Some neighborhoods just don’t cut it on All Hallow’s Eve. For those who’s hood is an enclave of Halloween haters (you know, the kind that don’t turn their lights on for trick-or-treaters), we’re here to help you find the best stomping ground for your favorite ghouls and goblins. Whether you have little ones gearing up for their first trick-or-treat or bigger kids who are looking for thrills and frights, we’ve found the best-of-the-best places for candy-seeking kiddos.

Photo: Colleen McMahon via flickr

Embassy Row
Around the world can be found when you knock on doors along Embassy Row, where international embassies stretch from the Vice President’s home all the way to Dupont Circle. More than 20 embassies invite trick or treaters to explore cultures from around the world. You may be handed a few tourism pamphlets along with your candy bars, but where else can you say you’ve been trick-or-treating in Indonesia, Armenia, Ireland, and Portugal all in one night?

Start here: Massachusetts Ave., NW

While crowds of people-watchers can definitely turn Georgetown’s Halloween into a Nightmare on M Street, there’s something to be said for trick-or-treating on those narrow side streets, where the row houses are so close together; you can score twice the candy in half the time! Avoid M Street and Wisconsin Ave. proper unless you and your brood are more interested in seeing the coolest costumes in town (Georgetowners do know how to dress up!), and focus on the side streets where you’ll probably need two bags to carry all your loot.

Start here: Side streets between M St. and Wisconsin Ave., NW

Smithsonian National Zoo/Woodley Park
If you haven’t yet experienced Boo at the Zoo, what on earth are you waiting for? This is the ultimate Halloween experience for kids ages 4 to 12 who can make their way down decorated trails to more than 40 treat stations as they enjoy mammals, reptiles and more. If the little ones get tired legs you can hop aboard the Boo Express, a train that hits all the hot spots. It’s one of the most festive and iconic-ly D.C. ways to enjoy the holiday.

Start here: 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
When: October 20, 21, and 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 members; $30 nonmembers

Old Town Alexandria
A history of haunted houses and ghost stories set the stage for a frightfully fun All Hollows Eve in Old Town Alexandria. Kids can pound the brick-layered sidewalks and knock on the doors of old style Colonials at this popular trick-or-treating destination. Many of the shops along King Street hand out candy as well. For those on the hunt for a good haunt we recommend the candlelight ghost tour.

Start here: 221 King St.

O Street
What if we said you only need to knock on one door to find the hottest Halloween spot in town? That door is the Mansion on O Street. This eclectic boutique hotel filled with hidden doors and secret passageways makes for a truly unique experience where treats and treasure can be found throughout during its annual Halloween party. Adults and children can enjoy a DJ, dancing, costume contests with prizes, a treasure hunt, cash bar and chocolate fountain. Advanced tickets required.

Start here: 2020 O St. NW
When: Oct. 23-31; 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: $35; Free/kids under one


Where do you take the kiddos trick-or-treating? Tell us in the comments section below.

—Jamy Bond