Two big-time Halloween events offer distinctly different ways to celebrate the spooky holiday.
Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, New York
Tompkins Square Park hosts one of the largest Halloween dog parades in the US. Several hundred fancifully attired Labradors, Yorkshire terriers, poodles, mutts, and their owners put on the dog at the 26th annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Sponsored by Purina Beggin’, the pups and their parents can win prizes. The suggested entrance fee of $5 goes towards the park’s upkeep.
The creatively attired pooches and their owners strut their stuff starting at noon when the runway competition begins. In years past, a bulldog morphed into a Yellow Taxi, a pub looked nautical as a sailor and a greyhound moved gracefully on butterfly wings.
Pre-registration isn’t required and the suggested donation is $5 at the door. The event takes place Oct. 22, noon to 3 pm. Arrive early so you can enjoy the pets and their people.
Forget about a mild-mannered celebration. Targeted to adults and teens, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando, FL, provides plenty of opportunities to get seriously scared. On select evenings, the park morphs into a masterly eerie mix of haunted houses, spooky neighborhoods, shows and rides.
Cleverly made-up “scare-actors” pop out at you in nine themed haunted houses and in five scare zones. Bond with your teens and twenty-somethings as you try to make it through the ghoulish corridors of the ghostly abodes, some of which recreate scenes from television shows “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story “ as well as storylines from “The Exorcist” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movies.
Try to stay calm as ghouls and grotesque creatures creep up on you as you stroll five sections of the park. For some relief—but not too much—watch two shows, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Academy of Villains: House of Fear,” and go on five rides.
Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights is the frighteningly best horror fest we’ve ever attended. Halloween Horror Nights takes place Oct. 12-16, 19-23, and 26-31. Daytime admission to the park won’t gain you access to the haunted evenings. A separate ticket is required. It’s best to purchase these in advance.