Your Definitive Guide to Halloween in New York City

New York is the place to be if you're looking to let your freak flag fly a bit this Halloween. Be safe, ghouls, and give yourself over to the night.

DAYTIME

For some family-friendly fun, a lot of New York City's wonderful Botanical Gardens are hosting fun Halloween events all week. The Bronx's Botanical Garden has its Spooky Pumpkin Garden on display through Thursday, October 31. Open from 10-6, you can also stay after and meet some skeles and ghouls from 6:30-8:30 PM for Spooky Pumpkin Garden Nights.

At the Queens Botanical Garden, there will be a Halloween celebration from 12 to 4 PM on Sunday, October 27, featuring a trick or treat trail, arts and crafts, and much more. For more spooky Queens fun, check out the Queens County Farm Museum, which hosts an expansive corn maze, a Children's Fall Festival, and a haunted house recommended for ages 4-12. The museum is open daily from 10-5 PM.

Of course, The Tompkins Square Park Halloween Parade runs from October 24 to 27, and the best part of this classic attraction is that it's a parade for dogs.

American Kennel Club

If you're looking for an excuse to go to Central Park, the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla kicks off at 5:30 PM on Sunday, October 27. Register in advance for the chance to send your very own Jack O'Lantern floating out over the reservoir, and best of all, it's free.

For Brooklynites, Prospect Park hosts a Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair on Saturday October 26, from 12-3 PM. It's perfect for kids or the young at heart.

NIGHTTIME

Evening Events:

The Village's Halloween Parade is probably NYC's biggest and most famous Halloween event, and that's saying a lot. Costumes are no laughing matter here (you have to dress up to march), and you'll find over 50,000 zombies, ghouls, witches, and monsters coming together for one wild night. The parade typically runs from 7 to 10:30 PM (line-up starts at 6:30!), running from Spring Street on Sixth Ave to 16th Street. If you don't want to march, try setting up shop around the parade's starting point or finish line.

If you're looking to get out of the city, check out the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Sleepy Hollow (yes, the legendary home of the Headless Horseman) and see 7,000 illuminated pumpkins. Times and tickets vary by evening and cost $22.

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If the Great Blaze is too far away, you can head out to Governor's Island to see a slightly smaller (around 1,000) but still impressive gathering of artfully carved orange gourds. Running from 5 to 10 PM, it's $26 for adults and runs from October 24-29 at various times.

And if you're looking for some more intellectually stimulating and/or introvert-friendly entertainment, you most definitely have options. If you're not exhausted by the end of Halloweekend because you've spent the whole time indoors watching scary movies and eating candy corn (totally understandable), you can get a more in-depth history of all your favorite Halloween candies at the Brooklyn Brainery's October 29 event, Candy: From Early History to Halloween. And don't worry, there will be candy samples. Tickets are $15 and the event is 6:30-7:45.

Haunted Houses and Immersive Events:

Enter the 5,000-foot labyrinth that is Manhattan's Blood Manor and forget that you're in ritzy Tribeca.

Then there's the Merchant's House Museum, said to be one of the most haunted houses in New York City. This macabre destination hosts a variety of events, and you can pick from everything from an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe to a 60-minute candlelit ghost tour ($30-40, every half hour from 6:30-9:30 PM, various evenings) to even spookier midnight tours, also on various evenings throughout October.

Being NYC, there are no shortage of immersive events that sound genuinely terrifying. At the event called The Cooping Theory 1969, you'll travel back to the 60's to meet the members of the so-called Poe Society, who try to channel the dead poet via a seance. Things don't go well, if that weren't obvious. This event runs through November 2, and costs $75.

Then there's the supposedly terrifying Bane Haunted House, which makes its Hell's Kitchen debut this year. If you get too scared during the half-hour trip you can yell "Mercy," and in the two weeks it's been open this year, there have apparently been over 200 mercy cries. If you want to brave it, the event takes place at various hours, runs through November 9, and costs $35-55.

Asbury Park Press

For Those Who Want to P$arty:

Looking to celebrate Halloween like Old Hollywood stars? Look no further than the Sleep No More Hitchcock Party at Chelsea's McKittrick Hotel. Running from Friday October 25, 2019 to Thursday. October 31, a ticket (expensive $) will get you admission to Sleep No More, the immersive Macbeth-inspired experience, as well as admission to a fancy dinner and the luxe all-night hotel party.

