Best Los Angeles Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating
If you want to keep your wee ones happy, healthy, safe and full of the Halloween spirit, here’s the local lowdown.
Don’t feel guilty about schlepping your kids across town for the tastiest trick-or-treating. Halloween traditionally involves mixing with the neighbors and friends, putting it out there in the community, whether you’re giving or receiving. When people go to the trouble of decorating their homes with ghosts and spiders and monsters and bats, they’re welcoming the little ones to their doors. Why not make the most of the holiday by visiting some of L.A.’s most spirited neighborhoods?
We’ve provided a list of communities that are known for being the safest, and for providing the best tricks for your treats. Some of the omissions might surprise you. For example, we’ve left West Hollywood off the list because as clever and creative as many of the residents are with decorations, the entire area is absolutely packed with adult revelers partying on Santa Monica Boulevard. Why waste precious time in traffic, when so many of the locals will be out dancing in the streets anyway? That area is definitely more fun for the grownups than kiddies.
We also haven’t included all of the most affluent communities for very good reasons. You could well expect to get Godiva chocolates from the residents of Bel Air, Brentwood or La Canada for example, but these are hilly communities full of gated estates. Even if your little guys could get in, it would take a huge amount of time and energy to go from door to door.
Your time is much better spent visiting more level, family-friendly communities like Beverly Hills and Studio City. Find the details on these and other great Halloween communities below:
1. Cheviot Hills: This is an affluent community on L.A.’s tony West Side, just south of Fox Studios and Century City. It’s a very family-oriented neighborhood, known for being extremely safe. (When was the last time you heard about a crime being committed here?) A drive down Motor reveals numerous jack-o’-lanterns, bats and black cats smiling at you, inviting the little ones to stroll up the walk and enjoy.
2. Pacific Palisades: OK, you will encounter a few hills here and some of the streets may be narrow, but in most areas the houses are situated relatively close together, and the neighborhoods are extremely clean and family friendly. Your kids can fill their bags with healthy treats in a very short time. Believe it or not, this is the area where you’re most likely to see celebs trick-or-treating with their kids — if you can recognize them behind their masks.
3. Studio City: “The Valley” may not be perceived as upscale as L.A.’s West Side is, but consider the fact that a lot of set designers and makeup artists live here, and Halloween is their favorite holiday. Residents go all out creating professional-level spooky environs, and they come up with generous treats to go with them. The Colfax Meadows area is especially good.
4. Santa Monica: Stick with the posh houses north of Montana for the best (albeit healthy) treats. This is another extremely civic-minded, family-friendly area where there’s little crime, lots of luxury and the celebrities are as thick as thieves.
5. Hancock Park: This stately grand dame of a neighborhood near Hollywood has been an established Halloween mecca for generations. You’ll want to concentrate on Arden Boulevard, Rossmore Avenue and the Larchmont shopping district for the best Halloween spirit. Know, however, that the streets tend to get congested with traffic and pedestrians, so early evening is definitely the best time for the little ones here.
6. The Flats of Beverly Hills: This area between Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards draws thousands who come from miles around, and they’re never disappointed — unless they get a parking ticket, because it’s now illegal to park on a residential street after 6:00 unless you have a parking pass. This neighborhood is worth the drive alone just to knock on the door of the famous “Witch’s House” on Carmelita and Walden Drive.
Beverly Hills has been the long-standing Halloween favorite for years. The standing joke is that when you knock on a door in BH, the owner answers with a generous treat — maybe a full-sized candy bar, or even money. Then he says, “Wait … what did the neighbors give you?” Nobody likes to be outdone in that neck of the woods.
Oh, and one last note: Kids who are old enough to drive themselves to these communities are too old to be trick-or-treating. They’d best leave that to the little ones and attend a party with friends, or stay home with a good scary movie.