Halloween Trick or Treating & Parades

Parent Q&A

  • How to get more trick-or-treat traffic in our nice neighborhood?

    (2 replies)

    Hi everyone --

    We're having a discussion in my neighborhood -- where have all the trick-or-treaters gone? We'd like more folks since some of us decorate a lot. We're in the flats, North Berkeley BART East and North of Ohlone Park, between Sacramento and Grant, Delaware to Cedar. I know there are some very busy streets that are kind of mob scenes, and we don't want to be that, but we do want to have more activity than we have had the last couple of years.

    I just joined this list and realize I might not be posting in time, but if this does get posted, I'd love suggestions of where to list our neighborhood, besides on this list!

    thank you -


    If you and your neighbors use NextDoor.com, you could log your candy-giving status at https://nextdoor.com/treat/. 

    NextDoor trick or treat map? Post a couple flyers at Cedar Rose Park or James Kenney?

    New replies are no longer being accepted.
  • Good Neighborhoods for Trick or Treating

    (5 replies)

    I'm considering taking my 3-year old trick or treating this year and am looking for neighborhoods in the Berkeley/Oakland area that are particularly welcoming to Halloween trick or treaters.  Any recommendations are much appreciated!

    I, too, love the idea of keeping it local.  I live in West Oakland  - definitely not an area notable for great kid trick-or-treating.   But I just added my name to the NextDoor Trick-or-Treat Map and I was so excited to see many nearby houses on there!   Have you checked out the NextDoor Trick-or-Treat map in your area?  It could make you feel better about heading out close to home.  

    To answer the respondent who asked why people ask this question, some people (like me) live on dark, mountainous streets with no sidewalks and no kids, where we haven't had a single trick-or-treater in the 20 years I've lived here.  There is literally not another house within a quarter mile that gives away candy.  I imagine other people live in neighborhoods where trick or treating might not be safe or viable for other reasons.  The first few years we lived here we hopefully purchased candy and decorated the house, but there just isn't anyone willing to venture down our street; now that we have kids we go to another neighborhood.  I would love it if we could all trick-or-treat our own neighborhoods, but sometimes that just doesn't work.

    Some people probably ask this question every year because their own neighborhoods are not safe or welcoming for trick-or-treaters. There are homes that do not decorate or participate due to safety concerns as well. That might help the previous person who responded understand some of the motivations for asking. Please don't judge.

    My little ones have enjoyed trick or treating both in the Sheffield Village and Maxwell Park neighborhoods of Oakland. We probably visit about 5-8 homes, and then get extra candy that you can share with those homes for the extra flow of kids in their neighborhoods, or to share as a family too. 

    Your own! It is really the most fun if you can take your child around to your neighbors, particularly at such a young age.  If you don't know your neighbors, this is also a good way to get acquainted.  

    People ask this question on BPN and NextDoor every year and I never understand the motivation. Why don't people go in their immediate neighborhood? Who wants to drive on Halloween night (safety hazard)? We always walk around our modest neighborhood in the EC flats. A majority of houses participate, not all do (including a few with lights on and tv on that don't come to the door!), but after an hour my little kids have a full bag and go home happy. We see people we know out on the sidewalk, we enjoy the few decorations there are, we're not driving all over creation in search of the mythical street "where they give away full size candy bars". Be the change! Stay local for Halloween. And don't forget to give away candy at your own house!! For a 3 year old, answering the door with a bowl of candy to give away will be just as fun as (and less scary than) going up to a stranger's door and *talking* to them. Walk up and down your own block with your child, then answer the door together at home. Best Halloween ever, and the toddler's in bed by 7:30. :)

    New replies are no longer being accepted.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Advice on This Page More Advice on Other Pages

Best Neighborhoods for Trick or Treating

Oct 2011

Hi BPN! Does anyone know of a good neighborhood to take my 3 year old trick or treating this year? Last year her dad took her to SF but since Halloween is on a weeknight i'd like her to stay close to home. Thanks, Lindsay

Alameda is pretty nice (we live here); I'm familiar with the East End, around High Street, but much of the town is probably nice for Halloween. Just be real careful of the traffic with your little one! Have Fun!

