It"s the spookiest time of the year! In France Halloween is pretty predictable -kids dress up and go ask some candies to the neighbors', boo-hoo, then it's time to go to bed. New York takes it to a whole different level. Halloween is mooonstruous there.
From Chelsea to Brooklyn, the streets of New York are filled with a spooky atmosphere. Shops and houses are decorated with pumpkins, ghosts and spider webs, people are all excited and from 4pm, zombies begin to emerge out of nowhere. It's Halloween in New York City! One of the most thrilling moment to be in the Big Apple!
What makes Halloween in New York so special? With over 50,000 ghosts and monsters taking the streets every year, you may need a little help! Ready to dress up?
Celebrating Halloween in New York 101
There are many, many ways to celebrate Halloween in New York. Because of our tight schedule, we missed two fantastic events: the Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park and the quirky Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade -although we still managed to enjoy a Halloween we won't forget...
1:00 pm - Lunch with zombies in Chelsea market
Unbelievable. There's a family of creepy zombies screaming -including a baby!-, a group of singing skeletons, creepy monsters coming from the sky, and this agonizing little girl on her swing... And Halloween being not even a week before the US presidential election, there are also some Trump monsters -I wonder which one of these creatures is the scariest. The Chelsea Market atmosphere is insane!
On top of that, this is a great place to spend some time -to have lunch, but also for some shopping. I loved it -even though I can still hear the little girl on her swing...
2:00 pm - Time to get lost in the spooky streets of the Village
If you really want to see Halloween in NYC, go to the village* (*Greenwich Village). That's where houses will be decorated more than anywhere else. We can see people are really enjoying this time of the year, trying their best to have the most creative Halloween doorsteps!
In the middle of the afternoon, families start their Trick or treat tour -and it becomes even better. It's funny -you can see adults enjoy it sooo much, maybe even more than the kids! They're all dress up, and go ask for candies in houses and shops... The atmosphere is super friendly, and the costumes crazy! You have to see it to believe it...
4:00 pm - Treat or treat?
It's Halloween after all, you deserve a treat! Head to Magnolia Bakery for the best cupcakes in town. The best way to enjoy them? Sitting on the steps of a spooky house of course! - 401 Bleecker St and W. 11th St.
5:00 pm - Let's get this party started... in Sephora!
We bought two tiny little witches hats for the occasion... But when we saw all the crazy costumes in the streets, our hats suddenly felt ridiculous. So we decided to buy a black lipstick or something in Sephora. We opened the door of the store, to discover Sephora... like we've never seen it! The shop if full of people getting ready for the parade. They are using testers to transform into zombies, monsters and skeletons, painting theirs faces... The ambiance is incredible! And when we were expect the staff to be helpless and desperate watching this happy mess, we hear 'Good evening, do you find everything you need, do you need any help?'. WHAT? It seems like "this" is just a normal Halloween day in Sephora.
Our quick shopping soon became an awesome/spooky/long make-up session. We felt like kids messing up with their mom's make-up! An hour later, we were all set for the NY Halloween Parade! With cat whiskers and charcoal eyes.
7:00 pm - Enjoy the biggest Halloween Parade in the world
Getting to the New York Halloween Parade can be tricky -especially if you go too late, like we did. The police blocks many streets, so you have to find the one you can actually take. Anyways, it took us half an hour to find our way through zombies and unicorns, then we had a surprisingly great spot -it wasn't even that crowded for such a big event. However, I'd advise you to come early enough to be sure not to miss the beginning of the parade... as it is the best part!
At 7:00 pm sharp, after the firemen and the police, arrive the fairies. A group of old women dressed all in white with fairy hats and magic wands throw paillettes on the spectators while whispering "Bless you! Bless you!". Arrives an incredible parade of giant handmade articulated skeletons, massive flying dragon and many other sumptuous creations. I didn't expect the NYC Halloween Parade to be so artistic and inspiring! Of course zombies and floats come later, with all the vampires, president candidats and monsters. The atmosphere is full of joy, it's like a big (scary) family-friendly-party!
Celebrating Halloween in New York truly was a one-of-a-kind experience. And if you want to be in the parade, you just have to wear a costume and you can join the crowds!