Your kids have been planning their costumes since at least August, and now the big day is finally approaching. Where to go? Hitting the streets in your own neighborhood is a great way to connect with your neighbors, but sometimes you need a different option. If you’ve got tiny ghosts and goblins in tow, consider the following spots for bright, safe daylight trick-or-treating—and we’ve thrown in a few awesome after-dark destinations for the older crew. Read on to get your candy on!
Halloween is on a Thursday this year, which means you can make a full weekend of it. Kick things off on Alberta Street with their annual trick-or-treat event. Held from early afternoon until sunset, it’s designed for younger children and families, with tons of businesses handing out candy to costumed kids. Pssst… wear your costume to a special storytime at Green Bean Books (3 p.m.) and then grab a free tote bag to collect candy afterward. Check out the website for specials at other popular destinations for kids, like Grasshopper, Collage, and Salt and Straw.
Halloween, 3:30 – 6 p.m.
Families with children 12 and under can head to the annual Halloween festival at the George R. White Library and Learning Center, where student volunteers run a sweet carnival (think classic games and booths, storytimes, crafts, and prizes. Oh, and free candy.) It’s an event designed to connect the university to the neighborhood, while also cultivating awareness about education. After the carnival, head to the residence halls to trick-or-treat! This indoor event is a great option if the big day turns out to be a rainy one.
Halloween, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
2811 NE Holman St.
Standout after dark neighborhood in Northeast Portland: After dark, head to Irvington neighborhood, where residents of these classic old Portland homes really get into the spirit. NE 7th Ave. to 26th Ave., between Broadway St. and Fremont St.
Another great option, particularly for Portlanders to the East, is downtown Gresham’s annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event. Wear your costumes and head to Main Avenue in the (cute, quaint) historic downtown to enjoy free candy, refreshments, and specials at participating businesses.
Halloween, 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.
Main Ave. between 1st St. and 4th St.
Costumed trick-or-treaters can enjoy an educational scavenger hunt around the zoo, collecting candy and prizes at various stations. Learn about the personal connections to sustainability for wildlife, from learning activities right down to the treats: all candy is deforestation-free and without palm oil, helping to protect the habitats of orangutans and elephants. Choose from two full weekends of fun. Designed for ages 2-12, though everyone is welcome.
Free with zoo admission.
Sat.- Sun., Oct 19-20, and Oct 26-27, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Once again, this beloved Portland destination is offering Halloween events for both parents and kids alike. In the afternoon, kids can trick-or-treat around the property (4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.), while adults can enjoy performances from Portland trio the Coastline later in the evening (7 p.m.-10 p.m.). Plus, local theatrical organization the Willamette Radio Workshop will perform Frankenstein, a live re-imagining of a classic radio program (4 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.) All ages welcome.
Halloween, 4 p.m.- 10 p.m.
5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.
Families in costume can enjoy Trick or Treat on Main Street in Oregon City. This historic district has a lot to offer (it was even voted one of three Official Great American Main Streets in 2018) and the non-profit that hosts this annual Halloween event puts great care into welcoming visitors. Enjoy a safe, well-lit stroll with your cowgirl and Pikachu, as you collect candy from participating businesses. Enter the costume contest for a chance to win prizes!
Halloween, 4-6 p.m.
Downtown Oregon City
Just a quick 5-minute drive from downtown Portland, this is a great choice for families with toddlers. The village core offers an easily walkable route with plenty of family-friendly restaurant choices for after your candy fest. Visit local merchants with your costumed kiddos for free candy, activities, and business owners who really get in the Halloween spirit. To support independent kid-focused businesses, don’t miss the incomparable children’s section at Annie Bloom Books, the award-winning Thinker Toys, and the Craft Factory.
Halloween, 3:30 p.m. -5:30 p.m.
Portland Children’s Museum: BOO-seum!
Get dressed up and head to the museum for special art projects, sensory activities, face-painting, and more. Kids can trick-or-treat until 2 p.m., enjoying goodies like glow sticks, Halloween buttons and stickers, and toys– perfect for kiddos with allergies and families in search of a candy-free holiday. Check out activities like Monster Maker, storytime, and a Glow-in-the-Dark-Room.
Free with admission.
Halloween, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
4015 SW Canyon Road
Standout after dark neighborhoods on Portland’s west side: Slightly older trick-or-treaters can enjoy the steeper streets of the neighborhood close to Forest Park along the Wildwood Trail. Park near NW Thurman Ave. and 28th Ave. and walk over the bridge into the neighborhood. Or, for a spooky entrance, hike in from Lower MacLeay Park and take the stairs to the top of the bridge. In Southwest Portland, head to Hillsdale for a neighborhood that knows how to get festive. Park near Rieke Elementary or Wilson High School and enjoy a short but spirited walk between Vermont and Chestnut streets.
Photo: via Pexles
The Tigard Downtown Alliance hosts an annual Halloween event, with a safe route along Main Street. Kids can collect all kinds of loot from participating downtown merchants (look for a pumpkin in the window!), starting from the north end of Main Street near Rite Aid and extending all the way south.
Halloween, 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.
7737 SW Capitol Hwy.
This annual indoor event invites kids through sixth grade to trick-or-treat through the residence halls, where participating students hand out candy. Park in the main lot, then check in at Halloween Headquarters in front of the Chiles Center. Please note that all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Halloween, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.
Standout after dark neighborhoods in North Portland: Head to the Willamette Bluff, south of Rosa Parks Blvd. and west of Greeley St. for trick-or-treating in a low-traffic neighborhood with trees, old-Portland homes and great views of the skyline.
The Woodstock Neighborhood Association hosts an annual Halloween Party at the Community Center in this popular southeast neighborhood. Wear your costume and enjoy music, games, snacks, candy– even a raffle! Then, wander up and down Woodstock Blvd. to trick-or-treat at participating businesses, including fave kids’ consignment shop Piccolina and the Solutions counter at New Seasons.
Halloween, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
5905 SE 43rd Ave.
Standout after dark neighborhoods in Southeast Portland: Get lost in the maze-like neighborhood of Ladd’s Addition in SE Portland, or venture to Sellwood. Both neighborhoods are beautiful, low-traffic, and sure to be full of kids!