Halloween Events & Activities

Sept 2009

My sister and niece are coming to visit for a long weekend over Halloween this year, and we'd like to line up some fun activities for the kids (ages 5, 2.5 and infant) to do. We plan to go to a pumpkin patch down in Half Moon Bay one morning and probably Boo at the Zoo on Halloween morning, but any suggestions of other events would be appreciated. And if anyone knows when trick-or-treating is in Berkeley, let me know. Our particular area of Berkeley doesn't seem to do trick-or-treating; I think last year we had 10 kids max. Anyone have a suggestion for a good trick-or-treating neighborhood in Berkeley? Marjorie

If you don't mind crossing the Berkeley border into Oakland, there is a great parade on Piedmont Avenue Oakland on Halloween day, Saturday, October 31, 2009 (with all the stores acting as candy stations) and all the month of October, there is a great small pumpkin patch at the corner of Piedmont Avenue & Pleasant Valley Ave. Their website is http://www.fpe.cc The Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch is open every day 8am-8pm through Halloween and you can come dressed up any time. They also take classroom reservations by calling 510-967-9363. Good News

For trick-or-treating, go to either Mariposa in Berkeley near the Arlington Circle or Russell Street above College or just over the Oakland border to Lawton between College and Broadway. Those places could each be called ''a zoo'' on Halloween. For more sedate trick-or-treating, try the flats... between Rose and Cedar and between MLK and McGee is a pretty flat and plentiful area... easy for littler kids. Have fun! Marjorie too!

Hi Marjorie,If you're in the Piedmont Avenue area on Halloween, there will be plenty of fun events going on. Ranging from free cartoons to see at the Piedmont Theatre,the Annual Halloween Parade, which starts at Blockbuster's videos,trick or treating for the children compliments of the of the merchants along Piedmont Ave., a haunted house and kid friendly activities at Piedmont Avenue Elementary school, a Pumpkin patch at the Mountain View Cemetery,story time at the Piedmont Ave. Library branch and a variety of other family fun things to do in the area. Interested? Check out the wonderful, Piedmont Avenue Merchants Association(PAMA) web site...Our family has attended this event for years, it's a guarateed fun time for all! Denise

We hope you have the opportunity to come check out our Halloween Event at the Berkeley YMCA. We are hosting ours on Friday, October 30th from 5-8pm. $5 per family. We'll have one gym geared towards 0-5 year olds, and another geared for 6- 10 year olds. Lots of games, art, tumbling, etc. For more information just give me a call or email me. 510-665-3238. Eden

My family will be attending a halloween even at play cafe (their new site www.playcafellc.com). The new owners are wonderful people to talk to and have done a great job with the cafe. We will also attend an Asheba concert on Oct. 23rd, 2009. There is also a nice halloween event in livermore, pumpkin patch and all. see ya, Sam

Editor Note: a recommendations was also received for Pumpkin Farms

Sept 2008

My 16 month old daughters official 1st Halloween is coming soon and I have been looking for places to go trick or treating during the day or even a carnival of some sort, does anybody have any recommendations? I know there are several things to do on the weekend, the Oakland Zoo and Fairyland but I would like to also to do something on the official day. Recommendations please!! Are there any halloween family picnics that weekend ...where adults can get dressed up??...(I miss getting dressed up for Halloween, too) Julie

Although it is usually the Saturday before Halloween (not on Halloween itself), you and your child should check out the Piedmont Avenue Halloween Parade. It's sponsored by the local merchants association. The street is blocked off for several hours for the parade and trick or treating. The parade begins at 11:00 am at (I think) Piedmont Avenue and Yosemite (near MacArthur Boulevard) in Oakland. Both parents (many pushing strollers) and kids parade dressed in costume. Some parents and kids just line the street and watch as the parade goes by. Then many businesses on the street pass out treats (signs designate which are trick or treat stations). Although the beginning of the trick or treating can be a zoo, there's no reason you can't take a break between the parade and the candy grab to let things calm down a bit. Anyway, we love the day. Won't miss the parade

tumble & tea cafe in Oakland hosts a special ''My First Haunted House'' for kids 5 and under all day Halloween which culminates in a Halloween Spooktacular Party from 5-8pm. Ira Marlowe will perform his new Halloween songs for kids, they'll be treats and games and a ton of fun for families with small children. visit www.tumbleandtea.com for ticket info or call 510-601-7378. Sue

Montclair Village in Oakland usually has a Halloween parade that starts in the park and winds it way through the village, with many of the merchants handing out candy. We used to live there and went all the time, but moved three years ago, so I don't know whether they still have it. There were other activities associated with the eventin Montclair Park, too. I'm sure the Montclair business association has a website that would have info.

