Dear PoP – Trick or Treating Times?


“Dear PoP,

It’s my first Halloween living in Columbia Heights and I was wondering if any one trick or treated here and if they do, when. I’d really love to pass out candy and just want to be prepared.

Also, do you know of something fun to do on Halloween that’s not Nightmare on M st.?”


“Any ideas on the trick or treat times in Columbia Heights/Petworth area? Live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids and want to make sure we are home from work in time to hand out candy?”

This is a great question. I ask it myself every year. And every year it changes. When I buy 8 bags of candy I have 10 kids show up. The next year when I buy 2 bags of candy I have a 100 kids show up. Murphy’s law I suppose. Anyway, where I live in Petworth kids start coming out around 6pm and it picks up at 7-8pm and usually tapers off around 9pm. I must say this is one of the most fun times to get to know your neighbors. While not all the kids dress up, those that do are unbelievably cute. What has worked for you guys? How many bags of candy do you usually buy? What time do most kids stop by?

As for the second part of the first question – there are tons of parties going on at bars. I’m actually going to be judging a costume contest to be held at Social (14th and Meridian). I know Looking Glass Lounge (Georgia and Princeton) is also having a party. I imagine Red Derby (14th and Quincy) will also be having a party. Do you guys know of any other good parties around town for Halloween? Because it’s on a Saturday (and clocks will be falling back) I’m sure this is going to be an insanely fun evening.

13 Comment

  • Unlike some suburban communities, DC does not set a date and time for trick-or-treating. My experience is that it can be any time from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm. This does not include the year that two girls rang my doorbell on Nov. 1 at 6:00 pm and asked me if I had any leftover candy.

    Oh and be prepared for tall teenagers not in costume, adults with their own open bag when accompanying children, and the infamous final shakedown for the child who is home “sick.”

  • Um, Halloween’s on a Saturday this year… so I imagine all bets are off as to when things start/finish.

    Last year in Shaw, we had kids from 5:30 till 9:30, pretty steadily… (of course, several of them were repeaters 🙂 ). I turned off the lights/pumpkins at 9:30 when trick or treaters seemed to taper off.

  • I’ll second what mmm said. I ended up giving away 15 bags or so of candy in Shaw, I don’t remember seeing too many repeats. Usually when the older, non-costumed kids come out ~9 or so, it’s time to turn the lights off and find a party.

    Of course do not just hold the bowl out, you should place pieces in their bag or you’re losing several heaping handfuls.

  • Hilloween at Eastern Market is on Friday the 30th from 5:30-7:30. Most of the kids on the Hill go to that, and then Trick or Treat on East Capitol St. on the 31st. We always get cars full of kids from other neighborhoods unloading on the Hill though, so it’s hard to predict how many we’ll have.

  • Always fun, one year a kid probably 10 or 11 showed up w/o costume so I asked him who he was. Without skipping a beat he says “Chris Rock”
    smart kid, got extras.

  • Sigh….the days of the porn party at Blue Room/Bourbon are over, so now after the candy has been handed out (on Lanier Place in AM, which is shut down from around 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) I will just have to content myself with hanging with friends at their house eating all the good stuff out of the kids’ trick-or-treat bags.

  • Adam, i’ve been to that once or twice. What happened?

  • It’s that time of year again, eh? My experience in CH has been that there is no recognized reasonable hour, age, or costume requirement for trick or treating, and it gets downright annoying. I used to pull the blinds and kill every light in my house, and the doorbell still would ring well past my bedtime and certainly any reasonable interpretation of trick or treating hours. I think the Saturday Halloween this year will exacerbate this. That said, living in the city shouldn’t deprive legit trick or treaters from realizing one of the top benefits of childhood, and I fully support being home, having candy (the good stuff … none of this penny-candy nonsense), and being welcoming of the kiddies. Just be ready to shut it down and leave your house at some point. My rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t be OK with your own kids trick or treating at some point in the evening, it’s time to turn out the lights and end the party.

  • Hi all –
    For the third year in a row, a group will be lurching through the streets of Mt. Pleasant dancing to Thriller. We try to head out after trick or treat so people are still out but we won’t scare all the little kids.
    Here’s a video:

    If you find yourself around Mt. Pleasant, we start near Heller’s around dusk.

  • I live on the Hill and during the week the toddlers are out about 4pm but they don’t usually hit too many houses. I would say it ramps up at bout 5:30. Last year I had a ton come buy and did pretty well with the candy to kids ratio.

  • U St. trick-or-treaters tend to arrive right after dark and taper off around 9 or so. We’re hoping for an early arrival, since the place to be this Halloween is Solly’s at 11th and U, where the accordion-fueled tuba rock of Milkmachine will scare and delight (mostly delight, I hope!) see

    For every non-costumed person who tricks, there are usually about 20 incredibly genuine and pleasant kids who really get into the adventure. I, of course, dress up as a zombie and try my best to scare the hell out of them when i open the door. they seem to love that.

  • Not too many kids in my neighborhood north of CH, and a lot of my neighbors don’t participate. If you really, really want to hand out candy, find a friends who lives in a well-trafficked neighborhood.

    Call me an old biddy, but if you don’t have a costume you don’t get candy…

  • Hello Neighbors!

    Being a DJ company, we’ll be going ALL OUT at our place in Petworth. Be sure to swing by the porch party along the 00s-60s block of Farragut Place NW, just off of North Capitol. We’ll be jamming from 5pm-9pm! Breaking out the special FX, glow gear, and more. Happy Halloween to our neighborhood!

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