities. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors age 65+, $5 for kids aged three to 12, and free for children under three. Visit www.prospectparkzoo.com.
After the zoo, stroll over to the Audubon Center at the Boathouse in Prospect Park, where Creepy, Crawly Halloween takes place all weekend from 1 to 4 p.m.. Take a closer look at spiders, worms and other creatures that give you the creeps. Crafts and experiments will also be available. Admission is free; the boathouse is on East Lake Drive. Also on both days, from noon to 5 p.m., the historic merry-go-round in Prospect Park will be transformed into a Haunted Carousel, where rides will cost just $2. Go to www.prospectpark.org for details.
Halloween isn’t just for humans, though! On October 27, bring your pooches to the Great Pup’kin Dog Costume Contest at Fort Greene Park. Organized by Fort Greene Park Users and Pets Society (PUPS), the contest begins at noon, but the registration desk (at Monument Plaza) opens at 11:00 a.m.
The annual Ghouls and Gourds Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is another exciting way to spend part of Halloween weekend. From noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, take in a puppet show, a gourd orchestra and get a chance to chat with children’s book creators while visiting a Victorian Toy Parlor. The garden is at 1000 Washington Avenue. Kids under 12 get in for free. Visit www.bbg.org/visit/event/ghouls_and_gourds_2012.
Parades are also a must! The Greenpoint Children’s Halloween Parade will take place on Saturday, the 27th. It commences from 176 Java Street at 2 and lasts until 5 p.m., which is when an after-party starts.
On Sunday, the 28th, the Lefferts Historic House will be scary story central. Enter at Prospect Park’s Willink Entrance for 2 and 3 p.m. readings. Adult admission, $3; children under 16, free.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30
The Brooklyn Heights Halloween Parade starts at 10 a.m. at Pierrepont Playground, on Pierrepont Street at Columbia Heights. There will also be a bake sale fundraiser on-site. More info at http://www.bhplaygrounds.org.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31 – HALLOWEEN DAY!
Finally, it’s Halloween! We dare you to get bored with so much going on. The Seventh Annual Haunted Halloween Carnival — held at the First Street (and Fourth Avenue) Recreation Center of P.S. 372 — is a free indoor party that runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The first 200 kids will receive a free “trick-or-treat” bag; the carnival will culminate in a costume contest for all ages at 3:30 p.m.. Costs are $1 for games and snacks, $2 for the haunted lab and $3 for the bounce house. Kids will also have an opportunity to meet R2D2 and the Star Wars costumed volunteers from the 501st and Rebel Legions. Log onto www.puppetryarts.org for more information.
From 1 to 3 p.m., revelers can enjoy a Halloween party at the Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge, in DUMBO. There will be a DJ, pumpkin painting and two hours full of games, all before the sun sets.
Then at 4 p.m., another annual neighborhood tradition — the Cobble Hill Halloween Parade — will start, with music provided by Jah Pan Steel Drum Band. Location: Cobble Hill Park, at Clinton Street and Verandah Place.
As we move into sunset, bring your costumed kids to the Park Slope Civic Council’s Halloween Parade from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., where two ambulances filled to the brim with cornucopias of candy will lead the parade as technicians and volunteers will hand out bags full of candy. The parade rolls down Seventh Avenue from 14th Street to Third Street at the Old Stone House. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Reporting contributed by Melisa Stumpf, Helen Klein, and Heather J. Chin.