Boo! These Are the Best Cities to Get Your Halloween Thrills

Check out the most and least family-friendly cities this Halloween, and see where yours falls on the list.

girls going trick-or-treating on halloween
Photo: Shutterstock

With Halloween right around the corner, you're likely making trick-or-treating plans for the little ghouls, goblins, witches, (not-creepy) clowns, princesses, and firefighters in your house. Yup, Halloween fun, as well as safety, is at the top of every parent's mind, and it's in that (flickery, orange) light that compiled its list of the most and least family-friendly cities for Halloween.

After examining the top 100 metro areas based on criteria such as population under age 15 (because after that, aren't trick-or-treaters too big for candy?), crime rates, sunset time, and average temp on the big night, and taking into account a so-called "Halloween Spirit" score (the number of haunted houses, pumpkin patches, fall festivals, etc.), here are's rankings for 2016:

Top 20 Cities for Families This Halloween

  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. New York, NY
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Dallas, TX
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Houston, TX
  7. San Jose, CA
  8. McAllen, TX
  9. Fairfield, CT
  10. Tampa, FL
  11. Provo, UT
  12. Philadelphia, PA
  13. Ogden, UT
  14. Washington, DC
  15. Phoenix, AZ
  16. Miami, FL
  17. San Diego, CA
  18. Boston, MA
  19. San Antonio, TX
  20. Boise City, ID

The 20 Least Family-Friendly Cities This Halloween

  1. Spokane, WA
  2. Birmingham, AL
  3. Albany, NY
  4. St. Louis, MO
  5. Buffalo, NY
  6. Rochester, NY
  7. Memphis, TN
  8. Tucson, AZ
  9. Springfield, MA
  10. Little Rock, AR
  11. Jackson, MS
  12. Toledo, OH
  13. Deltona, FL
  14. Youngstown, OH
  15. Syracuse, NY
  16. Harrisburg, PA
  17. Knoxville, TN
  18. Tulsa, OK
  19. Scranton, PA
  20. Milwaukee, WI

Of course, it's not like you're going to move from Toledo to Houston just for better trick-or-treating. But the idea is that if your city doesn't bring the Halloween cheer to you, you can bring it to your city! Check out our awesome DIY Halloween decorating ideas, party activities, snack and game ideas, and costume inspiration to get started.

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"As someone who grew up in Albany, NY, and lives in the Boston-area now, I can tell you that this season can be as fun as you make it," says Katie Bugbee, senior managing editor of Even if you live in a city that doesn't rank quite that high on the Halloween family fun, parents can still join together and start the festivities at home and in their backyards. You can organize activities with your neighbors and local friends by having pumpkin painting parties, Halloween scavenger hunts, costume contests, and all sorts of candy-free events leading up to the big day. For more ideas, go to"

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.

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