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New York City can be spooky even on a normal day. And when Halloween season arrives? Well, that’s when the really weird side of the city shines brightest. So if you’re in search of fun, immersive and even terrifying experiences in NYC this Halloween, check out our curated list of 12 of the best experiences and Broadway shows in Times Square New York City this year. It’s time to make plans for the perfect Halloweekend.

Best experiences and Broadway shows in Times Square for the Halloween Season

As any New Yorker will tell you, there’s nowhere in the world that’s quite as scary as Times Square. We kid! Sort of. But in all seriousness, New Yorker’s much-feared center-of-town is a surprisingly amazing place to spend our favorite scary holiday – Halloween.

The best fun, immersive, terrifying experiences and shows in Times Square New York City (NYC) this Halloween, including family adventures.

The best fun, immersive, terrifying experiences and shows in Times Square New York City (NYC) this Halloween, including family adventures.

Don’t believe us? Think about it. You can spot dozens of fantastic costumes from the enthusiastic crowds, you can stop by the many candy emporiums for your annual holiday sugar-fix, and best of all – the shows. There are many frightening (and frighteningly good!) musicals and plays that would make the perfect Halloween activity.

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Here is a list of shows that you should add to your Halloween bucket list, as well as a few other Times Square-scaries to top off the holiday.

The best fun, immersive, terrifying experiences and shows in Times Square New York City (NYC) this Halloween

The best fun, immersive, terrifying experiences and shows in Times Square New York City (NYC) this Halloween. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Best experiences on Broadway and in Times Square New York City this Halloween

1. Phantom of the Opera

If there’s one show you should make sure to see this Halloween, it’s Phantom of the Opera. Not only because its spooky atmosphere and rumored “opera ghost” make it perfect October viewing. But because after a record-setting run – 35 years – the show will close in February 2023.

If you’ve never seen the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical before, there’s no time like the present – grab a seat, and spend Halloween with Erik and Christine.

2. Beetlejuice

The Broadway show Beetlejuice is also closing this winter. So you should be sure to book your ticket before the cast takes its final bow. We’re happy to report that this show is one of the rare movie-to-musical adaptations that meets the expectations set by the original. We’ll be sad to see it go.

So, if you’re going to bid the show goodbye, why not see a performance at Halloween? The Tim Burton film is already a part of many people’s pumpkin spice film canon, and now the musical can join it there, too.

3. Wicked

We are always hungry for any excuse to go see Wicked, and as the show approaches its 20th anniversary, we’re here for it. Like the other Broadway shows on this list, Wicked’s menagerie of magical beings make it tailor-made for Halloween. If it’s been years since you saw the show – as it has been for many of us – then maybe this is the perfect moment to return.

4. Little Shop of Horrors

The rationale for seeing this Broadway show at Halloween this year is in the title! Little Shop of Horrors is probably the Times Square experience most perfect for Halloween in New York City. So aren’t we lucky that there happens to be an off-Broadway revival right now? Celebrate the holiday with Seymour, Audrey, and the music of Alan Menken (and of course, Audrey II – the killer plant).

5. Becky Nurse of Salem

Sarah Ruhl is one of our favorite playwrights, and she happens to have a new show at Lincoln Center this fall – and it’s an absolutely perfect Halloween experience.

The story follows the descendant of an accused Salem witch, who finds a job working at a local witch museum. The only problem? She is besieged by misfortune, and she begins to wonder if someone has put a curse on her. The show stars Tony winner Deirdre O’Connell, and we know it’s going to be a killer hit.

6. Peerless

A dark, funny, modern-day rendition of Macbeth? Sign us up! Jiehae Park’s Peerless is about twin siblings who are trying to get into college. And who decide they need to kill the classmate who steals “their spot” on the roster. Nothing screams Halloween like murder, right? We can’t wait to make this off-Broadway show a part of our Halloweekend plans.

7. The Ghostlight Tour: Haunted Broadway

Let’s say you have some theater tickets booked, and you’re looking to add to your Halloween itinerary. Why not listen to some ghost stories? This Haunted Broadway ghost tour would slide in nicely before a weekend matinee. And it sounds like a scary-good time.

On the Ghostlight Tour, you’ll learn all about the scariest Broadway lore, including superstitions, spirit sightings, and the tradition of the ghostlight. A fabulous activity for any theater aficionado, and especially this time of year.

The best fun, immersive, terrifying experiences and shows in Times Square New York City (NYC) this Halloween

The best fun, immersive, terrifying experiences and shows in Times Square New York City (NYC) this Halloween

8. Lillie’s Victorian Establishment

If you need a post-theater snack, you may want to pop by Lillie’s Victorian Establishment. It’s often included on lists of the best “scary” restaurants and bars in the city, and it happens to be located in Times Square. Order a specialty autumn cocktail, and enjoy the eerie decorations while you inhale your French fries.

9. Terror Haunted House

Did you know there is a haunted house in Times Square? Well, there is – and it’s the largest haunted house in New York (of course). The Terror Haunted House is comprised of a 20,000 square foot labyrinth. And it’s so scary that children under thirteen are not permitted to enter. Come on, we all know an age restriction is the mark of a great haunted house! After your show, you can spend this Halloween traipsing through the ruins of the evil Bedlam Institute. If you dare.

10. Sleep No More

Okay, we do have a few spooky show recommendations that are not in Times Square, but that would still make excellent experiences to make this Halloween the best ever in NYC.

First of all, Sleep No More. Though some of the hype around the immersive Macbeth production has died down in the years since its premiere, the show is as mesmerizing as ever. And we’re thrilled to see it finally return after the pandemic shutdown. The production’s McKittrick Hotel is also hosting a fabulous Halloween ball – you don’t want to miss this.

11. House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soiree

House of Spirits calls themselves “an immersive theatrical cocktail soirée.” That sounds like a marvelous New York City Halloween experience to us! Roam around the mysterious Volkov Manor, enjoying magic, tarot readings, games, and even a session with a Ouija board. And of course, craft cocktails and decadent chocolates. We can’t imagine a more enchanting way to spend Halloween in New York City this year, and this pop-up is only open until October 31st.

12. Halloween Extravaganza: 2022 Edition

In New York City, even the houses of worship have a sense of humor when it comes to Halloween. Especially the ones with imposing Gothic architecture. For example, every year The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine hosts a screening of Nosferatu accompanied by live organ music. The actors are from the Mettawee River Theater Company – who parade through the aisles, dressed as ghouls and goblins. The evening serves as a fundraiser for the church, as well as a festive and spooky way to celebrate Halloween in New York City.

Best experiences and Broadway shows in Times Square New York for Halloween

From Broadway shows to haunted houses, Times Square and New York City are the epicenter of fun, immersive and even terrifying Halloween experiences this year. Which one’s at the top of your list, dear reader?

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Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.