An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Halloween

Category: Halloween

Is it your first Halloween in the neighborhood? Here is the spooktacular scoop on having a great Halloween with very small children.




Do you have babies, little ones, tiny tots or rug rats? Halloween in the Slope is great fun for all ages—with a little forethought.


Updated for 2021


NOTE: The Park Slope Children’s Halloween Parade is NOT happening on Halloween Night this year. Instead, check out...


Halloween Fest in Park Slope (with PSP!)

Saturday, October 30th

11:30am - 4:00pm

This year’s theme: The Magic of Nature!

The Halloween Fest is sponsored by Park Slope Parents, the Park Slope Civic Council, The Old Stone House, and The 5th Ave BID.

11:30am - 12:00pm
 – Music and Parade Organizing. Gather on Open Streets between President and Carroll Street. Rollie Pollie Guacomole will be playing and some stores will have activities on the block.

12:00pm Noon – The Halloween Parade. Parade kicks off and heads south on 5th Ave! Parade from President to 4th St and then turn towards the Old Stone House. Parade ends at Washington Park. Head to the Old Stone House for some fun activities with Park Slope Parents.

1:00pm - 1:30pm – The Neighborhood of Trees Puppet Pageant with Theresa Linnihan from the Puppeteers Cooperative, PS 107, and 350Brooklyn

1:30pm onwards – Arts, Crafts, and Activities on 4th Street

2:30pm - 3:30pm – The Park Slope Parents/ Old Stone House Halloween Costume Contest

3:30pm - 4:00pm – Mini-parade with costume contest winners and participants.



- Go early while it's still light. If you head out around 4:30, then you have plenty of time to get in some trick or treating, grab a quick dinner, and sort your candy and swap (which is what I did with my family when I was young—Butterfingers are still my favorite). Trick or treating is typically over by 7:15pm or so. Some folks stay out later (and sometimes with the candy their kids brought home that they didn’t like). Since there is NO HALLOWEEN NIGHT PARADE this year, timing may be adjusted slightly.

- The stores open have candy and hand it out at the doorway—you don’t have to go in. However, some stores on 5th and 7th Avenues sometimes have "no trick or treaters til 4" signs, but that’s typically when Halloween is on school days. PLEASE patronize the stores that provide candy and make things fun! Local businesses can spend hundreds of dollars on candy (and have to pay a staff person that day JUST to pass it out), so you can pay it forward by supporting them.


Where to go:

- Choose two or three side streets—that's usually enough for most kids, and do you really need that much candy? Many folks, especially last year, just sat out on their stoop and handed out candy. Lots had cool candy chutes.

- Scout out blocks & houses with a lot of Halloween decorations—that's a big indication that there will be celebrations! Parents also suggest that brownstone and wood frame house blocks are great and welcoming to trick or treaters. SEND US PHOTOS OF PLACES WITH GREAT DECORATIONS

- All of Park Slope typically has trick or treating—and we typically go on the numbered streets between 7th and PPW. Last year during Covid, there were some great candy chutes, a big candy ship, and a candy catapult on 11th Street between 8th and PPW. 

- Co-op and apartment buildings aren’t typically “outsider welcoming” for trick or treating. However, if you do know folks in a building, it can be fun. In some buildings, you only knock on doors that have decorations on them. Some people just leave a big bowl of candy out for trick or treaters—which you may find heaven or hell depending on your perspective. It's nice if the bowl-leaver-outers  oversee your kids so they limit their candy hoarding.


Equipment to bring:

- Strollers are great for marching in the Halloween parade (which is NOT happening this year on Halloween), but not so great for getting around on the crowded sidewalks. Consider bringing a carrier and/or a stroller that folds easily to facilitate getting through the crush. Normally, you would join the parade at the end of the procession, say, 3rd Street and 7th Avenue. This lets kids march, but not for so long that it becomes exhausting.


Make it sociable!


- Go trick-or-treating with friends and make it an occasion. Have a quickie kid dinner of brains, eyeballs and spiders (Babble has some brilliant Halloween foods) and then head out for trick-or-treating.



Stay SAFE.  Be sure to review Park Slope Parents tips for having a safe Halloween.



When It Comes To Halloween Special Needs Kids Need Understanding