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  • mfldc

    The littlest ones usually start about 5:30 or so in my neighborhood, and the “rush” is between 7:00 and 7:30 pm. I turn out the lights by 8:00 pm every year.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    It traditionally starts at sundown on 10/31 and ends when you run out of candy.

  • stacksp

    We usually go around 7:30 pm but like the poster above stated some kids do start as early as 5:30pm.

  • K

    It is really neighborhood dependent. But most areas will see the toddler set out around 5/5:30 and they trail off by 6:30 or so. When I lived in the Rosedale neighborhood we had peak kid from 7-8 but we definitely were still going strong by 9 when I had to turn our lights off. Parts of Capitol Hill are busy late. Last year we walked the kids over to East Capitol St and they were still mobbed when we stopped trick or treating around 8:30.

  • wdc

    Oh wow, I wish they started that early in my neighborhood! No one is out before 7/ 7:30, and I usually turn off the light around 9. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t still customers, just that I’ve got to get my own hopped-up kids in bed.

  • PotomacElle

    Do children “trick or treat for UNICEF” anymore?

    • wdc

      I’ve seen it a couple of times, but it’s really nothing like it was in the 80s.

      • Tara

        I looked into this last year. UNICEF prefers online donations now (to avoid the paper products that go into making those boxes). You can request boxes specifically but it’s hard if you’re not a school or another type of group. I couldn’t find any way to get just one box.

  • LNontheHill

    In Cap Hill NE, the little ones are usually out and about before we can get home from work (between 5:30 and 6:00), and it ends when we run out of candy. Except for the first year, when we didn’t know about the stoop rule (see below), we’ve always run out of candy.

    Pro tip: In our neighborhood, you have to be sitting on your stoop for the kids to come trick or treating. They will otherwise skip your house. (Even with the light on and the pumpkin out.) If you aren’t getting any trick or treaters, check to see if your neighbors are outside, enjoying boozy mulled ciders on their front porches.

  • dcd

    At my old place in Columbia Heights, we had gas exterior lights that couldn’t be turned off. I had to disconnect the doorbell every year at about 8:45 so my kid could get to sleep.
    My wife and I are now negotiating who will get to walk around, and who has to stay home and hand out candy.

  • JohnH

    I remember my first Halloween too.

  • Megan

    I don’t care when they start, I don’t open until 5:45 or 6! The little ones tend to come out early on Capitol Hill. By the way, anyone without even an attempt at a costume who is over the age of 12 better not expect candy from me!

    • anon

      Really? is it that big of a deal to give out a piece of candy….geez, it’s one day. With everything you read on this blog, think of things they could be doing instead of trick or treating. I get babies (with parents) asking for candy obviously a kid with no teeth isn’t eating candy, but I give it out smile and say happy Halloween. If you are picking and choosing, then just shut off your light.

      • navyard

        The youngest start early, we also sit out on the stoop, and I have started limiting to exactly one piece per person. When the adults ask for a piece, I’ll give them one too (although it was hard for me the first year or two until someone pointed out that I should try to be more giving). Now I’ll happily give one piece per person — costume or not, adult or not.
        Last year I had 300 pieces of candy and I ran out slightly before 9pm. I love that people in my neighborhood have (so far) been very respectful about not ringing the bell or knocking when the light is turned off.


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