Good afternoon, this is W42ST Lifestyle Editor Sarah Beling with “Make Way For The Weekend” — your curated guide to the best of New York events in one convenient newsletter!
I used to, with zero verifiable proof, insist I was a witch. From approximately age four to 10 (when I transitioned to claiming that I hailed from Planet Mars and was their Vice President????) I filled the pages of my diary with the daily trials of a suburban elementary schooler burdened with (as of yet unidentified!!) magical powers, dressed as a witch for no fewer than four Halloweens in a row and generally considered myself a descendant of Salem. Totally normal behavior!!!!
It should then come as no surprise that I am generally really into Halloween (though still abjectly afraid of all things horror, kind of lame for a witch!). And while this newsletter is chock-full of costume parties, parades and ghost tours, I have included some distinctly non-Halloween items for my friends who passionately hate the holiday and hunker down until it’s over (I see you, Chris Brindley).
So put together that makeshift costume (you can always go as a New Yorker by wearing all black), blast The Monster Mash, buy an extra bag of candy for yourself and read my favorite out-of-print children’s book (and ode to NYC Halloween) The Witch Who Lives Down the Hall.
What is your fave NYC Halloween tradition??! Mine is attempting arts and crafts once a year in service of making a costume lol.
🧙♀️ we are the daughters of the witches you couldn’t burn etc
After reading the above, it won’t shock you to know that I am recommending a visit to the New York Historical Society’s Salem Witch Trials exhibit showing now through January. Organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem itself, the retrospective details the dark period in human history that reverberates through to today and features artifacts and recountings from those present during the trials and their descendants.
🎃 sleep no halloween
Isn’t every day Halloween at the moody, macabre McKittrick Hotel? Unsurprisingly, the land of Sleep No More and the spooky Manderley Bar is hosting an other-worldly Halloween bash. Head to The McKittrick Halloween Ball: The Lost Garden this Monday to party dressed in “your spirit’s true form”.
🚲 faster than a broomstick
Join up with the folks from Trek Bicycle Hell’s Kitchen for a New York City Halloween Ride tonight (costumes required, so grab those default cat ears!!!). The group will ride up the Hudson River Greenway to Grant’s Tomb 👻 and back to the neighborhood for a nightcap (nearby bike parking available)!
🎃 put on your sunday costumes
Are you proud enough of your costume to display it on the big screens of Times Square? Kids and families can head over to the crossroads this Sunday for a rollicking Halloween parade and Trick or Treat festival, all benefitting Unicef and featuring live performances from Lincoln Center’s Second Line jazz band and Broadway stars! Looking to keep it more low key? There’s also the 35th annual Children’s Halloween Party in Hell’s Kitchen Park at 12:30pm on Saturday!
🍫 give me something good to eat
If your building is woefully devoid of trick-or-treat-friendly doors, take the kids over to the Midtown East Trick or Treat candy crawl on Monday from 3-7pm, featuring pumpkin painting and a spooky photo booth!
🎭 chrissy wake up
If you haven’t already stopped by, Stranger Sings! The Musical Parody at Playhouse 46 at St Luke’s will play two special Halloween performances at 7pm and 11pm and is holding “Eleven Days of Halloween”-themed events all week!
🎃 party like it’s
If you’re looking for a few good ol’ fashioned costume parties this weekend, save yourself the headache of planning and head to the Haswell Green’s party and/or Copacabana party this Saturday followed by the Mom’s Kitchen and Bar costume soiree this Monday. And if you want to guess this year’s most popular costumes, my money is on the infamous Olivia Wilde Salad Dressing followed by a Negroni Sbagliato with prosecco in it.
🍿 pass the popcorn
Our friends at Prime Produce are putting up a Halloween-themed Dinner and a Movie double feature this Friday, with an early showing for kids and a later-on horror movie for adults (maybe it’s about choosing health insurance!! Taxes?? Waiting for the subway on the weekend??! There are so many choices!!).
🎭 tackling hate with art
I had the pleasure of chatting with playwright and performer Sundeep Morrison, whose personal experience with xenophobia and racism in post-9/11 American inspired their powerful one-person show, Rag Head premiering this Friday at Theatre Row. Be sure to snag a ticket for an unforgettable piece of theater that will leave you changed.
🎭 anything for a laugh
In a bit of non-Halloween themed theater, check out the world premiere of What Passes for Comedy opening at the Chain this Friday, in which one late-night comedy show takes a very dramatic turn.
