Tourist In Your Own City

A Halloween Lineup of Freakishly Fun Activities

October is a wonderful time to be in New York. (Though, to be honest: any time is a wonderful time to be in New York.) This month, we’re scaring ourselves silly with the world-class Halloween attractions that we’ve come to expect from our fair metropolis, plus: staycations to islands other than Manhattan and Long, a costume cavalcade for the ages, sweet treats for kids and grown-ups alike, and a new location for an old NYC favorite. Whether you choose to dress up in costume this Halloween or prefer simply to spectate on the festivities, there has never been a better time to indulge in all that New York has to offer.

Hop a ferry at the Battery Maritime Building and head to Governor’s Island for this once-a-year, once-in-a-lifetime festival of artfully carved, glowing gourds. Marvel at the skyline, then turn your attention to the trail, as you pass by more than 1,000 expertly carved jack-o- lanterns, all illuminated against the dark of the tree-lined path. There are also live carving demos, in case you want to brush up on your skills, but it’s unlikely you’ll master the lifetime worth of skills needed to replicate these works of art in just one night. (Governors Island)

Gather a group of six (if you dare) and venture into the horror of Blood Manor, a premier haunted attraction. The cast is explicitly forbidden from touching you – and you them – but that won’t keep your terror at bay in this walk-through haunted house. Tickets are conveniently offered in timed entry slots, so that you know when to arrive in order to be admitted, but that’s about all you can predict; this gory spectacular claims to take about 20 minutes to wander through, but they just might be the longest (and most terrifying) minutes of your life. Emergency exits are available, but remember: there are no refunds. (163 Varick St.)

This year marks the 44th annual Village Halloween Parade, a dazzling line-up of marchers in costume through the streets of Greenwich Village. The parade is open to all, so long as you dress in costume, and regularly serves as the kick-off to a full night of Halloween fun. Unlike many holiday events, it takes place on Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, beginning at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie, so let that guide your costume creation. (6th Ave. at Canal St.)
Stocking up for trick-or-treaters? Indulging your own sweet tooth? You needn’t reveal your true motives, only get thee to Economy Candy for a mind-blowing assortment of sugary goodness. All of your name-brand favorites are here, plus a dazzling candy- by-color display that allows you to pick and choose your favorite flavors and a selection of playful old-time favorites like Pez, Fruit Stripe gum, and even vintage trading cards. It’s the ultimate throwback, perfect at Halloween or any time of year you need a candy fix. (108 Rivington St.)

A must-visit for the fashion elite since the late 70s, Screaming Mimis is Manhattan’s premier vintage spot for scoring can’t- get-it-anywhere-else apparel. It’s especially perfect for Halloween, with rare and one-of-a-kind pieces to complete any period look from flapper to hippie. Recently, Screaming Mimis relocated to W. 14th St., but their entire inventory of colorful couture came with them, making it a must-stop shop for serious costume crafters. You’ll be the envy of the Village Parade! (240 W. 14th St.)

Supported by the largest investment in Shark Tank history (yes, really), this brutal tour is back in New York for another year following eight seasons in Los Angeles. Psychotic clowns, vicious demons, and deranged killers lurk around every corner on this nightmare of a ride. Your tractor-drawn hayride is only the beginning; there are also a “Theatre Macabre” where audience members become the stars of classic horror scenes and a true-dark maze that you navigate with only your hands to guide you. Are you afraid of the dark? (Randall’s Island)