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Oct 15, 2020 | Seasonal Things to Do

5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween in NYC While Social Distancing

Halloween is going to look a lot different this year. Regularly scheduled events like the Village Halloween Parade are taking the year off (and rightly so). That being said, there are still quite a few spooky haunts happening around the city. Here are five ways to celebrate Halloween in NYC while social distancing.

Due to COVID-19, attractions and events mentioned may be closed or cancelled without notice. We recommend checking individual attractions for operating hours, updates, and social distancing measures before visiting. Please travel responsibly and follow mask requirements and social distancing procedures when visiting.

1. Attend a Live Performance in a Cemetery

The Angel’s Share live music series presents ‘To America’ in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery this fall. The immersive, cemetery-wide performance includes classic covers of songs, history, poetry, and storytelling as visitors learn of those buried at the historic cemetery, including the last slave in New York state and Brooklyn’s first casualty in the Civil War. Guests must wear masks and maintain a six-foot distance from others. While you’re there, be sure to check out Green-Wood’s large-scale community Dia de Los Muertos altar. 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY

2. Learn about the Dark Side of Broadway on a Walking Tour

Theater professionals give behind-the-scenes scoop on the district’s hauntings and legends on a walking tour of Broadway on Halloween day. The tour begins outside the New Amsterdam Theater in Times Square before visiting more famous theaters to learn the strange tales and superstitions that run rampant in the theater community. 214 W 42nd St, New York, NY

3. See a Scary Movie at a Drive-In

Queens Drive-In at the New York Hall of Science is showcasing several scary movies leading up to Halloween. Join them for nightly double features with classics like Psycho, Nosferatu, Young Frankenstein, Halloween, Beetlejuice, Little Shop of Horrors, and some modern horror flicks. 47-01 111th St, Queens, NY

4. Go to a Haunted House

While walking into a haunted house inhabited by garish zombies, monsters, and other creatures is every bit as scary under normal circumstances, the times we live in have sabotaged every fear-inducing activity one could have planned this Halloween. Still, Manhattan does have a haunted house happening with all the social distancing norms in place. Blood Manor requires every guest and employee to have their temperature taken prior to entering the 10,000 square foot space of themed rooms “designed to maximize fear”. Masks are required by all, and there are capacity reductions, minentry intervals for visitors, sanitizing stations, and contactless payment options. 359 Broadway, Broadway, New York, NY

5. Go on a Ghost Tour through Greenwich Village

Learn about the past and current hauntings of New York City on an hour-long ghost tour around a dozen Greenwich Village locales, including Washington Square Park, the Mark Twain House, and the Pirate’s Den. Find out the true stories behind these historically tragic locations with tales featuring Edgar Allan Poe, Aaron Burr, and haunted burial grounds, speakeasies, and brothels. Group sizes are limited and masks are required. Tours meet at the Washington Square Arch. Washington Square N, New York, NY

Looking for more things to do during the Halloween season in NYC? Here are a few activities we have our eye on:

  • Participate in Halloween festivities at the Bronx Zoo’s annual ‘Boo at the Zoo’. Activities include magic and mind reading, an extinct animal graveyard, pumpkin carving demos, and a pumpkin trail among hundreds of excellently carved pumpkins.
  • Walk the Great Pumpkin Path at the New York Botanical Garden. The path on the Conservatory Lawn wanders past some of the largest pumpkins in the world with the arrival of the giant pumpkins on October 24.
  • Get festive at Harvest Weekend at Queens Farm. Activities include a pumpkin patch, hayrides, and a seasonal farmstand with apples, donuts, fresh cider, apple pies, and more.
  • Attend a performance of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus at Ulysses S. Grant National Memorial Park. The revenge tragedy features a cast of eight actors, who wear masks and maintain a distance of six feet from each other and from the audience.
  • Listen to old-fashioned ghost stories at the Museum of Interesting Things at Mister Dusty Rose’s Ghost Show.
  • Celebrate Halloween with the Theater for the New City. Virtual theater offerings include their 44th annual Halloween Costume Ball and musical performances.

Are you looking for more travel tips in the age of COVID-19? Visit The Manhattan Club Blog to see our guide to exploring New York online.

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