5 free events: Dogs in costumes and a bit of ‘Hocus Pocus’

5 free events: Dogs in costumes and a bit of ‘Hocus Pocus’
Photo: Karolina Grabowska.

Looking for something to do this week? Here are five free Halloween-themed events — all happening online.


Get into the Halloween spirit

What: The (Virtual) Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest 2020
When: Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. Eastern
Where: The Fort Greene PUPS Facebook and YouTube pages

With parades halted, the annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest will go online, where 10 finalists will battle it out for the title of top dog. Viewers will get a chance to vote for their favorite pup during the livestream. And just in case you need an extra dose of levity as we head into next week: the festivities will be available to watch on-demand. 

Last year, Americans were estimated to spend a staggering $490 million on pet costumes. The most popular option for our four-legged monsters? The pumpkin.

And because cats dress up too, here’s an old photo for your enjoyment of this author’s cat dressed as a bunny.

Catsby dressed as a bunny. Photo: Britt Stigler.
Catsby dressed as a bunny. Photo: Britt Stigler.

What: ‘I Put a Spell on You’
When: Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. Eastern
Where: The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS YouTube

Gather ’round the ghost light for a haunting theatrical tale. The Sanderson Sisters — played by Jay Armstrong Johnson, Allison Robinson and Amanda Williams Ware — are back for a cinematic, costume-drenched, choreographed performance. Based on the 1990’s cult classic “Hocus Pocus,” the show brings together stars of Broadway and drag favorites for an evening of revelry.

Nick Rashad Burroughs, Gavin Creel, Drew Gehling, J. Harrison Ghee, Todrick Hall, Robyn Hurder, Eva Noblezada, Ahmad Simmons, Will Swenson, Bob the Drag Queen, Kizha Carr, Marti Gould Cummings, Peachez and Alexis Michelle are among the featured guests. 


Get your ‘Book Look’ together

What: Halloween at the New York Public Library
When: Oct. 30
Where: The New York Public Library social media pages; more info

The New York Public Library is marking a new chapter in its annual Library After Hours Halloween Masquerade with the help of Tim Gunn, who has invited readers to submit their best literary costumes online.

Those wishing to participate can enter their “Book Look” (as Gunn calls it) by sharing photos to social media with the hashtag #NYPLHalloween by Oct. 28. Gunn will judge the bookish costumes Friday during a virtual parade on the NYPL social channels. 


Make a costume and then have a ball

What: Halloween Circus Costumes
When: Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. Eastern
Where: Zoom; link sent with registration

If a visual arts-inspired costume is more your style, stop by the Whitney Museum of American Art’s open studio session on Halloween. The muse: Alexander Calder’s whimsical circus of figurines. All you’ll need are some household materials (think: old fabric, bits of paper or cardboard, tape and markers). Take even further inspiration from Calder — who put on circus shows with his creations in Paris — and stage a performance for your friends, family, plants or unwitting passersby. 

What: Theater for the New City Halloween Ball
When: Oct. 31 from 2 p.m. to midnight
Where: The Theater for the New City website and Facebook

You’ll want to carve out time to join Theater for the New City’s Village Halloween Ball. With artists such as Everett Quinton, F. Murray Abraham, Austin Pendleton, Phoebe Legere and Penny Arcade set to appear, the day will include a full slate of new works that span cabaret, dance music, an art exhibition, activities for kids and costume judging.

The brave can have their fortunes told by Phyllis Yampolsky, and the scared can enter a scream contest. At 7:30 p.m. Eastern, performers will take the stage in front of a socially-distanced audience for “Chop Shop Theater” (which will also be livestreamed). 

Top Image: Photo: Karolina Grabowska.