What To Do For Halloween in New York’s East End

Halloween fun all month long has given us a treat when we needed it most. Still wondering what you should do with the kids on the big day itself? Finally we have a Saturday Halloween, so it won’t be as rushed as years past, AND it’s a full moon, so you can leave your flashlights at home. While you may be tempted to skip festivities this year, mental health experts say it’s important to balance physical risks with mental health risks. There are plenty of ways to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus, while partaking in annual October traditions – some classic, others new for 2020.

Learn About the Science of Getting Spooked

The Center for Science Teaching and Learning is hosting exhibits, character actors, take-home crafts, and a woodland walk at SpookyFest. Ticket times will be spaced so that only one family will be traveling through the woods or crafting at a time. The event is open to ages 3+ and costs $10 for family-friendly fun, with Halloween time slots from 6:30 to 9:30. 

Fly on Down to Dracula’s Farm

The Northshore Horse Rescue at 2330 Sound Avenue in Baiting Hollow is showing off its Halloween-themed horse paddocks with a 30-minute drive-thru tour from 10 am to 2 pm on Halloween. Each vehicle receive a Halloween candy basket, so bring your face masks. Tickets are $32 per car (or $27 for advanced registration), with all proceeds supporting the horse animal sanctuary’s rescue mission. 

Sing with Spookley, the Square Pumpkin

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts will present Spookley The Square Pumpkin: The Musical for children ages 3-10. The Halloween performance is at 11 am – outdoors behind Roseneath Cottage (239 Middle Country Road in Smithtown), with social distancing measures in place. Guests must purchase advance tickets online for $18 a person.  

Complete a Virtual Arts & Craft

The Museum of Arts and Design is open on Saturdays from 11am – 7pm, but tickets are limited to 25 percent capacity – so the museum has decided to host a ZOOM Halloween event for all ages instead. 

For a $5 donation, artist Lexy Ho-Tai will walk your child through creating a festive mask using repurposed and recycled household materials at 10 am. 

At 11 am, you can share stories with the Strangers Project. Brandon Doman will be at Washington Square Park adding the tales to the collection.

At noon, you’ll learn how to create edible stained-glass candy and participate in a family-friendly costume contest on Instagram. Learn more about the event and register here.

Plan a Safer Trick-or-Treating Route

Governor Cuomo has refrained from outright banning trick-or-treat activities, but the CDC classifies the house-to-house visits as a “high-risk” activity. 

Spiking infection rates have been reported in neighborhoods like Kew Gardens (2.24%), Edgemere-Far Rockaway (3.69%), Williamsburg (2%), and Midwood/Borough Park/Bensonhurst (4.71%) – so you may want to avoid these communities. 

Instead, you may want to try one of these Best NYC Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

Keep the Parade Spirit Alive

The annual Halloween parade in Greenwich Village has been cancelled, but the organizers have promised “a trick that’s actually a treat” – like a pop-up live event — so stay tuned to discover their last-minute surprise announcement. 

You can watch a retrospective look at past parades on NY1 at 7pm Halloween night.

If you prefer to be out and about — at the same time, you can see one beloved tradition live on, as Master Puppeteer Basil Twist releases a giant spider out of Greenwich Village’s Jefferson Market Library tower.

Host Your Own Ghosts

The CDC has listed several “low-risk” activities to enjoy with your family this Halloween:

  • Carving, painting, or decorating pumpkins
  • Decorating your living space
  • Organizing a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt 
  • Watching spooky movies
  • Holding a virtual costume contest with friends on Zoom.

You can also cook up one of these kid-friendly Celtic Halloween recipes together. 

Entertain Boys and Ghouls at a Private Pod Party

If you have a small group of close friends or relatives you’ve been seeing already, you may feel comfortable having a modest gathering. Remove the stress by calling in party planners to assist. Shine organizers can drop by your location for a pandemic-friendly Halloween crafts, storytelling, songs, games, and culinary delights. Our fully customizable party solutions are a great way to make your child’s party stand out – or to entertain the kids, freeing moms an dads to enjoy adult conversation. Contact us to inquire about availability. 

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