Even though the most publicized Halloween events take place in Manhattan or Brooklyn, the borough of Queens has its own creepy appeal for Halloween revelers: the dead outnumber the living. The remains of over 3 million deceased residents are interred in Queens, roughly the population of Chicago.
That alone isn't reason enough to spend All Hallow's Eve in the borough, but Queens has plenty of other holiday events to entice travelers that range from family-friendly to macabre. Besides planning a frightful night on the town or at your house with friends, you can get your spook on at several annual events.
In 2020, many Halloween events have been scaled back or canceled. Check with individual businesses to confirm the most up-to-date information.
Pumpkin Patch at the Queens Botanical Garden
Every year, the Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing hosts the Harvest Fest, which is an afternoon of Halloween fun, stories, and music. In addition to all of the standard attractions at the gardens, there will be special workshops and tours, a pumpkin patch, a beer and wine garden, lawn games, trivia, arts and crafts, face painting, a petting zoo, and more.
The festivities have been scaled back in 2020 and instead of a full-blown festival, there will be a pumpkin patch on October 24, 25, and 31. Every child's admission includes a pumpkin to take home, and guests who visit on Halloween day can also take part in the one-day event of Halloween at the Garden, which is also included in the admission. The October 31 event includes extra special holiday activities such as trick or treating, a costume parade, and a magic show.
Tickets with a timed entry must be purchased in advance to attend in 2020. In addition, a face mask is required for all visitors.
Harvest Days at the Queens Farm Museum
A real highlight of Halloween is the Amazing Maize Maze—the only corn maze in New York City—at the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park. Come for the haunts and stay for the hayrides, sack races, treats, cider, pumpkins, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Check out the Haunted House and the Amazing Maize Maze between turns on the country-western dance floor, and don't forget to wear your best costume.
Some activities are canceled at the 2020 fall festival, but the Amazing Maize Maze is the star attraction and is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday beginning September 18 and lasting until October 30, 2020. On certain evenings, you can even buy tickets to complete the maze after sunset for an extra thrill (it's dark, but it isn't a haunted maze). Advance tickets with a timed entry are required to enter the maze.
Harvest Weekend activities only take place on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October, when you can complement your corn maze trip with a stop at the pumpkin patch, a hayride, or taste locally made apple products. The Harvest Weekend is free to attend, but you'll need to get a timed entry ticket due to limited capacity.
Houdini's Grave in Ridgewood
Nowhere is more creepy to visit on Halloween than a graveyard. At the Machpelah Cemetery in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, fans of the occult can visit the tomb of the world's most famous magician, Harry Houdini. The famous vaudeville illusionist died on Halloween night in 1926, and it has been said that he left behind a code with which friends could contact him on a future Halloween night at his grave. It may just be superstition, but venture out if you dare on Halloween night to try your luck.
Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Totten
The Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Totten Park are canceled in 2020.
Fort Totten is one of the most haunted sites in Bayside. Around Halloween season, the park puts on spooky lantern tours, where Urban Park Rangers lead nighttime walks through the Civil War-era battery. Expect frights mixed in with a history lesson.
Halloween Harvest Festival in Long Island City
The Halloween Harvest Festival is canceled in 2020.
The Halloween Harvest Festival is a great chance to check out the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Join the Halloween art-making workshops where kids can learn from local artists, or enter your dog in the Canine Costume Contest. Plus there's face-painting, art-making, and harvest foods from local restaurants.
Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
The Jackson Heights Halloween Parade is canceled in 2020.
The Jackson Heights Halloween Parade is the second-largest Halloween parade in New York. Neighborhood kids—and some grown-ups too—come decked out in scary costumes, facepaint, and over-the-top decorations. In past years, the parade organizers have handed out goodie bags to the more than 3,500 kids who have marched.