BEST PLACES TO HEAD FOR HALLOWEEN
by Nick D'Arienzo
Oct 29, 2009 | 19591 views | 0 0 comments | 1030 1030 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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One of the most lucrative holidays of the year (for local merchants, anyway), All Hallow’s Eve aka Halloween tends to be a nice little precursor to some of the more solemn holidays that follow, but honestly, how can anything really compare – for both young and old – with the opportunity to play “dress-up” for a night, and act ghoulish and foolish to your heart’s delight!

Decorations

Gee, Halloween decorations sure are getting gruesome-er and gruesome-er, no? What ever happened to good old fashioned orange and black creativity, huh?! Anyway, here are a couple of places we kind of dig for whatever strikes your fancy, from the playful to the downright macabre. First off, PARTY CITY has absolutely everything, and this is definitely the time of year they thrive, so it’s a pretty good bet this is the place for you. We also kind of like A.C. MOORE ARTS & CRAFTS in Glendale, where not only can you find all manner of art supplies to do your own craftmaking and decorating, but you can even find a whole mess of other accessories to get you in the spirit. (And if you hurry, they’re still conducting a couple of Halloween and Harvest Candy Decorating classes, so make sure you stop by there soon!) (PARTY CITY, 74-17 Grand Avenue in Elmhurst (718) 205-2266; A.C. MOORE ARTS & CRAFTS, 8989 Union Turnpike in Glendale (718) 846-3718.)

Costumes

PARTY CITY is probably also the number one place to go to get your Halloween costume, they’ve definitely got it down to a science here what with that whole wall chart and everything. But Ridgewood residents especially will definitely love the selection and the affordability of the SWEET SPOT Halloween Store on Forest Avenue (yes, that’s right, it’s an ice cream parlor the rest of the year). And over in Richmond Hill, the legendary RUBIE’S has probably got more space (and inventory) than just about anybody, so certainly worth checking them out, of course. (But check out www.RUBIES.com first!) And if something rather sophisticated and elegant for your little one is where your head is at these days, please make sure to pay a visit to SIR LANCE’S LOT in Rego Park. While true connoisseurs of the work of Lupe Jusino here have long ago put in their orders, there might still be something spectacular (and already made!) that you can buy off the rack. Now, if you’re looking for something a little risque this year, well the two RICKY’S HALLOWEEN destinations are where you oughtta go, there’s one in Astoria, and one in Forest Hills. (And why they don’t have one in Williamsburg, we’ve never been able to figure out – but then again, it’s pretty much always Halloween in Williamsburg, isn’t it?) (PARTY CITY, 74-17 Grand Avenue in Elmhurst (718) 205-2266; SWEET SPOT HALLOWEEN STORE, 67-01 Forest Avenue in Ridgewood (347) 408-6191; RUBIE’S, 120-08 Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill (718) 846-1008; SIR LANCE’S LOT, 62-77 Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park (718) 424-2110; RICKY’S HALLOWEEN, 30-83 Steinway Street in Astoria (718) 626-7070, and 107-29 71st Avenue in Forest Hills (718) 261-2827.)

Candy

If you’re looking for bags of candy to dole out to trick-or-treaters, we highly recommend the STOP & SHOP on Union Turnpike along the Forest Hills/Glendale border, which pretty much has an entire aisle devoted to same this time of year. But if you think you’d like to go a little special with your Halloween candy this year, especially if you’re attending a gathering or looking for an appropriate gift for the occasion, you have got to make sure you visit two of our favorites in this regard: KRAUSE’S CANDY KITCHEN in Forest Hills (aka AIGNER CHOCOLATES) and/or SLODYCZE WEDEL in Greenpoint. Truly scrumptious. (STOP & SHOP, 8989 Union Turnpike in Glendale (718) 846-2310; KRAUSE’S CANDY KITCHEN, 103-02 Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills (718) 544-1850; SLODYCZE WEDEL, 772 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint (718) 349-3933.)

