Photograph Courtesy of Alyssa Loorya/Friends of the Lott House

Halloween season is here and there are tons of spooky ways to celebrate in New York City. Revel in the macabre this year with our picks for alternative ways to celebrate Halloween, from touring legendary lighthouses along the East River to sipping cocktails in a 300 year old home.

1. Halloween Lighthouse Boat Tour

Join the National Lighthouse Museum for a special Halloween Lighthouse Boat Tour and celebration on October 27th. Guests will cruise up the East River through Hell’s Gate, recalling haunted tales of lighthouses along the way, and other points of spooky interest. Hear about haunting river stories on the way to Execution Rocks Light and dance your way back down the river.

There will be a DJ for entertainment, a buffet dinner, raffles, and awards for best maritime and creepy costumes. This is an adults only event and tickets are $77 per person. You can purchase your tickets here!

2. All Hallows Eve – Horror Musical with Puppets

Photograph by Richard Termine

All Hallows Eve is a wild, horror musical journey that features live actors and giant puppets crafted by masters of the stage. The book, lyrics and puppet design were create by Martin P. Robinson (Little Shop of Horrors; “Sesame Street”) with music by Paul Rudolph (Emmy Award-winning composer, “Sesame Street”, “GLANK”) and actors who have appeared on Sesame Street, Avenue Q, The Muppets, and more.

The story follows Eve and Evan, a pair of twins who break free from a dull Halloween to gallivant about town. In their mischievous ramblings, they inadvertently cross the thin line between worlds as they enter a house where a demoness has been lying in wait for just such a pair. A harrowing cat-and-mouse game ensues with the stakes being nothing less than their immortal souls. All Hallows Eve is a tale wrapped up in horror, comedy, and blood…and definitely not for young children.

The show will run for sixteen performances between October 18th and November 2, 2019 at The Connelly Theater. You can purchase tickets here!

3. Underground Subway Tour

Inside the Chambers Street station in Lower Manhattan

The subway has certainly caused many nightmares for New Yorkers, but this underground tour is not so scary. Join Untapped Cities’ expert guide for a deep dive into the depths of New York City’s sprawling underground transit system to uncover secrets from below. Starting at the birthplace of the subway, City Hall Park, guests will ride through functioning and abandoned stations while learning how the subway has evolved over its more than 100 years of history.

On this tour, you will even get to glimpse the famous decommissioned City Hall Station, the very first station which opened in 1904, and discover a major work of public art hidden in plain sight. Tickets are available for tours running on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout October.

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

4. Halloween Pumpkin Impalement

Photo courtesy Jane Greengold

The Halloween Impalement: The Toll of Time, a temporary site-specific art installation on the fence of artist Jane Greengold’s townhouse is back again this year! After the impalement, the pumpkins are left to deteriorate, leading to a ghoulish aftermath over the course of several weeks.

If you want to participate this year, bring an already-carved pumpkin to the corner of Kane Street and Strong Place in Cobble Hill between 3 pm and 7 pm on October 31.

5. Photo Walk Through Green-Wood Cemetery

Join photographer and Sony Alpha Imaging Collective member Maximillian Boncinaon a guided photo walk through Brooklyn’s historic Green-wood Cemetery. Through a hands-on approach, Boncinaon will reveal the methods he uses to create moody and indelible images. Tips, tricks and treats are in store as you shoot along with him among the graves.

This event, which runs on November 2nd, is free! You can register in advance here. Participants should meet at Sony Square NYC. After a brief introduction, the group will depart to the venue in Brooklyn. Don’t forget your metro card! You can also get a free Halloween portrait taken at Sony Square on Saturday, October 26th from 12:00pm until 6:00pm.

6. Giant Pumpkin Weekend at New York Botanical Garden

Photo courtesy New York Botanical Garden

It’s the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Three of the world’s largest pumpkins will be on display at the New York Botanical Garden from October 26th and 27th weekend, weighing between 1935.5 pounds and 2116 pounds. Giant Pumpkin Weekend is part of Spooky Pumpkin Garden, at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. On select nights in October, visitors can take part in special Halloween themed programming inside the garden. There will be pumpkin carving demonstrations with professional sculptor and winner of the Food Network series Halloween Wars, Adam Bierton, craft activities, and an Inspiration Station with chocolate treats.

Inside the garden, guests will also get to meet creatures of the night, including the bats that live in the Victorian Playhouse. Visitors can also learn about fall plants, watch a skeleton puppet show, and take part in the monster mash dance party! Spooky Pumpkin Garden Nights will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, October 18–19 and 25–26, 2019, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here!

7. Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge

A family curse, hidden vaults and a secret fallout shelter are all part of the Brooklyn Bridge’s storied past. On this expert-led tour by Untapped Cities, guests will uncover the fascinating secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge, one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, while taking the sweeping views of Manhattan from its span.

As you cross the historic bridge, learn about the amazing feat of engineering it was to build, meet the family of engineers who were supposedly cursed, hear about hidden chambers inside where there used to be art exhibitions, parties, champagne vaults, and a Cold War fallout shelter, and more! Tickets are available for Saturday, November 2nd. Book your spot using the button below!

The Secrets of Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour

8. Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe: Murder at the Merchant’s House

Take part in a bone-chilling evening of storytelling at the Merchant’s House Museum, one of New York City’s most haunted places. Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe: Murder at the Merchant’s House features John Kevin Jones (A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House) who will portray the great master of horror, Edgar Allan Poe, inside the Tredwells’ candlelit double parlor. Jones will make Poe’s thrilling tales of The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Raven come to life with a hauntingly memorable performance. The Merchant’s House parlor will be set for a funeral, complete with coffin and mirrors shrouded in black crepe

Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe: Murder at the Merchant’s House is presented in association with Summoners Ensemble Theatre and directed by Dr. Rhonda Dodd. This  limited engagement runs from October 31 to November 3. Tickets for the one-hour show are $40-55. Seating is strictly limited, so grab your spot here.

