Hey, ghouls, gals and spookies! There is a mighty chill in the air, and we brace ourselves for doom. Let’s talk Halloween! Our readers have been clamoring for Halloween guidelines, especially on Instagram. We’re not the ultimate authority on Halloween – but we’ve been around for more than our share. Here are a few things you should know:
When is trick or treating? Some parts of the country have a Saturday-before-Halloween tradition and have brought it to the Hill, but that’s more of a rarity than the norm. Here in DC we have trick-or-treating on Halloween night which starts around 5pm for the little ones and lasts until 9:30-10pm for the older kids. Keep your pace, make sure you don’t have a costume that can put you in danger, and remember: glowsticks are your friends! Stay visible and pay attention to others.
Are there other fun things to do around Halloween? Yes! Hilloween is for the little ones and takes place at the Eastern Market on Friday October 28th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and is FREE! Costume is expressly desired! For the pets, Howl to the Chief is hosting their annual Howl-o-Ween Pet Parade in Lincoln Park on Saturday, October 29 at 1:00 p.m. Shops like Honey Made will be offering crafts on Saturday, October 29 from 11:30 am. For the grown-ups, our friends at The Eastern are hosting a Spooky Sommelier Spectacular on Sunday, October 30th from 1pm. brunch and wine? This is creepy in our alley! The Literary Pumpkin Walk also takes place around the hill. So when you see book-themed houses, you know they’re participating. We have more fun things in this week’s to-do list. (Hopefully.)
how much candy This highly depends on your block! If you’re new, make sure you ask your neighbors how many trick-or-treaters are on your street. Some streets, like the East Capitol, Walter Street, or even Constitution Avenue near Lincoln Park, can easily go through multiple bags. For example, a neighbor says houses near Brent Elementary are very busy. Other, quieter side streets might see 5-10 kids all night. If you’re on our Spooky Hill Map, chances are you’re going to get visitors. (Would you like to add your house to the map? Click here.)
My child is a tween or a teenager. Should they go to trick-or-treat? We’ve seen older high school age kids ask for candy every year and we love it. GET THE CANDY OLDER KIDS! Life is too short to control candy and our neighborhood is generous. If you think someone is too old to ask for candy, try to be empathetic and polite: some 13-year-olds may look older than they are. Err on the side of generosity.
What about parent treats? If you’re a parent, you might even discover that some families out there are dispensing liquid refreshments for parents. Be safe and careful, but also enjoy and get to know new neighbors. A word to the wise, try to stay in one place while grabbing your “treats,” as DC doesn’t allow people with open bins to go door-to-door. We’re really not even close to that.
Do everyone give out sweets? No, not everyone hands out candy. This may be because people think too much candy could be harmful to children (unfortunately very true), or because they understand that not all little ones can partake in Halloween candy for nutritional reasons. Some children are allergic to peanut butter or tree nuts, or have diabetes and cannot handle the sugar burden. There are houses that offer alternatives (and some of them are in our map). Good alternatives to traditional sweets include savory treats like pretzels, small toys like sticky hands, fidgets, and glow sticks. Some homes also give out dog treats, which are most appreciated by families who trick-or-treat with their dogs. Which brings us to our next point:
I take my dog trick or treating…or should I? We absolutely and unequivocally love dogs, but this can be a difficult night for canine companions. If you are taking your dog to the festival, make sure the dog is not nervous or scared of the costumes or crowds as some streets can get very, very crowded. Always keep your dog on a leash and have treats on hand to distract him when he needs a little reinforcement. Everyone should have a happy time on Halloween! If your dog is a little nervous or “doesn’t play well with others,” Halloween can best be celebrated with treats at home. As a reminder, NEVER give chocolate to a pet as it is poisonous.