Say Boo! With Halloween fast approaching, you may be wondering where the best spots for maximizing your candy bounty are. We favor small, walkable neighborhoods with homes and stores that are close together, which provide the best opportunities for bag filling. Here are this year’s six picks for the best places to trick-or-treat here on Long Island. With any luck, you’ll have enough loot to require a second pillowcase for backup.
Every year, the residents of Southampton’s Elm Street throw what is debatably the best Trick or Treat party out East. The Village closes the street to all vehicles between 3 and 6 p.m. to provide local children with a safe, supervised place to collect candy and residents stock up on extra candy to accommodate children from other neighborhoods. The area is basically a giant block party, notorious for its festivity, fun, and abundance of sweet tooth-soothing treats. Check the local newspapers about dates and rain dates—although Elm Street trick or treating usually takes place on the 31st, there are sometimes last-minute changes to the schedule.
Huntington was recently nominated in Newsday as one of Long Island’s most stroller-friendly towns on Long Island. Main Street provides trick-or-treaters with a host of adjacent stores with participating storeowners, perfect for filling bags quickly and efficiently. Every year on Halloween at 4 p.m., Huntington hosts the Annual Halloween Costume Parade, beginning at the Huntington Post Office. The parade is both child- and adult-friendly—you know, just in case you wanted to dress up this year, too. If you’re in the neighborhood gathering sweets, be sure to check out Huntington’s Haunted House Complex, voted 2016’s best Halloween attraction. And yes—one of their haunted houses features clowns.
The Stony Brook Halloween Festival begins every year at 2 p.m. at the village’s center and features trick-or-treating, a costume parade, a scarecrow contest, and free mini pumpkins for children. The village begins displaying its scarecrows on September 29 and keeps them up through the holiday, when judges announce the winners. Participants can fill out entry forms and submit their scary scarecrow anytime before Halloween. The village’s stores all participate in trick-or-treat, a great, contained area for children to roam. All in all, Stony Brook really embraces the spirit. Pun intended.
If you’re looking for that late-October sugar fix, look no further than Halloween in Garden City. Garden City is really, really into Halloween, hosting Halloween hikes, a costume parade, pumpkin crafting, an annual “Spooktacular” concert, and, of course, trick-or-treating. As for the candy collecting itself, streets are low-traffic, with massive homes decorated to the nines lining the streets. A series of gothic buildings lend themselves to the already spooky atmosphere. Best of all, residents are fully in the Halloween spirit, filling massive bowls of candy for passersby.
Did you know that famed circus owner P.T. Barnum hails from Port Jefferson? His western neighborhood—referred to as Brick Hill—is home to many Halloween-friendly homes, where local residents are happy to participate in the holiday. In fact, some Barnumites celebrate by giving out popcorn and cotton candy to fortunate trick-or-treaters. The cemetery atop Cedar Hill adds a creepy, night of the dead quality to your trick-or-treat. A few days before Halloween, on the 28th, Port Jeff hosts the Harvest Festival, where the Halloween-obsessed can participate in marshmallow roasting, various tastings, a chowder contest, and a chowder crawl, all hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
This North and South Fork connector may not be your go-to when you’re considering trick-or-treat, but if you haven’t been to the Tanger Outlets on Halloween, well, you’re missing out. The massive outlet complex provides ample opportunity for treat stashing, with participating stores throughout. Parking is readily available and you won’t have to fight for the dregs of the candy bowl—there’s plenty to go around. Children will be treated to a stunning array of costumes at this bustling trick-or-treat. They may be distracted enough not to notice what you’ve siphoned from the candy bag. If you’re lucky, that is. In case you need more activity to fill your Halloween dance card, Riverhead will also host its second annual Halloween Fest this year in the downtown area on the Saturday before Halloween, featuring street performers, trick-or-treating, and a parade.