If Manhattan parties aren't your thing, don't worry: Brooklyn and all its resident hipsters have got you more than covered. First and foremost, there's Brooklyn's infamous House of Yes. From a so-called Poetry Brothel (Thursday, October 24, 6:30-9:30 PM, $50-250) to the House of Yes Horrorvaganza (Friday, October 25, 6:30 PM, $20-100) and the subsequent Cirque Nouveau freak show, this venue is sure to give you all the saturated, freaky Halloween party vibes that your heart desires.

There's the BangOn!NYC Warehouse of Horrors, which fills Queen's Knockdown Center with freaky performers, huge art installations, vendors, and all the glitchy DJ performances your cold, dead heart could desire. The event happens on Halloweekend (Friday, October 25 to Sunday, October 27) and a general admission ticket will cost you $75.

Brooklyn Bazaar also has a party on Friday the 25th, entitled "Halloween Massacre," so if you're looking to get murdered this is the place. Plus, it's only $8.

For more themed entertainment, check out Queens' It-themed Halloween party at the famous Doha Nightclub on Saturday, October 26. Admission is free before midnight. If none of these parties catch your eye, check out Eventbrite's hundreds of Halloween parties—or forgo it all for a movie.

Film Showings:

For some of us, Halloween is basically Rocky Horror Picture Show night and nothing else. Rocky Horror showings are happening all over the city, so get your fishnets out and check out one of the dozens of options. In Manhattan, every Friday and Saturday in October finds a shadow cast shaking to the Time Warp at the Cinéapolis Cinema in Chelsea at midnight. Tickets are $10, and it's recommended that you arrive early. In Brooklyn, you can sing along with four-piece group The Occasionalists at Union Hall, who will play the movie's score live (the film won't be shown).

If you're looking for something a bit witchier, Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg is exclusively showing movies about witches for all of October. Check out their schedule here—tickets still remain for the Friday, October 26 showing of Drag Me To Hell.

For an even more immersive experience, head uptown to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which holds an annual scoring of Nosferatu with a live score. Plus, after the showing, you can follow their macabre Procession of the Ghouls down Amsterdam Avenue. Tickets cost $27.50.

Observer

AVOID AT ALL COSTS

Halloween is a time to be free and release your inner monster. But there are some places you absolutely should not go, namely the Joker Steps in The Bronx.

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Joshua Tree National Park is a gigantic desert located at the crossroads between Palm Springs, the Mojave Desert, and Colorado.

Ever wanted to visit it? Here's what you need to know.

When you first visit Joshua Tree, you're going to want to make a pitstop at one of its three visitor centers—the Joshua Tree Visitors Center (in the northwest), the Cottonwood Visitor Center (in the south), the Oasis Visitor Center (in the north), or the Black Rock Campground (in the northwest, open from October through May). Be sure to call in advance before you go.

In general, it's best to visit the park in the spring or fall. A popular stop-off for hikers, rock climbers, and road-trippers, the park is a surreal and unforgettable area beloved for its unique Joshua trees and so much more.

Must-See Highlights

If you only have a short time in Joshua Tree, you'll want to see its most famous destinations. The Cholla Cactus Garden is a highlight—located 20 minutes north of the Cottonwood Visitor Center, it's a must-see, and if you can make it out for sunrise, the experience will be extra unforgettable.

Steve Sieren Steve SierenFlickr

Consider paying a visit to Parker Dam, a rare watery oasis in the middle of the desert. You might also take a trip to the Cottonwood Spring Oasis for more watery views, possibly complete with views of bighorn sheep.

History and Culture

For some history, be sure to check out the Keys Ranch, to hear the story of Bill and Frances Keys, who built a town—including a schoolhouse and ranch—in Joshua Tree for their five children. Don't miss Keys View while you're at it.

keys view Keys Viewalexvy.org

Keys View

Joshua Tree is well-known for drawing all sorts of alternative types, and it has the lore to match. Rock and roll fans often visit Cap Rock, the place where rocker Gram Parsons' body was cremated.

