It’s the Holy Grail of Halloween treats: a full sized candy bar, preferably chocolate, preferably Hershey’s. This year Halloween’s on a Friday night and come clear skies or a foot of snow, kids will be out there searching for the best areas for top notch treats. So let’s be sure to find them.I
“Louisville.” That’s what parent’s keep saying when asked which town has the best treats this time of year. “A lot of homes are decorated in Louisville, “says Jenny Hart, mother of three. “We have a party down (here) because Vista Lane and West Mulberry are so great for candy and decorations.”
Old Town Lafayette has its own rustic charms, and with the nice grid layout of the neighborhoods it makes door-to-door treat hunting easy. Be sure to get off the highway and visit the smaller shops, sometimes we forget they serve up more than peach cobbler over there.
With a name like Erie, you know this town’s got Halloween buckled down. But if you can only pick one neighborhood, drop by Erie Village. With its neo-Victorian architecture, neighbors make the most of the season with haunted houses popping up from year to year. A walk through the Village on any autumn afternoon is sure to stir up the holiday spirit.
Keep your eyes peeled these weeks leading up to Halloween. One or two families can turn a blah neighborhood into an “aaaaaaaah!” neighborhood overnight. If you’re too busy dashing around, you may miss a nearby celebration zone. It’s become a theme lately, sticking close to home, especially after so many communities had to pull together last year in the 100 Year Flood’s wake. It’s become on trend for friends to put on family potlucks and neighborhoods to close down a whole block for local partie. The Village at Five Parks, a suburban area South of Superior in Arvada, is a prime example of how to keep celebrations close to home. With Miekeljohn Elementary in the middle of several subdivisions, almost everyone has a child or grandchild coming by.
But kids, especially older ones, still want to venture out in search of bigger hauls. Of course, Rock Creek in Superior is always a good place to hit up if you don’t mind the upward and downward climb. Clayton Circle got an extra knowing look and waggling of eyebrows from preteens this season. Gossip is not the best reliable source however. So if you want to find the best neighborhoods this year, or any year, you need to do your research.
Before the Big Day
1. Cruise around ahead of time. Look for areas that put out the most elaborate decoration, and who put their Halloween decorations up first.
2. Look for nice, if creepily decorated, houses clumped closely together – the more doors you knock on the more chances you have of a good score.
3. Keep to well-lit areas with wide sidewalks and lots of pre-planted trees. These are signs of neighborhoods set up for walking and visiting.
4. Look for evidence of kids throughout the neighborhood, not at just one house. Toys scattered everywhere. Streets blocked off by portable soccer and hockey goals, basketball nets, kids bikes everywhere.
5. Ask around. Parents, kids. Who’s bought the good candy and who’s just trying to get rid of last year’s stale junk (boooo!).
6. Go where the kids are. If they’ve got elementary schools nearby they’ve got candy.
7. Consider other options. Church groups, neighborhood parties and shops. WOW! Children’s Museum in Louisville hosts a family Halloween Party every year, and the Butterfly Pavilion throws their annual Bug-a-Boo October 18th and 19th this year. That way you can stay home and be the one handing out the awesome treats this year.
Tips for Halloween Day
1. Set out early but not too early. At least give folks time to get home from work and set up. Let the toddlers and babies go first to warm people up.
2. Start with the places you staked out earlier, but make time side runs to places that got in the holiday spirit overnight.
3. Look for lights on, decorations out, and easy to find doorways. Precious minutes are lost looking for that hidden side door. Unless there’s a trail of other kids leading the way, keep clear.
4. Follow or join a group that’s on the move. Steer clear of hooking up with a pack of little kids – one of them is bound to fall. Look for locals that you may know.
5. Watch the younger kids as they leave a street. Are they filled with joy waving full sized candy or disappointed? Don’t waste your time if they all look sad.
6. Use the grid system. Up one side, down the other. Don’t keep crossing the street. Don’t get distracted by side streets unless they look promising.
7. Keep an eye out at the end of the night. Early risers sometimes just leave the bowl out front after awhile and go to bed.
8. Don’t waste your time on places with their lights off or with hard to find front doors. Especially if they have zero Halloween décor.
9. Never leave a man, or ghost, or princess behind. It may cost you some time to wait for a lagging friend, but it will pay off later when it’s time to trade.
10. And perhaps the most important rule: Be a good giver yourself. Don’t hand out cruddy candy. Be consistent and hand out the good stuff year after year. Candy karma is real.