The Tilden Park Merry Go Round is having Scary Go Round. It will be open on Halloween and is a good place to go. They open October 10 each Fri, Sat, and Sun night through Halloween. No admission charge, just the normal tickets to ride the carousel. www.tildenmgr.com Halloween Mom

October 2002

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I want my little one to get a taste of the fun, so I am looking for some interesting Halloween activities to do with my 16 month old. I've seen signs for carnivals and parties at Tilden, the YMCA, etc., but I'm not clear if any of these have activities appropriate for younger kids. I checked the past recommendations, but they are about 5 years old, and don't specify what would be fun for toddlers. Festivals, street fairs, carnivals, anything in Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito/Oakland for the week leading up to Halloween would be perfect. What did your kids love? All suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, and happy trick-or- treating! Pumpkin-loving Mom

If you're willing to adventure as far as Fremont, the Candle Lighters sponsor a yearly Ghost House. It's open and running through Oct 30. The house and the games are all geared towards little kids and they have ''good fairies'' to take the less adventurous kids through (they warn them they are coming so no one jumps out at you). You could take Bart. It's at the Fremont Hub, at the old Carriage House (historical site). This is a mild ghost house compared to some of the more realistic ones around. It's $2.00 per person to go through and all the game ticket are 25 cents a piece. The face painting is the only one that costs multiple tickets, depending on the design.

You should also check with your local (large) malls. Some of them have trick or treat nites where the kids can dress up and go from store to store collecting candy in a safe environment. another Halloween fan

Consider the Albany Preschool Pancake Breakfast for Halloween fun for your little one. There will be lots of little kids (and some moms & dads)in costumes, halloween-related crafts and activities, music, a silent auction and of course, pancakes. It's on Sunday, October 27th from 9 am to 11am at the Albany Comunity Center (Marin at Masonic). Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for kids and are available in advance from the preschool or at the door. Katia

The Oakland Zoo has a cute Boo at the Zoo thing on the 27th. Rockridge Shopping District has a trick or treat down college avenue, which ends up in the library for great story telling by the librarians. There's a pretty comprehensive list here: http://www.parentspress.com/ffhalloween2002.html#anchor1916371

Oct 1997

Oakland Zoo Boo at the Zoo, Sat, Oct 25th. Halloween activities at Jack London Square, Oak, Sat. Oct 25th (10-3) (lots of activities, pumpkin patch, haunted house, etc). Emeryville Parks & Rec Depart Halloween Carnival, Oct. 30th (6pm-8pm). Downtown Berkeley YMCA Oct 30th, 7pm-9:30pm. Lawrence Hall of Science (I don't know details, but you can call them). City of San Leandro Halloween Carnival (I believe it's this Sat, Oct 25th, but I'm not sure- this is especially good for 3-7 year olds). Halloween party at St. John's Church in Berkeley (not sure of details)- they warmly welcome all families. We have been to San Leandro carnival, Lawrence Hall of Science, Oakland Zoo, and Jack London Square activities. All were fun, but the Jack London Square party was really great- kids love the activities, it is a beautiful setting, the Barnes & Noble bookstore is a great place to take a rest and peruse a book; also, if you call the Jack London Square Hotline (I don't have number, you can get it from information) you can get information on having your kids join their Kids'Club free- a membership allows your kids special benefits in stores in Jack London Square, like eating free (from the kids menu) at T.G.I. Friday, Kincaid's Bayhouse and Pizzeria Uno, when the parents buy a meal. We use our membership all the time to eat at these restaurants. Have fun! Dianne

St. John's Church 2727 College Ave. Saturday Oct 25 at 6:30 PM All ages - wear a costume - meet the coffin monster - see wizards - drink from the witches' cauldron Admission: a book, food item, toy, or treat for a homeless child or a donation in any amount. Teens are invited to come early at 3pm to help build the haunted house.

Although I've not been to an event at LHS, the party advertised on their web page sounds fun to me! Here is some of their blurb: LHS Harmonious Family Halloween Party. Sat., Oct. 25, 6:30 pm - 9 pm. Music, science and spooky fun are in harmony during an evening of entertainment, games, art activities, a treasure hunt and costume parade. TX are $9 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. 642-5134 And, if you're a Neighborhood Mom, be sure to come to the Halloween party on Sun., Oct. 26, 3;30 - 5 at Epworth Church on Hopkins. RSVP by 10/24 to Debbie at dwoods [at] uclink4.berkeley.edu or 643-3012. We'll have games, refreshments, prizes, and a costume parade. Also, I think the downtown Y is having a family Halloween party. Call the Y for info. Debbie

