Texas Living

The Ultimate Guide to Trick-or-Treating in Texas

By Peter Simek 10.24.22

As Texans, we have everything at our fingertips to celebrate the spooky season. Our history is filled with haunted legends, our neighborhoods make for great trick-or- treating, and our weather couldn’t be more perfect. How do you celebrate the perfect Texas Halloween? From safety tips to destinations, here’s your guide to trick-or-treating this year.

Ward Off Evil Spirits (and Trespassers)

Let’s get the glum stuff on the table first — after all, it is a night of nightmares. Unfortunately, many burglars — as well as more innocent Halloween pranksters — know that houses are left vacant and vulnerable as their owners head to costume parties or hit the streets to trick-or-treat. The one scare you really don’t want to have this time of year is worrying about your home’s safety while you’re away. For your own peace of mind, follow these tips to bust burglars.

  • Keep your house well lit. Tonight is not the night to worry about conserving electricity. Well-lit paths and windows will make it more difficult for burglars to approach your home undetected.
  • Take pictures. Snapping a few shots of your home will allow your insurance adjuster to easily spot any damage that occurs via an attempted break-in or prank.
  • Lock it up. Lock your doors, set the alarm, and make sure your home security signs and stickers are clearly in view.
  • Park your car in the garage. Keeping your car in the garage will make sure it isn’t out in the open where it could be scratched, dented, or, well, pranked.

Trick-or-Treat Safety for the Greeters

Increased foot traffic, in the dark, with little gremlins running around wearing long cloaks and masks spells heightened accident risk. Before little trick-or-treaters arrive, make sure your home is safety-proofed.

  • Light the way. Dark homes may be spookier, but they can also be dangerous. A well-lit pathway and front porch can help ensure that trick-or-treaters can navigate to the doorbell safely. You can still create a mystical environment with string lights and jack-o’- lanterns. Just skip the candles; there are plenty of LED lights on the market these days that mimic the flickering effect of candlelight while eliminating the risk of fire.
  • Clear a path. Clear fallen leaves, branches, twigs, and other debris to eliminate the chances of a slip, trip, or fall. Applying friction tape to steps can also help reduce falls.
  • Keep familiars indoors. A constant stream of visitors can stress even the most gregarious of pets. A confrontation, even a harmless one, can also stress trick-or-treaters who may not be comfortable around animals.
  • Avoid homemade treats. It may seem like offering a home-baked treat adds a personal touch, but it also increases the risk of allergies, contaminations, and other dietary dangers. Best stick with the store- bought stuff on this holiday.
  • Stay alert. Whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian, take care as you leave or enter your home or driveway. Every year, Halloween night sees a spike in child pedestrian traffic fatalities.

Trick-or-Treat Safety for the Trick-or-Treaters

Send your little monsters on their merry way protected with these important tips. If they’re old enough to be unaccompanied, you’ll feel better knowing they have these handy guidelines to take with them.

  • Bad apples: Before the candy haul begins, educate kids on what not to accept — including homemade treats, opened candy, and rolled items (such as taffy) that are easy to alter and rewrap.
  • Magic curfew: Don’t let your little Cinderella’s carriage turn into a pumpkin. Set a time for kids to be home safe.
  • Dress the part: Prevent trips and falls by making sure costumes fit properly and masks don’t slip out of place and obstruct vision. Make sure costume props such as swords and wands can’t actually do any harm.
  • Forbidden forest: If your trick-or-treaters venture out without an adult, give them a designated map of safe zones they can visit with a planned route in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Gingerbread houses: Don’t let kids Hansel- and-Gretel it; they should only approach houses that are well-lit and in a populated area. If not breadcrumbs, they should at least carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Buddy system: One thing Hansel and Gretel got right? They always stuck together. Make sure kids pair up at all times, and encourage them to travel in groups.
  • Loot inspections: Before your little pirates dig into their candy treasure, remove any allergy risks, as well as candy that’s not packaged or has open packaging, punctures, or tears.

Texas’ Top Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods

Trick-or-treating offers a great annual excuse to reconnect with our neighbors and enjoy the streets of our communities. Some neighborhoods have become known as trick-or-treating destinations, where cars and children line up to haunt the lanes lined by historic

homes or visit parts of town known for throwing the best block parties. Here are a few of the most iconic:

  • Steiner Ranch, Austin. This newer community is a little outside of town, so its streets are quiet, safe, and perfect for trick-or-treating. The neighborhood gets into the Halloween spirit with annual celebrations.
  • Swiss Avenue, Dallas. Lined with mansions dating back to the early 20th century, this stately boulevard is a favorite for trick-or-treaters looking for a wide, safe street with a festive atmosphere.
  • The Heights, Houston. The walkable Heights neighborhood is lined with Victorian homes and has a reputation for friendly families who are generous with their Halloween candy offerings.
  • Alamo Heights, San Antonio. This quiet incorporated city is uneventful most of the year, but on Halloween night it comes alive with special events and streets packed with costumed kiddos.

More Trick-or-Treating Ideas

  • Haunted House: Become the scariest on the block by transforming your home into a haunted house. Get inspired here.
  • Block Parties: Get the neighbors in on your plans with joint activities such as scavenger hunts, pumpkin carving parties, a spooky movie night, and costume contests. Check out these community bonding ideas.

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