🎭 in memory, everything seems to happen to music
Even without a direct connection to the holiday, Tennessee Williams’s plays feel distinctly haunted. Check out an evening of TW one acts directed by Tony Award nominee Lorraine Serabian in Merciful Delusions opening next Wednesday at Theatre Row.
🎃 four-legged fiends
I stand behind the statement that nothing is funnier than a dog in a Halloween costume. You can find a plethora of them tonight at 310 W55th Street and at the Manhattan West Woof Fest this Saturday!!
🎃 it’s decorative gourd season, *&(*&(*((*&($#@!
If you’re looking for a distinctly non-scary Halloween activity, head to the New York Botanical Garden’s Fall-O-Ween festival this weekend featuring gigantic (2 ton!!) pumpkin carving and fall food sampling and demonstrations.
🎭 hello from the other side
I was lucky enough to get the chance to check out Javier Rivera DeBruin’s funny, meaningful and phantasmagorical exploration of family secrets Luciérnagas last fall — now the production is taking it to the airwaves, with a live performance and special Halloween podcast recording for audio theater company The Parsnip Ship this Monday.
🎃 house of halloween
The bacchanal that is House of Yes is hosting a weekend of Halloween-themed events, ranging from a drag spectacular to a Sunday Scaries-themed dance party!
🎃 howl at the moon
If you’re looking for a scenic place to snap Halloween costume shots, the chic Harriet’s Lounge at the 1Hotel Brooklyn is hosting a Haunted Forest Halloween party this Saturday, making it the perfect place to howl at the moon over the East River.
🍁 i keep on fallin’
If you are not a Halloween person and want to GTFO of town this weekend, why not take a quick Fall Foliage Cruise up the Hudson? You can enjoy live music, the beautiful trees of the Palisades, wine and a bratwurst as you wave goodbye to the drunk NYU students stumbling around in costume back in Manhattan.
🎃 it’s the great pumpkin(s), charlie brown
Are you so ahead of the Halloween game that you already have your carved pumpkin ready to go? Scurry up to Central Park to add yours to the famous annual Harlem Meer Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla happening tonight until 7pm! And if you’re like LOL NO GURL I AM NOT EVEN READY FOR OCTOBER YET ALONE HALLOWEEN then you can also just stop by and enjoy the fun floating jack-o-lanterns!
🎃 maybe you’ve heard of it
By now you’ve likely heard of the city’s famous yearly Halloween parade, in its 49th year in Greenwich Village. Drawing in over 60,000 costumed participants and as many as 2 million spectators, it’s still the place to go to catch the most creative costumes in town and feel why we really are a city full of delightful freaky deakies.
👻 paranormal activity
I’m filing the next few activities under Things I Am Too Scared to Do but I know there are brave readers amongst us who will visit the haunted Morris Jumel Mansion paranormal tour this Saturday and report back…if they make it out alive, muah-ah-ahhhhhhhhhhhh (ok, so my scary laugh is basically The Count from Sesame Street, don’t judge me!!)
👻 mmmm this sounds terrifying but go for it
Did you know you can tour the catacombs of St Patrick’s Old Cathedral by candlelight this weekend?? That sounds so scary but I am happy for you to try it out lol.
👻 where is jimmy hoffa
Due to my long-term Sopranos fandom, I could likely make it through the Gangsters and Ghosts Tour, which blends history and horror to detail the city’s history of mob rule.
🔥 Hot tip
Did you KNOW that Halloween candy goes on sale the next day? Now for an actual tip… (although you will catch me patrolling the aisles of CVS on Tuesday). If you’re looking for a ghostly New York spot that is equal parts peaceful and paranormal, you should visit one of the city’s most historic and landmarked burial grounds, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, which hosts an after-hours tour that would make the perfect early Halloween eve activity.
⚠️ Omg I forgot to tell you
There’s a full weekend of Halloween movies at the Rooftop Cinema club
Check out a witchy cabaret at Carole J Bufford’s Bad Moon Rising at Birdland this Monday
Funky club elsewhere hosts a full weekend of Halloween dance parties
There’s a pumpkin festival on Governors Island this weekend
Fun for all the family! There’s a kids’ Halloween costume party at Ellington on the Park (and wine for adults!!) this Sunday
Strut your stuff at a Death by Disco party on the Gansevoort Rooftop this Saturday
That’s it for now! Call me beep me if you want to reach me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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