Like nearly every annual tradition, Halloween is going to look very different in Brooklyn this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Bill de Blasio has advised New Yorkers to limit themselves to small outdoor activities this Oct. 31, while wearing face coverings and staying socially distant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for staying safe during the spooky season, such as wearing a proper cloth face covering (not just a costume mask), opting for low-risk activities like pumpkin carving or scavenger hunts, and avoiding door-to-door trick-or-treating and other close-contact events.
Popular annual blowouts like the Park Slope Halloween Parade have been called off to avoid crowds from gathering and potentially spreading the virus — but, there are still some fun events happening for the borough’s ghouls and witches.
Window Pumpkin Hunt!
Similarly to the rainbow drawings that started popping up in windows during the pandemic, you can now go on the hunt for Halloween-themed pumpkin drawings all around Brooklyn. Cobble Hill mom Amanda Nichols launched the Halloween Pumpkin Hunt for the borough’s young and old to draw their own pumpkins to hang in the window and add their location to a map. Come Oct. 31, you can plan a route for the socially-distanced scavenger hunt for pictures in all corners of Kings County and tag photos of with #halloweenpumpkinhunt on Instagram!
Halloween Pumpkin Hunt [at various locations and self-guided, www.halloweenpumpkinhunt.com] Oct 31. Free.
Honoring the dead
Arguably one of the spookiest places in the borough, the Green-Wood Cemetery is hosting a week-long celebration of the centuries-old Mexican tradition known as El Día de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). The graveyard’s keepers have installed a large-scale altar by artist Scherezade García in the cemetery’s Historic Chapel, and visitors are encouraged to bring personal offerings, including flowers, photographs, and notes.
Día de Los Muertos [at the Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St. at Fifth Avenue in Greenwood Heights, www.green-wood.com, (718) 768–7300]. Oct. 23–Nov. 1, 10 am–4 pm. Free.
Brooklyn Academy of Music is hosting a virtual family-friendly Halloween “block party” aptly called BAMboo! The spooky afternoon shindig includes tricks and treats, a magic show, professional pumpkin carving, story time and, of course, a dance party. Bring your Halloween best and have a chance to win prizes at the annual costume contest.
BAMboo! At Brooklyn Academy of Music [virtual, RSVP at www.bam.org/bamboo2020-rsvp] Oct. 31, 2-4 pm. Free.
Several performances of Michael Jackson’s haunting 1980s hit “Thriller” will take over Albee Square and nearby spots in and around Downtown Brooklyn Saturday afternoon with local dance company Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet. Hosted by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the final show at Albee Square at 3:45 pm will allow you to show off your best mask in a contest (both Halloween and COVID face coverings).
“Thriller” [www.downtownbrooklyn.com] Oct. 31. Free.
Dance schedule and locations:
2:30 pm The Plaza at 300 Ashland
2:50 pm Albee Square
3:00 pm City Point
3:15 pm Albee Square
3:30 pm Albee Square
3:45 pm Albee Square
Dumbo’s Time Out Market will host a family-friendly Halloween-themed event with socially-distant seatings throughout the day. Dress up for photo ops and get a bag of responsibly-packed candy along with a $5 credit to use at the market with each timed ticket.
Halloween at Time Out Market New York [55 Water St., between Dock and Main streets in Dumbo, www.timeoutmarket.com/newyork/, (917) 810-4855] Oct. 31. Timed tickets with entry between 10 am–4 pm. $5.
Parade and party
Several neighborhood groups have organized a children’s Halloween parade and party in Greenpoint for local monsters and princesses. The pint-sized parade starts around noon at the Brooklyn Expo Center and loops around West Street and Greenpoint Avenue.
A Spooktacular Party will start at 10 am and run through 4 pm with timed entries, with arts and crafts, carnival games, dancing games, live music, a haunted trail, an a bouncy house for the little ones.
Greenpoint Children’s Halloween Parade and Party [Brooklyn Expo Center at 72 Noble St., between West and Franklin streets in Greenpoint, www.instagram.com/townsquarebk]. Oct. 31. Parade at noon. Free. Timed tickets for the party, 10 am–4 pm. $20 per child in advance, $30 at the door.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is hosting a spook-filled weekend with trick or treating on its roof on Saturday, Oct. 31 and Halloween-themed workshops, all for the price of a general admission. On Sunday, the museum will celebrate Día de Los Muertos with artist Mincho Vega teaching young ones about celebrating the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead.
Halloween and Dia de los Muertos [at Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., at St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights, www.brooklynkids.org, (718) 735–4400]. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Sessions at various times. $13.