This weekend is Halloween, and there is no shortage of events in the city, from the spooky to the spectacular. Get in the mood with an eerie cemetery walk at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx, or get away to the actual town of Sleepy Hollow, which takes this holiday very seriously. If you want to show off your costume (or just admire the creativity of others) the Village Halloween Parade is a classic choice, while the Halloween Ball at MoMA PS1 is the new spot to see and be seen. When you need a break from all the revelry, make sure to stop by the Frank Stella retrospective at the Whitney.
October 29 | Event
Cemetery Walk + Tombstone Talk
Get in the Halloween spirit with a visit to the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx, built in the mid-nineteenth century. Old mansions can be creepy enough on their own, but in honor of All Hallows Eve the museum is hosting a candlelit walk to the Pell Cemetery followed by a talk about funerary monuments led by tombstone expert Robert Neal Carpenter. Walking around the grounds you’ll feel like you’ve left the city far behind. (The mansion is a bit of a trek but is accessible by public transportation).
6 p.m. | Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, 895 Shore Rd., Pelham Bay Park, Bronx | (718) 885-1461 | from $10 | website
October 30 | Art opening
Frank Stella: A Retrospective
This week marks the opening of Frank Stella: A Retrospective at The Whitney Museum of American Art (on view through February). The museum has been in its new Meatpacking digs since May, but this will be the first retrospective in the new space. The exhibit celebrates the work and life of the man many consider to be the most important living contemporary artist today who, at 79, is as prolific and groundbreaking as ever. The show traces Stella’s abstract expressionist work from 1958 to the present in approximately 120 works in a variety of media.
Hours vary (closed Tuesdays) | Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St., New York | (212) 570-3600 | from $18 (free to members and under 18) | website
October 31 | Parade
Village Halloween Parade
Village Halloween Parade, which started as a small neighborhood art and costume festival in the 1970s, has grown into the country’s largest Halloween celebration with an average of two million people in attendance. Whether you want to march in the parade or simply watch, you will be treated to some of the most creative costumes you can conceive of—think people dressed as eyeballs and enormous skeleton puppets. But be forewarned: if you do not want to participate in the revelry, you should stay away from the entire neighborhood. The area gets so packed that crossing the street can be nearly impossible.
7 p.m. | Parade starts at 6th Ave. and Canal St. | Free | website
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October 31 | Party
MoMA PS1 Halloween Ball
If you’re feeling a little “been there, done that” about the Village Halloween Parade, then check out the Halloween Ball at MoMA PS1 in Queens. The theme for this year’s party, organized by legendary New York nightlife icon Susanne Bartsch, is “The Poison Big Apple.” There will be DJs, dancing, and, of course, over-the-top costumes. This is where New York’s Glitterati celebrate Halloween; in past years celebrities like Robyn and Chloe Sevigny have made appearances, so who knows who will show up?
8 p.m. to 12 a.m. | MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens | $15 | website
If you want a more immersive Halloween experience, pack a weekend bag and head to the town of Sleepy Hollow. Although there is much more to this historic Westchester town than the Headless Horseman, come Halloween locals embrace their spooky past with a number of ghoulish offerings. Take an evening, lantern-lit cemetery tour to visit the tombs of notables like Andrew Carnegie and William Rockefeller. Or check out Horseman’s Hollow where the historic Philipsburg Manor will be transformed into a Legend of Sleepy Hollow-themed haunted house. There’s also a dramatic reading of the tale of the Headless Horseman, a haunted hayride, and more. If you stay at the landmark Tarrytown House, in nearby Tarrytown, inquire about their “Horseman’s Hollow” package, which includes deluxe accommodations and VIP tickets to some of the events.
A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to inquisitive toddler.