Trick-or-treating can be a tricky business. While safety and neighborhood participation are intrinsic to having a great time, other factors may also make trick-or-treating a subjective experience, such as the age of your kids, the level of Halloween scariness they can handle, local traffic, and how much of a crowd mom and dad want to deal with.
In some neighborhoods, dismal participation among residents makes the night a lot less fun for our little superheroes and princesses. The result is that we all end up a little cranky after a lot of walking around, on the hunt for those elusive homes with porch lights on. Alternately, parents may load up their brood and head out to a major Halloween hub, only to find they can barely drag their wagons through the crowd, or that losing sight of their masked preschooler in the costumed mob makes for a stressful experience. Not to mention, when the big kids come out, the scary factor may be too much for the small set.
Never fear! We have compiled a handy dandy trick-or-treating guide covering several St. Pete neighborhoods.
If you’re serious about Halloween, Old Northeast is the place to go. Several blocks are closed off to traffic, and residents pull out all the stops, transforming the area into a veritable Halloweentown. It’s almost like a theme park, and kids can collect so much candy they need back-up sacks to carry it all. But, much like a theme park experience, expect a major crowd, difficulty parking, and actual lines to receive candy. Hands down, no neighborhood goes all out for Halloween like Old Northeast!
According to our very official Facebook poll, the Allendale area offers a great trick-or-treating experience. Moms who take their kids to that neighborhood say that there are lots of decorated homes, and the large, old trees add to the haunted Halloween feeling. And there are bonus cool points for residents who have been known to let little ones use the potty in those all important moments; and others even do a “trick-or-drink” thing, offering cold beers to the parents working hard to keep up with all the excited kids, who are ping-ponging all over the place.
I personally have had great experiences taking my kids to the Euclid St. Paul area. The neighborhood is lovely and lively without being crowded. Many homes are decorated and their owners sit outside with candy, ready for the kids. Like Allendale, large, old trees add to that Halloween ambiance. The whole area seems alight with candle glow.
Snell Isle, Greater Woodlawn, Five Points, Crescent Lake and Crescent Heights get mixed reviews. Some who trick or treat there say it’s vibrant, but not over the top, and that there are some very festive blocks. Some residents, though, report getting very few trick-or-treaters, so it seems these areas may be hit-or-miss, depending on the exact locale. One mom says that the southern part of Snell Isle closer to Coffee Pot Bayou is a great area to take the kids.
Five different responders to our Facebook poll said that Northeast Park was sorely lacking in trick-or-treating participants, and by all accounts Magnolia Heights and Historic Kenwood get a pretty weak turnout. Of course, there are many more neighborhoods in St. Petersburg to check out, but we hope this starter guide helps all the trick-or-treaters out there have a great Halloween!
10/27/16 UPDATE: We were informed by one of our readers, also a longtime resident, that Historic Kenwood is quite nice for trick-or-treating. Many decorate their homes and sit outside after sunset to hand out candy. All are welcome.