Don’t pass on South Pasadena, CA
Angel DiBilio/Shutterstock “South Pasadena, California is one of the best places to trick-or-treat in Southern California,” says South Pasadena resident Noelle Brown, who is originally from Connecticut. “Because there are so few neighborhoods that are safe and the homes are close together, South Pasadena is THE place for Halloween,” Brown says. “Many people decorate their homes complete with spooky soundtracks, and it’s a safe, festive atmosphere. Families usually park on Mission Street and walk south on Marengo Avenue down to Huntington Drive, cross the street and head north. The majority of the neighbors pass out candy, so by the time kids do the six-block loop, their bags are full. The youngest kids and parents usually start around 4:30 p.m. That’s when you see the more adorable babies all dressed up. From 5 to 8 p.m. the street is packed. One year someone passed out 2,000 candy apples. I can give away $100 of candy in under two hours.”
South Pasadena’s small-town charm is ideal, Brown adds. “Places like Brentwood and Beverly Hills are fine for trick-or-treaters, but many of those residents have gates, security, or houses that aren’t close together, so it can be hit or miss.”
Candy in San Jose; thrills and chills in Fremont
Uladzik Kryhin/Shutterstock San Jose, California, is on Zillow’s top-20 trick-or-treat locales list, but nearby Fremont has the amazing Candelighters Ghost House, says resident Lisa Stambaugh, and it’s the thing to do in Fremont. The Ghost House is a huge fundraiser for Candelighters, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to raising funds for non-profit groups and community-based projects in the Tri-City Community of Fremont, Newark, and Union City, California. The Candelighters work on it for months, getting sponsors, creating the sets and props, which Stambaugh says is “amazing.” Many of the “actors” in the house are local teens.
“The tour itself is pretty scary, but there is a good witch tour at various times during the day where the lights are on, the actors don’t scream, which makes it perfect for younger kids: you get there and a witch takes you in, but you line up on the side for the Good Witch non-scary tour,” Stambaugh says. “I used to take my kids when they were small, they loved it.” These are the 15 best Halloween costumes for your cat.
Lit up in Highland Park, Illinois
Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock Heading back to the Midwest, Chicago is on Zillow’s list, so then why not Highland Park? That’s what Steven Goldberg, a New York attorney who grew up in the neighborhood, and his sister, Melanie, who still lives there today, want to know.
Steven remembers pulling in full-size candy bars and silver dollars as loot, as well as “star showers,” which he describes as lights, lights, lights, and more lights on the trees. Melanie says that “kids get bused in now because the houses are so close together, and the kids get tons of candy, quickly.” But that’s not all that attracts the crowds to Highland Park, she says. There’s the “shaving cream fights, and this show called splatter theater, which is a riot to see because every person in the show ‘dies’ a bloody ‘death.'” Melanie would also like it to be known that she did not steal a full bowl of candy from a doorstep. Not last year. Not ever. OK, Melanie!
Ultimately, no matter where you live, you can find great trick-or-treating somewhere nearby, promises Trulia’s lifestyle expert, Lynnette Bruno. “If you’re looking for a place to take the kids, use a tool like Trulia’s map layers to look at crime and busy streets. If you can, check out the area for yourself. See how many homes have Halloween decorations, how close they are to each other, and watch out for steep hills!” Next, check out these 11 creepy and real events that actually happened on Halloween.