Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pooka's 1st Halloween: Spooktacular NYC Events

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays but the last few years Halloween have been rather lackluster in our household. My husband hates dressing up and abhors the candy and decorations (to be fair, he thinks all holiday decorations are a waste of time and money). I did coax him into hosting a Halloween party at our house a few years ago, but that has been the apex of our Halloween celebrations in the eight years we have been together. And then along came Pooka! I finally have a partner in crime to get dressed up with and attend Halloween parties. And I know Daddy will be more into the whole celebration too when he sees the joy it brings to little ones.

Living in NYC offers multitudes of Halloween events to attend with the wee ones. I've decided to give you a sample of what's out there to help you choose. Pooka and I will be attending one of Big City Moms My First Halloween parties. Held throughout the week at various Kidville locations and Appleseeds, these parties feature a mommy and me lunch, professional photographer (so make sure your baby is in costume), and music by Little Maestros. They will also host a party for the whole family on Halloween at Kidville's Upper East Side location with music, photos, face painting, cupcake decorating, and more on October 31st.

Similar events are being hosted by Baby Bites and Diva Moms. Baby Bites celebrates with three different events: a night time party on October 29th at Poppyseeds Pre-Nursery featuring the music of Moey's Music Party and a costume contest; a mommy and me lunch at Tavern on the Green on October 30th with a costume contest, a professional photographer, and a performance by Little Maestros; and two MoonSoup parties where little ones can play and party with MoonSoup's teachers and entertainers and enjoy a Rockin' Music and Spooky Songs Concert on October 31st and November 1st. Diva Moms will hold their 5th Annual Divalysscious Halloween Bash at Dylans Candy Bar on October 30th with a performance by Broadway Babies, a costume contest, games, cupcake decorating and makeovers by Cozy's Cuts for Kids.

For outdoor adventures, Central Park has a number of Halloween events scheduled in October. Festivities kick off on Saturday, October 24th with the 2009 Pumpkin Festival featuring a scarecrow competition, hayrides, a free pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, live entertainment, and more. Or check out the super cool Pumpkin Sail on Sunday, October 25th. Bring your jack-o-lantern to the Harlem Meer for storytelling, live music, crafts, and a costume parade at 5:00 PM, then watch your jack-o-lantern float along with hundreds of others at dusk. Hit the Central Park Zoo on October 30-31st for Boo at the Zoo to watch animals eat Halloween treats, hear a wildlife talk with a witch, get your face painted, do arts and crafts, or participate in a scavenger hunt. This event also takes place at the Bronx Zoo each weekend in October. Finally, Flaubert Frog hosts Tricks and Treats at Le Carousel in Bryant Park on October 31st for scary stories, games, crafts and a performance by magician Arnie Kolodner.

NYC's museums have events to offer as well. Head to the American Museum of Natural History on October 31st for their 14th Annual Halloween Celebration to trick or treat through the halls (what could be spookier than giant dinosaur skeletons), and enjoy arts, crafts, and live performances. The Children's Museum of Manhattan has a whole series of events going on in the week leading up to Halloween. Check their schedule to find out the days and times for pumpkin painting, making bat puppets, storytelling and more.

Finally, if you're looking for a safe and fun place to trick or treat, head to West 69th Street for their annual Halloween block party. Designed to entertain children and families, residents of the apartment buildings and brownstones between Broadway and Central Park West decorate their facades and pass out candy in full costume. Some even turn their living rooms into mini haunted houses. The street is closed down at 4:00 PM and candy passing usually starts around 6:00 PM. It's the place to be!

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