The Shadow Box Theatre puts on a show called “Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin,” about an orange specimen who overcomes physical flaws to become one scary jack-o’-lantern. 10/26, 1 p.m. (shadowboxtheatre .org); $10.
Singer-songwriter Big Jeff celebrates the holiday at the Chatham Square branch of the New York Public Library. Be sure to request “Werewolves of London”—he does a mean version. 10/23, 4 p.m. (nypl.org); free.
Seriously Haunted House
Warning: The hour-long ghost tours at the Merchant’s House Museum may bring on nightmares. Expect spine-tingling stories and a building draped in black crepe. 10/24, 10/25, 10/29, and 10/30, 6–10 p.m. (merchantshouse.org); $25, reservations required.
Read All About It
Halloween books are signed by their authors and illustrators at Books of Wonder. Expect Wendy Wax (City Witch, Country Switch), Michael Rex (Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody), Jane Manning (Cat Nights), and Mark Siegel (Boogie Knights). 10/25, noon–2 p.m. (booksof wonder.com); free.
If the kids are too young for the big parade on the 31st, they can help create a banner that will be in said parade. Meet at Hippo Playground in Riverside Park, at 91st St. 10/25, 10 a.m.–noon. (riversideparkfund.org); free.
Dress up for good—the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital’s seventh annual Halloween fund-raiser fête with activities and the Dirty Sock Funtime Band. Benefits Mount Sinai’s NICU. 10/26, noon–3 p.m. (212-241-9598); adults, $150; kids, $75.
Float Your Boat
Head to Pier 40 and hop on the Queen of Hearts (a Louisiana-type paddle-wheel boat) for a themed Halloween cruise, with balloon sculpting, arts and crafts, magic, storytelling, and healthy snacks. 10/26. (kiddiecruise.com); adults, $35; kids, $25.
Dress Your Dog
Gussy up Fido and drag him to a doggie costume contest at Riverside Park or Tompkins Square Park; the latter boasts a canine parade. 10/25. Riverside Park: noon–3 p.m. (riversideparkfund.org); $10 to enter costume contest. Tompkins Square Park: noon. (firstrunfriends.org); $5.
Got a doll fan? Bring him or her to trick or treat, enter a raffle, and meet a new Madame Alexander Halloween Doll. 10/25. (212-283-5900).
Bowl, Spit, Carve
Camp Sunshine’s annual pumpkin festival in Central Park is always a treat—join in on the fun by gourd-bowling, pumpkin-seed spitting, pumpkin carving, visiting a haunted house, and more. 10/25. (campsunshine.org); free.
Float Your Pumpkin
Have you ever seen a pumpkin float? It’s the sort of thing small people get a kick out of. Launch ten-pounders (or smaller) as a part of a sunset Halloween sail flotilla at the Harlem Meer. Crafts, storytelling, and other activities abound. Costumes encouraged. 10/26, 4–7 p.m. (centralparknyc.org); free.
At the first annual “pumpkin pallooza”/green event at Williamsburg’s East River State Park there will be pumpkin painting, recycling activities, a marching band, fall wreath–making, and ecoinformation and education booths manned by such groups as the Audubon Society. 10/26, noon–6 p.m. (friendsoftheeastriverstatepark.org); free.
Go as a Flower
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Ghouls and Gourds Festival will keep kids busy with arts and crafts, corn grinding, watching carnivorous plant feedings, a costume parade—even a “batty” book fair with children’s authors. Bash the Trash and John Carlin & the Kids Music Underground perform. 10/26, noon. (bbg.org); adults, $8; seniors, $4; under 12 free.
Oh no! The Prospect Park carousel is suddenly haunted, with chilling music, ravens, bats, and spiders. Then take the Halloween Haunted Walk to Lookout Hill, prowled by witches, ghosts, and vampires lurking in the deep, dark forest. 10/25, noon–3 p.m. (prospectpark.org); free.
Go as a Fish
The aquarium morphs into the a-scarium with a pumpkin patch, crafts, a haunted house, lessons about the monsters of the deep, plus a new Haunted Mine 3-D ride. 10/25 and 10/26. (nyaquarium.com); adult, $13; kids under 12 in costume free with adult.
Seriously Haunted Hotel
Older kids will adore Theaterworks’ high-tech haunted hotel, starring City Tech’s resident theatrical troupe. Students and faculty provide all design, construction, and operating support. 10/16–10/31, times vary. (gravesendinn.com); adults, $6; students, $4.
Fort Greene’s ninth annual Halloween extravaganza has hay rides, more face painting, more pumpkin decorating, games, and treats. The children’s costume parade starts around 2 p.m. 10/25, noon–3 p.m. (fortgreenepark.org); free.
The Queens Zoo hosts a costume parade, trick or treating, and themed craft activities—make a skeleton or spider to take home. 10/25 and 10/26. (queenszoo.com); adults, $6; kids under 12 in costume free.
Pumpkin Patch I
The Queens Botanical Garden gets in the spirit by transforming the Children’s Garden to a paint-your-own pumpkin patch, where Count Dracula and others entertain kids. Make a green-haired monster to take home and introduce it to the aforementioned skeletons and spiders from the zoo. 10/26. (queensbotanical.org); $8.
Pumpkin Patch II
Another pumpkin patch is set up at the Alley Pond Environmental Center. There, kids can pick “funny-faced” specimens to use in a matching game, learn about the squash’s seeds, sing, decorate, eat, and even meet pumpkin-colored animals. 10/25, 1–3 p.m. (alleypond.com); $18.
Make Your Own Mask
At Wave Hill, artist Tamalyn Miller guides families through her “photoluminescent environment” in the Sunroom Project Space, then shows them how to fashion masks resembling a creepy blossom or ghostly plant that glows in the dark. 10/25 and 10/26, 1–4 p.m. (wavehill .org); adults, $6; seniors, $3; kids under 6 free.
Another Spooky Zoo
The Bronx Zoo pulls out all of the creepy stops for its annual Halloween bash. Expect music, spooky stories, sing-along hay rides, face painting, trick or treating, pumpkin-carving demonstrations, giveaways, and more. Dress up as your favorite animal. 10/11–10/26. (bronxzoo.com); adults, $15; kids, $11; kids under 12 in costume free.
Looking for something not too scary? The Staten Island Children’s Museum offers mellow, seasonal, but not frightening themed activities. Costumes encouraged. In keeping with the mood, kitty cats are preferable to ax murderers. 10/25. (statenislandkids.org); $5.
Frogs, Ghosts, and Goblins
There’s plenty spooky in a zoo on any given day—not just Halloween. The Staten Island Zoo makes use of its frogs and the like, and adds a few ghosts, goblins, and other shriek-inducers for a fun-filled evening. Expect crafts, shows, magical tours, and other “enchanting” activities. 10/25, 6–9:30 p.m. (statenislandzoo.org); $15.