By Josh Engel
Halloween is an eventful time in Manhattan; for a break from trick or treating and the Greenwich Village parade, check out a few of the more under-the-radar activities being hosted in the city.
Steampunk Haunted House
Held at the Lower East Side’s Abrons Arts Center, the ultramodern haunted house will be a welcome antidote for those bored of the traditional ghosts and goblins. Audience members are dropped into a surreal Victorian dream-castle, where they must find their own way through “a whirlwind of mechanical apparitions, wraithlike sleepwalkers, and gear-powered beasts, which hurtle through corridors and lurk behind every corner.” Children under eight are not admitted, but the show prides itself on abstaining from the usual Halloween fright-gimmicks; wandering through a surreal Victorian dream-castle is probably scary enough.
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden
Fans of Halloween history should plan on stopping by the midtown Manhattan landmark, owned and operated by The Colonial Dames of America, for a spooky throwback to an earlier era. In what is described as “America’s only 1890s visual extravaganza,” audiences will be treated to a performance of Poe’s “The Raven,” as well as other animated comedy and musical features, dramatized by a live showman and singer/pianist.
Boo at the Bronx Zoo
The all-star zookeepers will be collecting their most ghoulish inhabitants, including bats, rats, owls, and leopards, to celebrate Halloween in zoological style. Visitors to the zoo during October weekends will also be able to take part in special Halloween-themed activities, including magic shows, spooky stories, costume parades, and musical hayrides. There will also be trick or treating in select areas of the zoo. Avoid the leopards.
Halloween at Central Park
The park will be home to a series of Halloween events through the month of October, free to all visitors. On October 16th, Bats Alive! will aim to make a friendly introduction to the often maligned creatures; Rob Miles, conservation biologist and bat expert, will discuss the lives and history of bats and exhibit some rarer species, including the impressively named Gigantic Flying Fox Bat of Malaysia. On October 24th, actor and storyteller Dan Gltrosser will entertain guests, followed by “New York City’s largest pumpkin flotilla drift”; bring your own pumpkin and let it sail. Finally, on October 30th, the Central Park Conservancy will present Halloween at Belvedere: A Monster Musical Adventure—a musical performance on the plaza of Belvedere Castle, in which a young boy fights to save Halloween with the help of some friendly monsters.