Cookies and Cupcakes

Bakeries seem to really get in the spirit about now, and we really love how their orange and black offerings populate their showcases this time of year. We’re always going to be fans of the handiwork of BAUER’S BAKE SHOP in Middle Village, but you definitely ought to check out what’s cooking – er, baking – along Grand Avenue in Maspeth at either SCALA PASTRY SHOP or GLENDALE BAKE SHOP BAKERY. Now, if you happen to have a particularly exquisite cake in mind, one which would require someone of considerable skill and artistry to put it all together, then we highly suggest you visit Brooklyn’s own www.MoniquesUniqueCakes.com, or better yet, give Monique Martin a call yourself. We’re pretty confident you’ll find her work as delicious as it is eye-catching. (BAUER’S BAKE SHOP, 64-59 Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village (718) 326-1579; SCALA PASTRY SHOP, 69-51 Grand Avenue in Maspeth (718) 478-2232; GLENDALE BAKE SHOP BAKERY, 69-25 Grand Avenue in Maspeth (718) 457-2006; MONIQUE’S UNIQUE CAKES, www.MoniquesUniqueCakes.com (718) 789-1712.)

Celebratin’ (Kids)

Two of our favorite area restaurants are well-known for hosting the neighborhood’s youngsters on Halloween, a gesture that proves not just to be a nice safe way for the family to spend Halloween together, but also makes for a heck of a lot of fun with contests, prizes, etc. O’NEILL’S in Maspeth is hosting trick-or-treaters 12 and under to a pizza party Saturday, with a complimentary slice of pizza and soda from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Over at DANNY BOY’S in Middle Village, kids eat free on Halloween night, with an assortment of “Boo Burgers,” “Crispy Creepy Chicken Fingers” and more to choose from. (As well as a fun “Guess The Pumpkin’s Weight” Contest!) And at the QUEENS COUNTY FARM, their frightfully scary Haunted House will be open from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturday, OCTOBER 31st (and you might want to check out the Corn Maze – get it, “Maize”? – and Pumpkin Patch while you’re there, as well.) Down in Brooklyn, at the AVIATOR SPORTS COMPLEX, there’s a Halloween Hayride from Friday, OCTOBER 30th at Noon to Saturday, OCTOBER 31st at 9:00 pm. (The special Haunted “Headless Horseman” version of the Hayrides take place from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm both nights.) AVIATOR is also a great place to explore a pumpkin patch, and maybe here’s where you’ll find the perfect one to grace your front porch. Also, one of our new favorite neighborhood destinations, the MEEKER AVENUE FLEA MARKET in Williamsburg, is hosting a pretty big kids/adults Halloween costume party this weekend (both Saturday the 31st and Sunday the 1st), with prizes going for Best Costume, Scariest Costume, and Sexiest Costume. (O’NEILL’S, 64-21 53rd Drive in Maspeth (718) 672-9696; DANNY BOY’S, 64-56 Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village (718) 894-3488; QUEENS COUNTY FARM, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway in Glen Oaks (718) 347-3276; AVIATOR SPORTS COMPLEX, 5 Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park (718) 758-9800; MEEKER AVENUE FLEA MARKET, 391 Leonard Street in Williamsburg (718) 302-FLEA.)

Celebratin’ (“Adults”)

A couple of places we figured Halloween night sure would be a trip are DIRTY PIERRE’S in Forest Hills – always a fun place, but especially with Wendy the bartender decked out in fairy wings, and serving up Jello Shots and Pumpkin Martinis! (Dinner for 4 goes to the winner of the night’s best costume, by the way.) And over on Grand Avenue in Maspeth, the Halloween night festivities at HUSH LOUNGE are always jam-packed with some of the sleekiest, sexiest felines in the area (and some of them are actually in costume, too!) Meanwhile, just a bit further down Grand, CRUX BAR is offering a cash prize to the winner of their Halloween contest, and has just announced $2 Blood Shots, $2 Zombie Shots, and $2 Witches Brew, all night long. Also, one of our new favorite places, the RED STAR BAR over in Greenpoint is hosting a $40 open bar Halloween night (10:00 pm to 2:00 am) with a DJ, live music by Instant Rice and the Werewolves, and of course… a prize for best costume! (DIRTY PIERRE’S, 13 Station Square in Forest Hills (718) 830-9698; HUSH LOUNGE, 70-10 Grand Avenue in Maspeth (718) 779-6061; CRUX BAR, 69-38 Grand Avenue in Maspeth (718) 606-9279; RED STAR BAR, 37 Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint (718) 349-0149.)

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