9. Go Inside the Century Old Fresh Pond Columbarium

Explore inside one of America’s oldest crematory and columbariums in Middle Village, Queens. The U.S. Columbarium Company at Fresh Pond Crematory was built in 1884 and has expanded over the past 130+ years. The columbarium is the final resting place for 40,000 souls, including notable names like sports columnist Ring Lardner and conductor Anton Seidl.

On this tour, guests will be shown around by President J.P. DiTroia. You will see stunning Tiffany-style stained glass windows which the non-profit Friends of Fresh Pond organization is working to restore, the 1920s chapel, and thousands of niches spread throughout the many additions to the original building that have been added over the decades. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can join us for a tour inside the historic columbarium on Saturday, November 2nd. Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long! A $10 donation to Friends of Fresh Pond is suggested to help with the stained glass window restoration and maintenance of the historic buildings.

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Already a member? Book here!

10. Mount Vernon Halloween Murder Mystery

Solve a murder mystery at the historic Mount Vernon Hotel Museum. This interactive game is loosely based on an actual newspaper account of an unidentified skeleton discovered at the Mount Vernon Hotel. Who was killed? By whom? With what?

Explore the Museum by candlelight and collect clues to unravel the mystery and solve the case. Collaborate with others or go it alone, and find out how quickly you can uncover the truth. This game is appropriate for adults and families with children aged 8 and up. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children under 12 and Museum Members.  You can purchase tickets for games running on October 25th and 26th at 6:15PM and 7:30PM here!

11. Pumpkitecture Live Pumpkin Carving Competition

Photograph by Dan Cole, Courtesy of the Center for Architecture

Watch some of New York City’s leading architects compete in a live pumpkin carving competition for Archtober. This annual tradition, Pumpkitecture, takes place at the Center for Architecture. Teams representing twenty architecture firms go “gourd to gourd” in a contest for the Pritzkerpumpkin Prize and People’s Choice award.

Festive food and beverages are included in the $15 price of admission. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can go for free! Not a member yet? Become an Insider today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long.

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12. Haunting at the Lott House

Photograph Courtesy of Alyssa Loorya/Friends of the Lott House

Join Friends of the Lott House for a Halloween cocktail party at the historic Hendrick I. Lott House in Brooklyn.  Costumes are required to gain entry into this soiree where cocktails and hors d’ouerves will be served. The party will be held on the grounds and within the original parlors of the Lott House.

The Lott House will turn 300 years old this December, making it 50 years older than America itself. First constructed in 1720, this Dutch farmhouse is unlike others in the city as the inside remains untouched, preserving the architectural fabric of its long, storied history. This event is for guests age 21 and over. All proceeds benefit the Hendrick I. Lott House and a portion of each ticket purchase is tax deductible. Tickets start at $75 and can be purchased here.

13. Esoterica VIII: Creepy Carnival

Photograph Courtesy of Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Take part in the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art’s 8th annual Halloween party, Esoterica VIII: Creepy Carnival on Saturday, October 26th. The evening will feature Dj music and dancing, savory snacks, signature drinks, and a costume contest, so dress to impress.

The festivities will take place in the Museum’s Haunted Garden. All proceeds benefit the Museum’s Exhibitions and Building Fund. This event is for guests 21 years and older. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

14. Treasure Hunt and Movie Screening at Untied Palace

Photograph by Jon Ortner, Courtesy of  United Palace

Go on a treasure hunt inside the magnificent United Palace and strut your stuff across the stage in a Halloween costume parade. These fun festivities will be followed by a screening of the 1980’s classic, The Goonies, on the theater’s giant 50-foot screen.

The United Palace is an opulent movie palace originally built in the 1930s as one of the original Loews Wonder Theaters. Today, the venue hosts cultural events and spiritual services. Tickets to this event on Saturday, October 26th are are $15 for adults and $8 for kids. You can buy your tickets here!

15. Donate Costumes

Photograph Courtesy of Only Make Believe

The non-profit children’s theater company Only Make Believe is partnering with Halloween mega store Abracadabra NYC to collect unused costumes for chronically ill and disabled children in and around New York City now through November 8th. To make a donation, bring a brand-new costume to one of the drop-off locations around the city. If you purchase a costume to donate from Abracadabra, you can get 15% your purchase.

Costumes can be dropped off at  Abracadabra NYC located at 19 W 21st Street or visit the Only Make Believe’s offices at 121 West 27th Street, Suite 1002 New York, NY 10001. The collection of costumes will be used year-round for children and the talented roster of actors during Only Make Believe’s performances at hospitals, care facilities, and special education programs in Washington D.C. and New York.

16. Wet Haunt American Summer Halloween Party

Photograph by Tucker Mitchel, Courtesy of the skint

The skint’s 2019 Halloween party is taking the holiday out of the crisp days of fall and into the hot nights of summer. Join the skint’s Wet Haunt American Summer Halloween Party at littlefield’s on October 25th at 10:30pm. The dance party will feature music spun by DJs Brendan & Bianca, a photo booth, spiked drink specials, a costume contest, and 100 pounds of candy.

There will also be a costume contest! Anything goes for the dress code. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door and can be purchased here.

Check out a full list of all upcoming Untapped Cities public tours and Insider events!