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Haunted New York - The City Celebrates Halloween 2010

It’s that time of year again, when witches, goblins, and scary monsters get ready to strut their stuff! Kids aren’t the only ones who love Halloween, and in NYC the holiday is especially fun, especially for visitors on vacations. The city has an abundance of events that, in addition to the yearly Halloween Parade in the West Village, provide fun for the whole family. Here are some great New York Halloween-oriented events.

For the second consecutive year, you’ll get an opportunity to find out what happens at night as Madame Tussauds New York (234 W. 42nd St., 800-246-8872; madametussauds.com/newyork) keeps their doors open from 9pm to 1am for eight nights only (Oct. 21-24, Oct. 28-31) with After Dark. The world-famous wax attraction promises that this year is much bigger, much scarier and a whole lot darker with an expanded experience with new rooms, tons of new scares and the only Halloween event with a 4D theater experience. Tickets are $22 ($20 after 11); visit afterdarknewyork.com for more information.

For Halloween, The HBO Shop at Sixth Ave. & 42nd St. in Manhattan features a window display featuring actual costumes straight from the sets of True Blood. A variety of True Blood merchandise is also available at The HBO Shop, including a variety of T-shirts ($24.99) featuring your favorite characters, the True Blood Limited Edition Halloween Set, as well as bottles of Tru Blood -- a blood orange carbonated drink inspired by Bill’s favorite synthetic blood-nourishment beverage -- and Merlotte’s coffee mugs and aprons, bottle openers, posters, and more. (To see more True Blood items, click here.) The HBO Shop also offers a wide range of Sex and the City merchandise, including “Shopping Is My Cardio” tote bags ($39.99), and a variety of Sex and the City necklaces by Dogeared, ranging between $54 and $150. At the HBO Shop, you’ll also find full line of The Sopranos and Sex and the City memorabilia, and a full line of DVD sets, t-shirts, and more from all their other hit shows, including Big Love and Entourage. 42nd St. & Sixth Ave., 212-512-SHOP; www.hboshop.com.

If you’re looking to pick up gag items or a fun gift, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square Odditorium (234 W. 42nd St., 212-398-3133; ripleysnewyork.com) is the gift shop for you. While you’re visiting their collection of amazing oddities, stick your head into this fun shop. They carry a variety of items, but for Halloween we recommend their selection of crazy candy, such as gummy eyeballs, voodoo lollipops, and chocolate-covered insects. Many of their toys and novelties relate to their exhibits, and all are fun and interesting -- they have tribal and fair-trade items such as masks and instruments, “strange” plush toys, such as two-headed calves and one-eyed dogs, Ripley’s branded items and apparel, and much more. Ripley's hosts a Halloween-themed Extreme Sleepover on Oct. 23rd.

On the 30th & 31st, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (Pier 86, W. 46th St. & 12th Ave., 212-245-0072; intrepidmuseum.org) presents Hauntings on the Hudson, which includes a Pumpkin Patch where kids can come into the museum, pick a pumpkin and paint spooky, scary faces on their pumpkin and get their faces painted with special Halloween themed designs. And if you come on Halloween in costume, you’ll receive 50% off admission.

A unique way to spend the night before Halloween is on the water, so join Circle Line Downtown (Pier 16, South Street Seaport, 866-987-2542; circlelinedowntown.com) on Saturday, Oct. 30th for their Halloween Costume Party Cruise aboard the majestic ZEPHYR. The luxury yacht is transformed into a haunted house on the high seas for this costumed, 3-hour party cruise with free appetizers, dancing, cash bars, a moonlight deck and two fully enclosed, climate controlled decks. Boarding is at 9pm, returning at 12:30am. 21& over only, with valid ID. $55 ($50 in advance).

Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center (W. 50th St. btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves., 877-692-7625; topoftherocknyc.com) will welcome children and families to their Spooktacular on Saturday, October 30th from 1 to 4pm with activities such as face painting, magic shows, crafts, and treats. The Spooktacular is free with admission.

The American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th St., 212-769-5100; amnh.org) hosts their 15th Annual Spooktacular Halloween Celebration on the 31st, as the Cat in the Hat, Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Miffy, Maisy, Toot and Puddle, and Danny's Dinosaur  are among the characters who will greet thousands of costumed children as they arrive to celebrate Halloween.

On Halloween, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill (243 W. 42nd St., 212-997-4144; bbkingblues.com) hosts The Gong Show Live Halloween Party, showcasing original, offbeat talent acts performing for the audience and three judges, using the same format and spirit of the pioneering ’70s TV show. The judging begins at 8pm, and tickets are $20 ($25 the day of the show).

On Saturday, Oct. 30th, 2010, spend Halloween in the scary sky at  Sky Room (Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites Times Square, 330 W. 40th St. btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves., 212-380-1195; skyroomnyc.com). They're pulling out all the stops this year with scary Halloween decorations, and an amazing costume party with the New York skyline as your backdrop. Be sure to get your costume ready early because they are giving a $500 cash prize to the best costume. Table recommendations are strongly recommended, and each table will receive a complimentary Halloween dessert platter. Come spend your Halloween at New Yorks sexiest new rooftop lounge perched high above Times Square. Enjoy the breathtaking views, the delicious food and cocktails, and the incredible scene that has made Sky Room the place to be on Saturday nights. $20 advance ticket entry fee, or $40 for entry and a 2 hour open bar.Get a free Halloween dessert platter with any Table Reservations. $500 cash prize for the best costume. Click here for tickets.

And it all culminates on Halloween with the world-famous Halloween Parade (halloween-nyc.com) in Greenwich Village, featuring hundreds of puppets, 53 musical acts, dancers and artists, and thousands of New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation. If you’re in costume and would like to join the procession, head to Sixth Ave. south of Spring St. and north of Canal St. between 6:30 and 8:30pm; otherwise the parade runs from 7 to 10pm, beginning at Spring Street and heading up Sixth Avenue to 21st Street.

For more Halloween-related events, see our calendar of events here.

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