For a Halloween party: The Randall museum has a party scheduled for Halloween, 6-9pm. I've gone in past years, when my child was as young as 3, and I think it would keep the attention of anyone up to preteen years. The museum has an animal room, somewhat like the Lindsey Museum but smaller, I believe. It's located on Museum Way, near 14th and Castro in SF. I'd suggest calling to find out more if you're interested. Wendy

Trick or Treating in El Cerrito

Oct 2011

Hi, We live in El Cerrito. Where is the best area to take a 4 year old trick or treating? Thanks Loves candy

If you drive to Albany there are many children trickertreating and almost every house gives out candy.We were a few blocks from the high school but I think a lot of Albany is really good. anon

We live in the flats near the plaza/below the high school/& the Albany border and there's a lot of kids moving into this area. We have an almost 5 y.o. and have been going for the past 3 yrs and have a great time. There's always a lot of little kids before 8ish as the sun is going down. Hope you have fun! anon

Sept 2001

Does anyone know the good place where our 2 kids can trick-or-treat? We are from outside of the country. More than half of our neighbour live in an apartment including us and I guess no trick-or-treat here. I know some malls have Halloween events but I would like to take our kids to other neighbors. Can we do that? If so, where is the good place? I also check the old recommendation for it, but it's a bit far from here. We live in El Cerrito, so I prefer to taking them to El Cerrito, Albany, North Berkeley, or Richmond area. Thanks. Rie

Our neighborhood in the flats of El Cerrito is a very popular trick or treating spot. We live on Liberty Street 1 1/2 blocks down from Potrero. Maybe because it is a flat one-way street or maybe because there are lots of houses close together, plenty of folks come here with their kids. It makes for a fun festive night. So fun that we usually sit out on the front porch and have a ball handing out candy! In the past my 6 year old has enjoyed that more then getting her own candy.

Also, the retirement home on Gladys and Lexington has an annual Halloween event where the residents give out candy. I think that starts at about 6pm. Allison

A great, safe place to trick-or-treat is at El Cerrito Plaza. Some time before halloween (you have to check the paper, or go to the plaza and ask), the stores hold a trick-or-treat afternoon. The children go from store to store and trick-or-treat. Is safe, easy, and very sweet. We went last year, and it was fine. Mary

Well, I don't want to get TOO many more kids coming to our house. (I counted nearly 200 one year) But our neighborhood - also on McGee seems to be very popular, especially with the littler kids and their parents. Its on the other side of Cedar from Totland. I don't know why its so popular but we usually have a pretty good display at our house and some of our neighbors are also into it - not elaborate - no real skeletons or coffins but lots of giggling ghosts. I would recommend coming from just after dark to about 7:30 - after that we all start to shut down because the bigger kids start to come and also a lot of them are making their second rounds by then. Even though the streets are pretty well lit, don't forget your reflectors or flashlights!

Try UC Village in Albany! We live there and took our 2 year old up and down one block and that was perfect. She got to see all the other kids in costume and collected enough goodies to last us a while. Jennifer

The neighborhood right around Totland Park (intesection of Virginia & McGee in North Berkeley) is a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating -- very safe, lots of kids, mostly 1-and 2-family houses, minimal traffic. If you do take your kids trick-or-treating here, be sure to check out our landlords' festive Halloween display (usually includes cobwebs, gravestones etc.) at 1630 Virginia St. (right next to Totland).

We lived in Rockridge until '93 when my daughter turned 3, and for two years we went around the blocks of Boyd between Hudson and Clifton? and Lawton and gee, the street names left me, but that neighborhood had people out playing music on their stoops, incredibly carved jack-o-lanterns, and LOTS of kids with parents out trick-or-treating. Near the new Rockridge Library, a few blocks in from College. It's an enclave of families with little ones. I always felt very safe and happy there.

Very popular in Berkeley is the neighborhood around College Ave. and Russell St. (the Elmwood area of College just north of Ashby). This might be too intense for kids under 5; it is a carnival atmosphere with streets closed and lots of people walking around in costume. But the houses here go all out with decorations: haunted houses, smoke machines, strobe lights, etc. My kids never miss it.

Trick or treat location in Moraga

October 2008

Hi everyone: I moved to Moraga recently and I was wondering if anyone knew of an area/street you would recommend for trick or treating either in Moraga or Lafayette. I'm looking for a festive location (if there is one) where people put up nice decorations and it's full of kids. Last year we went to Alameda and it was VERY impressive. Thanks. Halloween mom

If you live in Moraga, there is no reason to go elsewhere to trick or treat, unless you're hooking up with friends that live elsewhere. We live in the neighborhood off Rimer and, aside from some of the off-the-path courts, there is a stream of kids out all night. Some houses get really done up, others don't. You don't say how old your kid (s) is (are), but you should try to get together with another family or two to go out, it is really fun.

