Calling all boys and ghouls, it's almost time to starting trick-or-treating. And once you stock up on everyone's favorite Halloween candy, it's time to welcome the year's best costumes to your doorstep. But if you're new in town, or your crowd has not yet adopted the Trunk-or-Treat craze, you might find yourself asking, "What time does trick-or-treating start, anyway?"
Whether you're the one holding down the fort by giving out candy, or you're taking your child on the rounds across your neighborhood, it's important to know what time the festivities start. You don't want to be in the middle of hanging your Halloween decor when the trick-or-treaters start to arrive, nor do you want to set out only to find your neighbors have turned their lights out and the candy bowls on their porch are empty (or worse, all that's left are skittles). So if you're trying to figure when to take your little Mother of Dragons — Daenerys Targaryen — out to trick-or-treat, it's important to recognize that it all depends on where you live.
Trick-or-Treat Hours Across the Country
There are no official national hours for trick-or-treating on Halloween, but a poll done by FiveThirtyEight found thatmost Americans agreed trick-or-treaters should start arriving by 6 p.m. and be finished by 9 p.m. at the latest. But some towns are a little stricter: Places like Yonkers, New York; Chesapeake, Virginia; and multiple towns in New Jersey have curfews on Halloween night, some punishable by fine.If you think that your town may have either a curfew or set trick-or-treating hours, your best bet is to either call your municipality, or check your local newspaper or broadcast news stationbefore Halloween.
If you have a toddler, or live in a neighborhood where many families have toddlers, you can expect the festivities to begin while it's still light out. In order to finish up before it gets dark, you can look up what time the sun will set near you. You may want to double check these against the National Weather Service before you go, but the Farmer's Almanac can give you a projected sunset time based on your ZIP code.
Before you head out, remember to bring a flashlight, look both ways before crossing the road, and to walk in groups, per CDC safety recommendations. Have a happy halloween, may you come back with a pillowcase full of candy.