Which neighborhoods are good for trick-or-treating? | Town Square | Almanac Online |

Town Square

Post a New Topic

Which neighborhoods are good for trick-or-treating?

Original post made by alp, another community, on Oct 18, 2008

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?

Comments (25)

Like this comment
Posted by Spooky
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm

So, let me get this right. You want to take your children to another neighborhood so they can entertain and provide treats for them in addition to their own neighborhood's kids?
This lack of personal responsibility for creating a fun event within your own neighborhood is truly spooky.

4 people like this
Posted by Lighten up
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
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.

Like this comment
Posted by Inundated
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
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.

Like this comment
Posted by boo!
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
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.

Like this comment
Posted by Jean
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
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.

Like this comment
Posted by Nonna Strega
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
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.

3 people like this
Posted by suburban park
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 20, 2008 at 3:50 pm

nobody has answered your question:

seminary oaks
suburban park
flood triangle
oak knoll
allied arts

all fun, family friendly (with a few exceptions) and safe

Like this comment
Posted by Nonna Strega
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm

And don't forget the downtown Menlo Park Halloween parade and carnival at Burgess Park on Saturday, Oct. 25. Kids can trick-or-treat at local businesses.

Like this comment
Posted by Michael Meyer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Laurel Ave at Pope Street is a great place in the Willows. We get lots of kids and really decorate our houses. Lots of PreSchool to Elementary aged kids.

Like this comment
Posted by g
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 20, 2008 at 9:25 pm

And don't forget Linfield Oaks, your old stomping grounds.

A great place for trick or treating.

Like this comment
Posted by CP
a resident of Menlo Park: other
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???

2 people like this
Posted by Natasha
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Oct 22, 2008 at 10:07 am

Don't let a few bad apples spoil the barrel.

Like this comment
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.

4 people like this
Posted by So Much for Community
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
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).

4 people like this
Posted by Candy Corn
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 4:18 pm

I'm sure most parents would love to live on a friendly street lined with families so they could take their kids trick-or-treating on their own block.

Not everyone has that, and I don't think it's awful for a parent to want their kids to experience that sense of community on Halloween, even if it's in another neighborhood.

Like this comment
Posted by Sammy
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 22, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Hey, "Suburban Park".
You forgot the east side.
There is always fun over here!!

Like this comment
Posted by CP
a resident of Menlo Park: other
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.

Like this comment
Posted by Willow R.
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Whatever you do, avoid downtown Menlo Park. That's where we live and it's deader than a cemetery in terms of trick-or-treating.

5 people like this
Posted by Glinda
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
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.

Like this comment
Posted by Natalie
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
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.

Like this comment
Posted by Top Cat
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2015 at 6:37 pm

I totally agree with Spooky.
The spirit of All Hallows has been completely overridden by commercial interests that extend Christmas into October for the purpose of selling costumes, masks etc etc. Parents are duped and the kids have no idea what they are doing or why.

I'm happy to deal with the local kids from my neighborhood, but not the bus loads of kids from God only knows where that I see unloading down my street.
Enough Already!

16 people like this
Posted by Boogie Man
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 1, 2015 at 8:27 am

Pope Street in the Willows is definitely the winner. There's this plump homely middle aged woman with unkempt brown-orange hair, when looking at her will scare the hell out of you, doles out the most scrumptious brownies. I overcame my fear of her appearance (maybe she just dresses that way for Halloween)and was rewarded with the most delicious extra chewy brownie.

I don't know what got into me but I ate the entire bag of candy as soon as I got home.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2015 at 2:07 pm

The snotty tone in many of these comments is disheartening.

We go to the house of a local friend, and we bring lots of candy because we don't get trick or treaters at our place. We also don't have kids, but we see the patterns of which areas are popular and fun and which aren't. People who feel that Halloween brings an "invasion" must have a screw loose. It's nigh on impossible to make the holiday fun on your street if no one else cares, if it's too dark, lacks sidewalks or is otherwise dead wood for trick or treaters, so that's why people go elsewhere.

If you enjoy the holiday, why not make it memorable for others? I happily remember specific kids and costumes over the past few years, and I even remember details of great Halloweens from when I was a kid. You get to be part of an overall milieu that enlivens the lives of others. It's possible to add your home to local trick or treat routes in various groups now, and that makes it easier.

Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm

I think the offense some people may be taking at the "where do I take my kid to trick-or-treat" question is that those families, who decide to leave their homes dark and devoid of Halloween hosts (ie live humans to give out candy) and decamp to more "fun" neighborhoods with their kids, are creating the kind of Halloween vacuum that they say they deplore (nobody trick-or-treats in our neighborhood, so we are going elsewhere).

The solution to creating a greater sense of Halloween community in your neighborhood starts with your decision to stay home (or ask an older sibling / friend / grandparent) to keep the lights on to hand out candy to whoever might come by. You can reverse the "nobody trick-or-treats here" trend by simply being the family that does stay open for business. And no, a bowl of candy with a friendly note to "Take 1" does not cut it for neighborliness.

My husband and I always divided Halloween -- one of us would go out with our three kids into our neighborhood and the other would stay home to hand out candy. We'd swap the following year so we each had the experience of meeting/greeting neighbors from the street and at home. We insisted that our children trick-or-treat in our neighborhood and we insisted on being home to create a welcoming trick-or-treat experience for the few neighborhood kids who did come by.

We have never (and still do not) get very many trick-or-treaters, but we always welcome them warmly and decorate to invite them to our door.

Finally, Natalie from Atherton, please be careful to re-read your post ... you might consider re-wording "I don't think it is fair for my son to miss out on the experience of Halloween because of where we live." -- it strikes me that you are a bit naïve to how that sentence might resonate with others. It is ironic that you wish to decamp from your very private Atherton neighborhood to a more populous neighborhood (where there are more houses per acre) at Halloween to find a real "community" experience. Perhaps you should have considered that when deciding where to buy your home ?

1 person likes this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 6, 2015 at 9:01 pm

I've always been proud to live in Menlo Park, but this post is making me sheepish about the true colors of some of my fellow neighbors.

Where I grew up, social graces taught us to treat our neighbors, NEIGHBORLY. The snarky remarks to this woman's simple, unassuming question are easy to spew behind the guise of an anonymous online forum, but so uncalled for and, frankly, embarrassing to our community.

Get it together, Menlo Park. This woman just wants to know where to take her child trick or treating! (The list above is a great summary BTW). Hope you had a great time!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get fact-based reporting on the COVID-19 crisis sent to your inbox daily.

Palo Alto's Mayfield Bakery & Cafe permanently closes after 11-year run
By Elena Kadvany | 18 comments | 15,020 views

City staff is running Palo Alto
By Diana Diamond | 24 comments | 3,161 views

Couples: Are you Committed to your Vows or Dysfunction?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,458 views

Kids and sugar: A cautionary tale
By Sherry Listgarten | 8 comments | 1,357 views

Preparing for School
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 512 views