The most lively trick or treating in Moraga is on Corliss from Camino Ricardo to Moraga Road. There are tons of kids running from house to house, many fun decorations, one family even has coffee for chilled parents. There was a short 3-4 minute skit offered from someone's garage last year that you could stop in a see. Enjoy! Loves Trick or Treating

Trick or Treating in San Francisco

October 2005

Our son is all set for his first (okay, second, but he was too little last year) halloween! We're planning on going to the Boo at the Zoo on Saturday the 29th, but I would also love to take him trick or treating on halloween. I haven't been trick or treating since I was a kid, and I used to just go around the neighborhood. I haven't had many trick or treaters since I moved out on my own (maybe half a dozen in the last 15 years, seriously). Are kids just not roaming their own neighborhoods these days? Are there places in San Francisco where people take their kids trick or treating? I've heard that kids sometimes go trick or treating at the mall, but that just sounds so weird to me. ED

Next year head to Fair Oaks Street (on the border of Noe Valley/Mission). They close 6 blocks of Fair Oaks to kids on Halloween. It's between 21st -26th/Guerrero- Dolores. It's a lovely street with lots of cute houses and flats, there are tons of kids. anon

Belvedere St in Cole Valley is the place to take kids on Halloween in SF. The houses are all decorated, people are friendly -- it's a fun scene. city trick or treater

When my husband and I were pre-child we used to dress up and go to the party in the castro. Unfortunately, I don't think that would be ideal with young kids. We live in Berkeley, so I don't know if this advice will work. In the Berkeley flats, it is nice to trick or treat around your block and meet your neighbors. I often introduce us, if the people seem friendly, so as to create a slightly greater social density in the neighborhood. If you live in the Mission, or Noe Valley, or Glen Park, or the Richmond, or the Sunset, I think that would work. likes dressing up

Costume Parades & Contests


What are some fun Halloween activities in the East Bay where babies can show off their cute costumes? Jodi

The Parkway Theater is holding a baby costume contest witth their 630 showing of night of the living dead. I am not much on the movie, but it will be great fun with all the babies. By the way, every monday night the Parkway theater shows movies and babies are allowed. See their website at picturepubpizza.com. They have good food, and it is fun to see all the babies. last week they showed Space Cowboys. I think this month they are going for the oldies (not my favorite), but they should be getting back to the newer ones in November. Molly

Habitot Children's Museum does a fun and not to spooky party for kids the Saturday before Halloween, October 28th. We've always enjoyed it. Kathy

Fairyland and the Oakland Zoo always have wonderful daytime Halloween events. Shoshana

There are parades in Montclair and in Piedmont. Check the Montclarian for info. Gab

I didn't see the original post, but I see many responses about good places to go on Halloween. This would be for children and adults of all ages, not just infants The New School of Berkeley has a Halloween fair every year. It is Saturday October 28, 11-4 at Cedar and Bonita in Berkeley. HUGE yard sale with tons of kids stuff, pumpkins, really good food for sale, kids' activities, live music, and much more. It's a funky low-key atmosphere and just a nice place to be. Sybil


From: Gail

There is an annual Halloween parade on College Avenue in Rockridge. It is happening this year, although I am not sure what day. I have heard rumors that it will be on Saturday, Halloween, but do not know this for sure. I live in the neighborhood and have not yet seen flyers for it.

From: Deborah

the Piedmont Ave parade is always the Sat before Halloween (the 24th this year). I believe it starts at 10:30, but there should be flyers up at shops on Piedmont Ave with the exact time. The parade is very low-key and lots of fun: A bag-piper and a mounted police officer and LOTS of kids in costume (with their parents). Then there's trick-or-treating at most of the shops afterwards. It's wonderful. There's also one on College Ave that I believe is the Sun before Halloween in the afternoon. Don't know about Solano.

From: Diana

A while back, someone asked about neighborhood Hallowe'en events, and I mentioned the toddlers parade & trick-or-treating on Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland. I now have all the details and thought I'd pass it on. There's a green space at Lakeshore & Mandana which will be the meeting ground. The event starts at 11:00 am on Saturday, and is specifically geared to babies and toddlers. I think there will be a pumpkin patch, and a clown (or is it a magician?) Anyway, I think the whole thing only goes on for an hour or two, and the local businesses will have treats for the kiddies.