Upper West Side
For years there has been a huge party on West 69th Street near Central Park West with candy, entertainment and police controlling the crowd. It’s gotten so popular the block association has decided to stop distributing treats around 7pm so revelers will disperse. This is where manyUpper West Side kids head for great door-to-door trick-or-treating.
Reader Howard says: “79th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues is great. All the prewar buildings decorate their lobbies and hand out candy to kids. Really cool.” And reader Nina says to try 78th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues
Amy, one of our readers, recommends 87th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue. “The whole block gets decked out, brownstone to brownstone!”
One of our contributors who lives in the neighborhood says 90th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues is also a good bet, and less busy.
Ani says that “95th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West is closed to traffic and all the brownstones are decked out and hand out candy. Lots of fun!”
Upper East Side
For decades, 78th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues has been the go-to block for Upper East Side trick-or-treating.
Every year, 92nd Street between Park and Madison Avenues is closed to traffic for a Halloween Spooktacular from 5 to 6:30pm. In addition to treats and ghoulish decorations, there’s a costume contest with prizes awarded in different age categories, as well as best family and best pet.
Once you’ve had your share of fun on 92nd Street, head north. We’ve heard town houses and doormen on 94th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues dole out goodies and one of our readers, Amanda, recommends 95th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. “Lots of candy and the brownstone mansion on the corner even has gaslights!”
Harlem has become a hotbed of Halloween activity in recent years. The Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association sponsors trick-or-treating near Marcus Garvey Park. Maps of of participating houses can be downloaded a day or two before Halloween.
Astor Row, 130th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, and Strivers’ Row, 138th and 139th Streets between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Boulevards, are also good bets.
Harlem resident Jessica recommends Hamilton Terrace between 141st and 144th Streets. “The brownstones are all made up to look spooky. My family and I start around 147th Street and also visit some of the brownstone blocks between St. Nicholas and Convent Avenues and work our way down. The kids have a lot of fun and it almost feels like trick-or-treating in the ‘burbs.”
Reader Pedro advises, “Hit Broadway between 168th and 181st Streets. High volume of all sorts of candy.” Given the street, we’re guessing it’s mostly stores doling out sweets, not residents.
From 3 to 6pm, you can hit the Greenwich Village Children’s Halloween Parade and Party in Washington Square Park. Afterward, stay far away from Sixth Avenue and the big parade. Instead, make your way to the West Village for the real neighborhood experience.
Brooklyn is home to an incredible number of kid-friendly Halloween parades, after which kids trick-or-treat in those neighborhoods, including the family-packed brownstones of Park Slope. Joining a parade is the best bet for figuring out which blocks to hit.
Every year, community nonprofit the Society for Clinton Hill organizes a Halloween Walk in Fort Greene, and even hands out maps with a list of houses to hit. Clinton Avenue between Dekalb and Lafayette Avenues is a highlight; the Halloween 313 House is right there. From 5 to 9pm, you can catch its original one-night-only Halloween-themed show.
Brooklyn Heights‘ charming streets are anything but dead on Halloween. The over-the-top Garden Place and Grace Court Alley are the epicenter of the Halloween celebration, but side streets offer laid-back trick-or-treating, too.
Best Candy Stores in New York City for Kids
If you’ve had your fill and candy and are ready to grab some real food head back up to Spring and Mott for some delicious pizza at Lombardi’s. Right down the block is a little playground where your kids can run off their sugar highs before you jump back on the train and back to real life. (If Lombardi’s is super busy, get your pizza to go and eat it in the park too.)