San Francisco has no shortage of Halloween hot spots for little revelers, but these neighborhoods are guaranteed to be extra festive when it comes time for trick-or-treating. You'll find creative costumes, creepy decorations, a safe and welcoming environment for families, and of course, lots of candy! And for those who can look beyond the sugary sweets, these neighborhoods are just plain wonderful for a family stroll especially by the light of the moon, jack-o'-lantern, or flashlight.
"Hell-vedere" Block Party
On Halloween night, the normally quaint, tree-lined Belvedere Street (between Parnassus and 17th streets) in Cole Valley transforms into "Hell-vedere," a family friendly block party. The streets are closed to traffic, the decorations are totally tricked out, and you are guaranteed to see a massive parade of excellent costumes. Not for the faint of heart, this is a trick-or-treat destination for those with ninja-level parking skills who can handle wall to wall people and the spookiest of decorations. Go early, and if you do manage to find a parking spot, wander some of the side streets to enjoy the charming ambiance and beautiful turn of the century homes.
Stately Haunted Mansions in Presidio Heights
Stroll amongst the stately homes that line Washington Street (between Arguello and Presidio) in San Francisco's Presidio Heights neighborhood for an unforgettable Halloween eve. As the kids burn off some of that sugar scrambling up the grand staircases and the long driveways you can admire the luxurious ambiance by the light of the moon. Many homes have elaborate decorations, and you may even be rewarded with a full-sized candy bar in your trick-or-treat bag.
Spooky and Sweet in Noe Valley
Noe Valley is a wonderful place for families 365 days a year, so it's no surprise that this neighborhood rolls out the red carpet on Halloween as well. Grab an early dinner at one of the restaurants along 24th street (between Church and Diamond streets) then let the trick-or-treating commence. This is the place for super friendly merchants, fun Halloween window displays (don't miss Noe Valley Bakery), and some of the cutest costumed babies, toddlers and dogs you'll ever see. Fair Oaks Street (between 21st and 26th streets) is another worthy Halloween destination in Noe Valley. The streets are blocked off to traffic for the evening and the historic Victorian row houses create a wonderful "only in San Francisco" backdrop for your trick-or-treating.
Strolling with Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghoulies on Lake Street
The Richmond district's Lake Street manages to combine a festive, family atmosphere without inducing the claustrophobia of other popular Halloween ‘hoods. Neighbors get into the spirit with plenty of ghostly decorations and jack-o'-lanterns and there's a steady stream of little cuties in costumes but there's also plenty of room for strollering or bringing along a doggie in disguise.
Stacie Dong and Simran Singh are the moms behind A Little Yumminess, a family food blog where they share easy recipes from around the world, favorite foodie destinations and ideas for bringing up adventurous eaters. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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