Which neighborhoods are good for trick-or-treating? Around Town, posted by alp, a resident of another community, on Oct 18, 2008 at 11:17 pm
I'd love to get a sense of the liveliest places to take my kids trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Our street is pretty quiet, it's a dead end, mostly older residents so not much Halloween traffic. Any suggestions?
Posted by Lighten up, a resident of the Menlo Park: Fair Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2008 at 3:58 pm
Spooky seems to be one of those kinds of people who can't be happy unless he/she can find fault with others -- who can't wait to pounce on someone with a hail of criticism, no matter the importance or lack thereof of the issue.
The original poster said he/she lives on a dead-end street with mostly older residents, NOT on a street with younger people with small kids -- you know, the kind of neighborhood where parents and kids love to deck the house out with scary stuff. So just how does the original poster's desire to take the kids to a more exciting area for Halloween, under his/her neighborhood circumstances, equal a lack of "personal responsibility"? Should the poster form a one-person booster club for the neighborhood so that the 60 and 70 and 80 year olds will be inspired to hang corpses from the trees and wire spooky music through outdoor speakers? Do you think maybe they'd rather do more meaningful things in the later years of their lives? Please.
Posted by Inundated, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2008 at 4:13 pm
I can be sympathetic. Vanloads of kids from other neighborhoods descend upon ours. We easily get more than 150 kids, most of whom are not neighbors. It is enjoyable for us, but I do pity neighbors who have difficulties with all the commotion and fear the invasion.
Posted by boo!, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2008 at 7:03 pm
The original poster should ask some of his/her kids' friends' parents, not expect this kind of information on a public bulletin board. (I note an identical request on the Palo Alto board.) My neighborhood is not one of the hot spots, but even so, we have carloads of kids coming by for Halloween. I don't mind if an extra 100 children come through, but I DO mind the parents who leave their engines idling and roll down the street to accompany their kids. It's not safe, especially given all the kids walking around, environmentally appropriate, or very considerate of the residents.
So, alp, wben you find the perfect t-or-t neighborhood, I hope you will park your car once you get to your destination and walk around with your children. Halloween isn't meant to be a drive-thru kind of holiday.
Posted by Jean, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2008 at 10:23 pm
Over the years I've become one of the oldies who doesn't bother with Hallowe'en--and for good reason. The only time I get so much as a friendly smile from my neighbors' kids is when the come to my door selling something for their school or selling Girl Scout cookies. For years after my own kids grew up I still put Hallowe'en decorations outside and bought great candies only to see the kids and their parents walk past the "old lady's" house. Now it's lights out and no candies.
As for going to other neighborhoods to trick or treat--create some fun in your neighborhood.
Posted by Nonna Strega, a resident of the Menlo Park: University Heights neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2008 at 11:06 am
I can't speak for the trick-or-treating, but there are a lot of great, spooky Halloween decorations up on Sherman Ave. between Dakin and Avy avenues in West Menlo Park (near Alameda). That block definitely has a lot of Halloween spirit.
Posted by CP, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Oct 20, 2008 at 10:36 pm
Don't be too fast to judge Spooky...she/he has a very valid point.
Neighborhoods (such as mine) with houses set closer together are often inundated with non-resident kids every Halloween. Parents drop them off by the carload and leave them to run around unsupervised. They run through yards, trample the landscaping, destroy plants, break lighting fixtures, smash pumpkins and occasionally engage in more destructive vandalism. Not only is this behavior unwarranted, but it makes the area less safe for drivers and smaller children.
I like Halloween as much as the next person and think it should be fun for our kids, especially those under age 10. However, I feel it is completely inappropriate to unload kids onto a neighborhood where they know nobody, especially if parents do not stay and provide supervision. Even if parents do go along, why should they expect strangers to spend a lot of money to provide treats for kids they don't know? If your neighborhood doesn't offer a lot of options for trick or treating, then either host a party or find a mall or civic organization that is sponsoring a trick or treating event.
Besides...don't you think it is a little unsafe to let your kids eat candy distributed by people you don't know???
Posted by withheld, a resident of another community, on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm
We live in one of the above "listed" neighborhoods for good Trick or Treating. It is innaproriate for this newspaper to be asking or listing what neighborhoods are good for outsiders to come trick or treating. It is overwhelming and dangerous for us to take our own little children out door to door. There are people all over the streets and no cars can get through. There was a police car that kept attempting to clear the street last year. We saw about 500 kids come to our door last year very little if any lived in our neighborhood.
Posted by So Much for Community, a resident of the Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm
I understand the complaints if out-of-neighborhood parents are merely driving up and down streets tailing their children, polluting the air and endangering other pedestrians, but to say that these kids shouldn't or haven't the right to trick-or-treat in your neighborhood is mighty hard-hearted. It also hints that you haven't lived in the area long, as kids from the "east side" have been trick-or-treating on the west side for at least two decades, if my experience is any indication. If you've ever spent Halloween on Palo Alto's Hamilton Avenue you know that hundreds of east-side children visit the area, and most neighbors seem to embrace the flood by buying extra candy. In the years I've spent in that neighborhood I seem to remember most of the parents walking along with the kids -- few if any tracked the kids in cars.
It's one day per year -- surely you can afford the extra candy and the "trampled landscaping" that help foster a little greater sense of community in our otherwise increasingly alienated neighborhoods. And for what it's worth, I think the original poster's question is perfectly relevant to these forums, and would suggest my own neighborhood, Linfield Oaks, as a great place to trick or treat (especially Sherwood).
Posted by CP, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Oct 22, 2008 at 9:27 pm
Actually, not everyone CAN afford it. If you give 500 trick-or-treaters 2 small pieces of candy each, that's about $100 worth of candy. The cost of replacing bushes and lighting can run higher than that (I speak from personal experience).
Believe it or not, not everyone in MP is wealthy. There ARE people on fixed incomes, (especially the elderly), who love to greet the neighbor kids, but simply cannot afford to treat the world. $100+ is a lot of money to some people. Also, kids who live in the neighborhood might think twice about destroying their neighbor's property and treat it with more care. Kids from outside don't necessarily have the same sense of regard. And, we aren't talking about east-siders here. I'm referring to teenagers from the wealthier neighborhoods where the houses are either behind gates or too far apart to score lots of candy.
If you want a sense of community, again, have a party or go to a community sponsored event. They are safer, more fun and a better way to celebrate the holiday.
Posted by Glinda, a resident of the Menlo Park: Fair Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm
Maybe y'all do things differently here in Menlo Park, but where I grew up, you bought candy for Halloween, and if you were so deluged wiht trick-or-treaters that you ran out of candy, you snuffed the candles in the jack 'o lanterns, turned out the porch lights and stopped answering the doorbell for the night.
If buying 40 pounds of candy is too expensive, don't do it. Get what you can afford. If you don't like giving treats to boisterous teens, call it a night at 7 pm instead of 9 pm. If kids are traipsing across your lawn, turn on the sprinklers as a deterrent.
Honestly, I can't believe the curmudgeons in some of these posts. Grinch season is in December, folks.
Posted by Natalie, a resident of the Atherton: West of Alameda neighborhood, on Oct 31, 2010 at 2:58 pm
I grew up in Atherton and for the last 20 years I have not seen one Trick-or-Treater come to my door. I am also looking for a safe place to take my son trick or treating in the area. I don't think it's fair for my son to miss out on the experience of Halloween because of where we live. Wherever we decide to go, I will, however, walk him door-to-door and definitely not allow him to destroy or vandalize anyone's property.