San Diego’s Sweetest Spots for Trick-or-Treating

Ah, the yearly candy trade, where Tootsie Rolls are a dime a dozen and Milky Ways are the confectionery Holy Grail. Here are our favorite family-friendly spots to seek out your Halloween haul. After all, nothing makes for a happy haunt quite like a sack full of sugar!


Bird Rock
This hidden, quaint section of La Jolla offers a warm community feel for families wanting a traditional trick-or-treating experience. Get your beachy Halloween on at the awesomely-decorated shops along La Jolla Blvd. Then, make your way into one of the nearby gated communities for easy back-to-back treats without a long walk. The community of Bird Rock asks residents to stop handing candy out at 8pm, so arrive early!

Mission Hills
This neighborhood goes all out with over-the-top decorations, ghoulish goblins and creepy crawlies around every turn. Residents often report upwards of 500 tricker-or-treaters at their door! Tiny tots might be scared by some of the more elaborate hauntings, but families with older kids will get a kick out of the spooky sights on Sunset Boulevard.

The small-town community of Kensington is hopping on Halloween! This is the place for a whole family trick-or-treating experience, from decked-out dogs on leashes to happy haunts for little kids. Homes on Edgeware and Canterbury Drive tend to get backed up with lines, so most trick-or-treaters start near the Starbucks on Adams and Marlborough, where parking is a little easier.


Carmel Mountain
The suburban streets of Carmel Mountain are said to be where it’s at when it comes to the best candy for costumed kids. You can also head to Carmel Mountain Plaza to find Halloween fun for the little ones. Participating merchants dish out candy from 3 – 5p.m. and live music is offered in the courtyard. This is a great alternative to the wee ones who may not make it into the night hours.

Scripps Ranch
Residents in this upscale neighborhood often hand out full-sized candy bars and even dollar bills! Scripps Ranch Marketplace also offers an annual event for families looking to celebrate a couple days before Halloween. There you’ll find fun rides, store treats and more.

If you’re in the armed forces (or have friends who are), military housing complexes are some of the best spots to go trick-or-treating. A high density of families means tons of kids in costume and parents eager to share the experience.

Where are you going trick-or-treating in San Diego this year?

— Chelsea Day

Photos courtesy of Leah R. Singer