You’d expect Los Angeles, home to Hollywood and the most creative movie magic makers in the world, to help Halloween come alive with wonderfully over-the-top special effects and make believe. And it does not disappoint! So if your neighborhood doesn’t celebrate with a bang, put those costumed kiddos in the car and visit one that goes all out. We’ve rounded up the very best family-friendly spots for spooktacular trick or treating.
photo credit: Shannon Guyton
Mid-City Los Angeles (Cross Streets: Sweetzer Avenue and Drexel Avenue)
Head south of Third Street and west of Fairfax to this sidewalk-friendly neighborhood where plenty of doorbell ringing and candy-giving will be in full swing. Families usually gather for a house party and then head out in big groups to gather loot. Houses are brimming with pumpkins, ghosts, spiders, witches, and more. As an added bonus, you’re nearly walking distance to The Grove which is a safe and contained go-to for many parents in the area. The stores hand out candy and everyone from the tiniest wee ones to adults are decked out in their Halloween duds.
Beverly Hills (Between Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard)
Home to celebrities and wealthy elite, these houses may be few and far between but the decor makes it worth the trek. With large sidewalks and lots of kids out and about, costumed kids search for the legendary whole candy bar houses in the neighborhood. It’s rumored some houses even give envelopes of cash (score!).
photo credit: Tiffany L. via yelp
Beverly Hills (Walden Drive)
One look at the famous Spadena House, a.k.a. the “Beverly Hills Witch House” at 516 Walden Dr., and you’ll know you’re in the right place for Halloween. Get there at 5 p.m.-5:30 p.m. to beat the crowds.
Pacific Palisades (Huntington Palisades, West of Sunset)
In the Huntington Palisades neighborhood (west of Sunset) is flooded (in a good way!) with parents, kids, and decked out Halloween houses. Some residents get really into the “spirit” and give out wine and hot toddies. Yep, we’re looking out for you, as well as your kids.
Studio City (Cross Streets: Laurel Terrace and Mound View)
This modest neighborhood just west of Laurel Canyon is the go-to spot for families living in the surrounding hills. It’s like one big block party with homes decorated to the hilt with pumpkins galore, haunted scenes and witches brews. Residents say that more than 700 children routinely make there way down these streets, so it’s a lively and fun atmosphere. Begin your candy pilgrimage on Mound View and fan out to the surrounding streets. While you’re at it, keep your eyes peeled for the likes of Will Ferrell, who has been spotted in previous years ringing doorbells with his kids.
photo credit: Shannon Guyton
Valencia/Santa Clarita (Alta Dr.)
The hottest place to take your candy-fixated, costumed tots in the Santa Clarita valley is hands-down the Alta Drive “Pirate Cul-de-sac”. A giant pirate ship (see above), built just for Halloween, juts out of a house, and an elaborate Pirates of the Caribbean-esque setting on the lawn along with all of the in-character pirate residents to interact with will keep you entertained for hours. There are plenty of houses in this area showing off intricate and realistic Halloween productions, from magicians to haunted houses to space age adventures. Heads up, the house with the very still scarecrow on the porch is a real person. Boo! (Gets us every year). Parents get just as into character as kids and saunter the cul-de-sacs in crazy get-ups.
Silver Lake (Armstrong Avenue)
This is one of the biggest and most well-known block parties in Los Angeles. Homeowners go through more than 2400 pieces of candy and often run out—so come early if you are coming for candy as much as atmosphere. The street is blocked to traffic so families take to the streets and enjoy the festivities and ghostly scenery, and think big because every single house is done up with intricate settings ranging from haunted houses to creepy crime scenes. Plus, the homeowners get creative with their own costumes as well; a couple years ago a father and son paraded the streets as a giant nose with an accompanying booger!
Santa Monica (Gillette’s Regents Square)
Our favorite spot for little ones who tire quickly is in Santa Monica at Gillette’s Regents Square where you will save those little feet a lot of walking around and still get plenty of candy (and plenty of chances to show off that super costume).
Another great spot (and another celeb haunted locale) in Santa Monica: 16th Street north of Montana between Alta on Georgina.
photo credit: Eric Peacock via flickr
Venice Canals (Cross Street: Dell and South Venice Boulevard)
This traffic-free destination is perfect for trick or treating. The four block area is magically spooky with pumpkins and twinkle lights strung along the canals, fantastic decorations, and plenty of the requisite sugar treats. Homeowners are dressed up to dole out candy and even some of the boats are sporting ghoulish displays. Remember that the narrow walkways get crowded with little ones on a mission, so get there early—parking gets difficult as well.
Hancock Park (North of Wilshire Boulevard)
This neighborhood is notorious for hundreds of trick or treaters who roll through every Halloween night by the bus load. With over-the-top decorations and fabulous mansions, the most popular streets like Arden, Rossmore or around the Larchmont shopping area can see several hundred kids in a night. However, this neighborhood is best for early trick or treating, as it can get very crowded as the night goes on and might be overwhelming for the littler set. Trick or treat tip: stay north of 3rd Street if you’ve got little ones, as the houses to the south can be so tricked out they scare tiny tots.
Burbank (Cross Streets: Mariposa and Valleyheart)
Hooray for Hollywood – this quiet neighborhood is home to some Disney folks who take Halloween seriously. Some of the homes go all out with costumes and decorations worthy of a movie set, and a few even set up haunted houses and shows on their lawns. Best of all, it’s safe and fun.
photo credit: Jonas Seaman via flickr
Atwater Village (Glendale Blvd.)
Glendale Blvd. in Atwater Village turns into “Boo Boulevard” on Halloween. Parents of toddlers who turn into pumpkins by 8 p.m. will appreciate the early start time of 4:30 p.m. It’s easily walkable, has a neighborly feel, and all the shops give to all the adorable trick or treaters.
photo credit: Shannon Guyton
Pasadena (Cross Streets: Monterey Road between Windsor Place & Diamond Avenue or Marengo Avenue & Fair Oaks)
While the happenings in Old Pasadena can’t be beat with all the shops handing out candy, costume contests and more, for good old-fashioned trick or treating head to either of these two neighborhoods. Families are out in full force pulling little ones in wagons while older tykes charge safely from house to house filling their bags.
Brentwood Glen (The ‘Alphabet’ Streets between Church and Beloit)
This pocket neighborhood just West of the 405 freeway is ideal for toddlers enjoying their first trick-or-treat experience. The neighborhood is filled with family homes located very close to one another, most of which have great decorations. There are several kid-friendly ‘haunted’ houses and very few cars.
Did we miss your favorite neighborhood for trick or treating? Let us know in the comments below!