Halloween is the second most celebrated holiday of the year in the United States. Most cities have some fun and exciting ways to celebrate the season. New York City East Village district holds one of the biggest Halloween parades on the East Coast. New York City also has another exciting tradition, the Pumpkin Flotilla held in Central Park. Guests can bring their jack o lanterns to be part of the flotilla that floats at twilight down Harlem Meer. This family-friendly event also has a scavenger hunt and encourages everyone to wear their favorite costume. Another Halloween tradition of New York City is the Great Pumpkin, New York’s pet costume contest, and parade. Other events New York City offers include a Harvest Festival with a pumpkin carving contest called “Flight of the Gourds.” New York’s East Village also holds a spectacular Halloween Costume Ball for those looking to show off their costumes. Famous author Washington Irving once called New York home, so it would not be Halloween without the Headless Horseman. Ulster Park hosts the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride and Haunted House. For a less spooky Halloween, the Rockaway Hotel is holding the Superhero Ball. Comic-Con is another big event that comes to New York City each October bringing fans from around the globe to meet their favorite illustrators, writers, and actors. For something ghoulish, there is Madame Morbid’s Trolley Tours with the interior of the trolleys decorated in the theme of a Victorian Funeral Parlor! Sloomoo Institute offers another one-of-a-kind type of experience this sensory museum gets in the spirit of the season with a Halloween-themed kid-friendly event in October.
Just across the Hudson in Tarrytown, NY home of Sleepy Hollow village. Once Sleepy Hollow was its tiny town. Eventually, it would become known as North Tarrytown. Thanks to the imagination of Washington Irving, the tiny hamlet will never be forgotten. Halloween is not just a day for this town. It’s a month-long event that draws countless guests each year! Visitors can tour the estates of Washington Irving. Or take a guided tour of the town burying ground by the light of a lantern. Enjoy a haunted hayride through Rockefeller State Park. One of the most momentous events this month is The Great Jack O Lantern Blaze. More than 7,000 pumpkins are carved and lit each year for the spectacular event! The Blaze takes place at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, just outside New York City. This event requires more than 1,000 volunteers each year and runs from September through November.
Another New York town that gets into the spirit of Halloween is White Plains. White Plains offers events throughout October, including ghost tours, eerie pub crawls, a carnival, family movie nights, and the annual “We Own the Night” costume ball on Halloween night.