Cap RockJoshua Tree 3D

Natural Wonders: Trees, Stars and Rocks

Joshua Tree is one of the best places in the world to see stars. With some of the darkest skies in the world, it's a great chance for desert photography or possible UFO sightings.

Joshua Tree Night Sky Joshua Tree Night SkyShaina Blum

It's also well-known for its many rock formations. There's Split Rock, a giant boulder that appears to be literally split in two, located off Park Boulevard.

There's also Skull Rock, a rock that, naturally, resembles a fleshless human face.

Skull ROck Skull ROckProtrails

Then there's Arch Rock, which you can climb on in order to see the desert from a brand-new angle.

Arch Rock Arch Rockfollowyourdetour.com

And of course, there are the Joshua trees. In addition to the famous trees, the park has a variety of other desert plants, including the gorgeous red-plumed Ocotillo.

Ocotillo OcotilloiStock

Hiking and Adventure

Rock climbers (or anyone who wants to watch in awe) can pay a visit to the Hidden Valley Campground, a world-renowned climbing center. Hidden Valley also offers gorgeous views of Coachella Valley. Climbers also love visiting the Jumbo Rocks Campground, with its many challenging formations.

For a slightly less strenuous day, visit the beautifully descriptively named Oasis of Mara, a stretch of honey mesquite and playas that offers a short-half mile loop which will let you experience the desert's wildflowers and nature. Mara was named by the Serrano Indians, who called this location their first home in this world.

Oasis of Mara Oasis of MaraSCPR

Another popular Joshua Tree hike is the 49 Palms Oasis hike, a 3-mile trek to an oasis. The Ryan Mountain hike is also a 3-mile uphill trek that will take you around 3 hours, but it'll lead you to a dramatic 3000-foot elevation with 360 degree views.

Finally, the also-3-mile Mastodon Peak Hike will take you to views of the Salton Sea and Eagle Mountains. If driving is more your speed, the park is definitely best for four-wheel drives; if you've got one, check out the Geology Tour Road, an 18-mile stretch that offers 16 stops and plenty of access to scenery.

Camping and Lodging

Camping is a popular attraction in Joshua Tree, so be sure to reserve your campsite ahead of time.

There are 9 main campgrounds in Joshua Tree—Belle Campground, Black Rock Campground, Cottonwood Campground, Hidden Valley Campground, Indian Cove Campground, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Ryan Campground, Sheeps Pass Campground, and the White Tank Campground.

You can also try staying at a Bureau of Land Management-owned area, or backcountry camping if you're prepared to really fend for yourself—just be sure to register at one of the backcountry boards.

If you're not up for camping, check out a local motel or Airbnb—there are plenty available near the park.

Tips and Tricks

Joshua Tree National Park has no cell service, so you'll really want to plan ahead before you go. There are no restaurants or grocery stores in the park, so be sure to pack food and water.

Food & Drink

6 NYC Food Trends You Can Try at Home

From Raindrop Cakes to Ramen Burgers, these New York City food crazes are available in your kitchen.

Back when a world outside your home and the grocery store existed, New York City had a habit of getting swept up in food crazes.

Sometimes those crazes have involved a burgeoning appreciation for an established cultural tradition from around the world -- arepas, poké bowls, Korean barbecue. At other times these crazes have just involved particular purveyors taking a familiar item more seriously -- like the doughnut renaissance spurred by Doughnut Plant and Dough.

But the most alluring and often ridiculous food trends in New York City tend to involve something truly novel, eye-catching, and sometimes just weird. Fortunately, for those of us who are taking pandemic conditions seriously, there are options to bring some of the novelty of those trends home for the Instagrammable weirdness you may have been missing.

These are some of the recent New York City food trends that you can try for yourself.

Raindrop Cake

raindrop cake

Like a lot of food trends that sweep New York, the Raindrop Cake can be traced back to Japan. Created by the Kinseiken Seika company outside Tokyo, the clear, jiggly cake was originally introduced as water mochi. In 2016 a Brooklyn-based digital marketer named Darren Wong set out to introduce the strange "edible water" to New York at the Smorgasburg food festival, and the strangely beautiful dessert took off.

Now Wong sells kits with everything you need to create your own low-calorie jellyfish/breast implant confection at home. For $36 the kit includes ingredients, molds, and bamboo trays for six raindrop cakes served with brown sugar syrup and Japanese Kinako flour.

