The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a terrific way to celebrate Halloween with the children, spend time outdoors, and have a memorable experience, bring the family to the Ghouls and Gourds festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It's a one day afternoon festival, rain or shine.
- Family-oriented, non-commercial Halloween event.
- Unique, imaginative, and fun - unlike many other Halloween events.
- Suits various ages of children. You can attend a different activity every 20 minutes.
- Outdoors, but with amenities (indoor spaces in case of rain; nice bathrooms, etc.).
- Convenient: Subway is nearby. Fee covers everything (except food).
- Rain or shine.
- The space is huge, so one parent with more than 2 children could be stretched thin.
- Afterwards, children may be exhausted (maybe this is a plus, however).
- No street parking (BUT the subway is near and there's parking next door at the Brooklyn Museum).
- A lot of walking may be involved; wear sneakers, call ahead for wheelchair info.
- Employing a "three-ring-circus" approach to Halloween, the lovely Brooklyn Botanic Gardens sets up a series of performances and crafts activities for children during an annual six-hour Halloween bash called Ghouls and Gourds.
- Visitors may wander and pick among simultaneous events held in different corners of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. You can listen to music here, watch live entertainment there, and do crafts just a few steps away.
- The festival's schedule fits the limited attention span of kids. Flit between the adorably named “Planet Pumpkin,” “Weird Workshops,” and “Throwback Theatre.” Visit the Book Barn area where favorite juvenile authors will read, sign books, and talk to children and parents.
- It ends with a bang! There's something to look forward to — a colorful, noisy, joyous costume parade.
Guide Review - Ghouls & Gourds Festival: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Halloween Event
Halloween can be overwhelming for young children, especially in a densely populated community like New York City, where there's excitement in the air, candy in the stores, and talk of Halloween costumes everywhere.