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LI downtowns offer free Halloween celebrations

The Monster Merlin character leads the annual Halloween

The Monster Merlin character leads the annual Halloween parade at the Stony Brook Village Center at Main Street on the harbor in Stony Brook. Credit: Ward Melville Heritage Organization

To see and be seen on Halloween, no place is more sure to have a guaranteed crowd than one of Long Island’s downtown areas. Here are some that are offering free parades, store-to-store trick-or-treating and more:

HUNTINGTON

It’s BYOB — that’s Bring Your Own Bag — to trick-or-treat among downtown Huntington storefronts. There’s also the annual costume parade — families meet in front of the Huntington Post Office on Gerard Street at 4 p.m. and walk to the intersection of Wall and Main streets. For more information on the parade, call 631-351-3112.

The Heckscher Museum of Art, at 2 Prime Ave., is also offering free admission for children in costume and their families from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Halloween and will offer hands-on art activities, a selfie station and treats. For more information, call 631-351-3250.

And check out the interior of Munday’s at 259 Main St. Each year, the diner-style restaurant turns out the lights and decorates the inside in a spooky theme for the holiday. For more information, call 631-421-3553.

PATCHOGUE

Stores will dole out candy to trick-or-treaters from 3 to 6 p.m. during the village’s Halloween Happenings, says David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce.

At least two dozen stores also will be giving out collectible tokens, and once a child has 10 of them, he or she can exchange them at the Pumpkin Patch inside the Patchogue-Medford Library, 54-60 E. Main St., for a gift bag of goodies from the Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers.

For more information, call 631-207-1000.

STONY BROOK

The Monster Merlin character leads the annual Halloween parade at the Stony Brook Village Center on Main Street at the harbor in Stony Brook. The free Halloween Festival runs from 2 to 5 p.m., and the parade begins about 3 p.m. There’s also trick-or-treating at the stores and restaurants, and the winners of the annual scarecrow competition will be announced. For more information, call 631-751-2244.

FREEPORT

Two bounce houses, cotton candy and a costume parade will entice families to visit the village of Freeport’s Recreation Center at 130 E. Merrick Rd. on Halloween. The annual parade around the building’s exterior starts at 4:15 p.m., followed by free indoor entertainment. For more information, call 516-377-2314.

WYANDANCH

Kids can trick-or-treat from tent to tent set up on the Delano Stewart Plaza in Wyandanch from 3 to 5 p.m., organized by the Wyandanch Plaza Association. In addition to candy, there will be arts and crafts. For more information, call 516-455-3179.

THE HAMPTONS

A DJ will provide the background music for trick-or-treaters collecting candy store to store in Westhampton Beach from 4:45 to 6 p.m. For more information, call 631-288-3337.

Trick-or-treating to merchants is combined with going from home to home in downtown East Hampton. Beginning after school, kids can collect candy from stores along Newtown Lane and Main Street. Then, two East Hampton residential streets in the Cooper Lane area at the end of Newtown Lane are closed to traffic to keep trick-or-treaters safe, says Steven Ringel, executive director of the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce. “All the houses have gotten into it over the years,” says Ringel, pointing out that many decorate their homes with touches such as smoke machines, music and zombies.

“It just becomes like a block party,” he said. For more information, call 631-324-0362.

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