Trick or Treat Alternatives for Chicago Renters

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Chicago has made a lot of "top 10" lists of the best US cities for trick or treating going back several years. But for those who live in apartment buildings you'd never know it. When you live in a big apartment building in the city it can be a little tricky to figure out where to take your kids on Halloween, and you have no chance of seeing any kids coming by for candy. Do you risk walking around your neighborhood with all the weirdos? Is going door to door within your apartment building enough of a legit "Halloween experience?" Will your fellow renters even think to stock candy?

Forget all that worry. Consider one of these alternative options for maximizing your kids' candy haul this Halloween.

Take a field trip to one of the Chicago neighborhoods that go all out for Halloween.

Some areas such as Lakewood-Balmoral, Hyde Park, Ravenswood Manor have been known to get busloads of kids from other areas on Halloween night just for trick-or-treating. It's become a tradition.

Go out to the suburbs.

If walking around the city isn't for you, you might want to consider heading out to a neighboring suburb for your walk around. However, bear in mind that suburban residents aren't necessarily prepared for a huge influx of city kids.

Check with your local police department.

Some police departments will offer tailgate trick or treating in their parking lots at a relatively early hour.

Visit businesses instead of homes.

If walking through dark residential streets is not your idea of a good time, consider visiting your local commercial strip. Many chambers of commerce work with local shops to sponsor late night trick-or-treat walks on Halloween.

Plan to go early.

In the Chicago area trick-or-treating is an afternoon thing. Most areas - especially in the suburbs - only allow trick or treating from the time school gets out until sunset. Metromix has a good list of trick-or-treat hours for the Chicago suburbs and a few Chicago neighborhoods.

Visit your local park.

The Chicago Park District runs a ton of Halloween events for families. Check out their calendar.

Go to a Halloween event at a nearby college.

Some Chicago universities offer Halloween events that are open to the community, including Northwestern and Depaul.

Work with other families in the building to create a trick-or-treat event.

If you live in a large apartment community you may have a party room or courtyard area that can be set up for a building-wide Halloween event. If your management company sponsors it, even better.

Take a tour of a local Cemetery.

If you've got older kids or just aren't hip to the whole candy thing, consider taking one of the Chicago Architecture Foundation's guided tours of a local cemetery. Note: visiting Chicago's cemeteries without a guide on Halloween is a very bad idea.

Visit a local Senior Center or Retirement Community

You might not get much candy, but you'll definitely make the day of some seniors who don't get frequent visits from their own families. Make a call to any senior community you'd like to visit before you go to find out visiting hours and make sure you won't be disrupting anything big.


No matter which option you choose, make sure to accompany your kids on any Halloween outing!

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Published by

Kay Cleaves