Cronuts

cronuts

Dominique Ansel Bakery

When French pastry chef Dominique Ansel introduced New York to his chimera dessert blending a croissant with a doughnut, it was an overnight sensation with lines around the block to try the flaky fried goodness. They were such a hit that a more pedestrian version of the cronut made its way to Dunkin around the country.

Since then, Ansel has unveiled a number of buzzworthy and inventive creations, like What-a-Melon ice cream, Zero-Gravity cakes, and frozen s'mores. But if you want to try the sensation that started it all, Ansel has shared his original cronut recipe.

And if it turns out that you're not quite at the level to emulate a world-renowned French pastry chef, you can always try the knock-off version with these simple biscuit dough donuts you can make in an air fryer.

Ramen Burger

ramen burger

Here's another food craze imported from Japan. The ramen burger has popular in the Fukushima region for some time, but it was first introduced to New York by chef Keizo Shimamoto's restaurant Ramen Shack in 2013.

The simple fusion of Japanese and American cuisine is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Instead of a standard white bread bun, ramen noodles are cooked to chewy perfection, pressed into a bun shape, then seared in sesame oil until the outside is crispy.

Inside that bun you can place whatever kind of burger you like, but Shimamoto's version involved a beef patty served with arugula, scallions, and a signature sauce. While your results with instant ramen are unlikely to match the quality of Shimamoto's buns, this recipe should help you get close.

Ube Ice Cream

Ube ice cream

Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking

The purple yam known as ube is a staple of Filipino desserts. In recent years its distinctive, almost floral sweetness has grown in popularity in NYC, showing up in a variety of baked goods and in the Philippines's signature take on shaved ice -- halo-halo.

The fluffy ube mamons -- sponge cakes -- at Red Ribbon Bakeshop are a great introduction to what has made it such a popular ingredient. There is also the delicious flan-like ube halaya. But maybe the most craveable and craze-worthy uses of ube is as a flavor of ice cream.

This simple recipe calls for ube extract or powder, rather than using actual yam -- but the distinctive ube flavor still comes through in the delicious results.

Grasshoppers

Tempura grasshoppers

Food Republic

Speaking of climate change... oh, were we not talking about climate change? It's always just lingering in the background -- a portent of doom hovering over all our thoughts about the future? Cool.

Anyway, speaking of climate change, one of the most important changes our society will need to make in order to mitigate its catastrophic effects it to shift our food supply to a more sustainable model. And one of the keys to that effort will be a shift away from meat to less wasteful protein sources.

Plant-based alternatives like impossible burgers and beyond meats are a likely component of that shift, but one of the most efficient forms of protein on Earth is also one of the easiest to come by -- bugs. With that in mind, restaurants like The Black Ant have introduced insects as a fashionable part of NYC dining.

You might be thinking that's gross, but in reality...it absolutely is. Bugs are weird and gross, and the idea of eating them is not appetizing.

But chances are there's already something in your diet that would be gross if you weren't used to it -- aren't lobsters basically sea bugs anyway? So if you can find a way to get over that mental block and make those bugs appealing -- as cultures around the world have been doing throughout history -- you might be ready for the Snowpiercer dystopia that lies ahead.

With that in mind, you can buy a bucket of crunchy dried grasshoppers to start experimenting with cooking. And, while not as inventive as Black Ant's grasshopper-crusted shrimp tacos, these recipes for curried tempura grasshoppers and Oaxacan chapulines tacos sound downright edible.

Hot Cocktails

hot toddy

Okay, this is hardly a new or a specifically New York trend, but with restaurants and bars moving outdoors in the middle of winter, people have been warming themselves with hot beverages. But there's nothing to stop you from bringing that heat home to enjoy a tipsy winter night on a balcony, rooftop, or fire escape.

From hot toddies to hot buttered rum, spiked hot chocolate, and mulled wine, the possibilities are endless. A hot cocktail can be as simple as Irishing-up a cup of coffee, but we recommend getting your hands on some citrus peel and mulling spices -- cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, stare anise, and nutmeg -- and start experimenting with some cheap red wine or apple cider spiked with your favorite brown liquor.

Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!