This year San Francisco took top honors on Zillow's list of the 20 best cities for trick-or treating. Their ranking measures home values, percentage of kids under 10, and proximity of homes. Whether or not Zillow considered number of vertical feet covered while trick-or-treating is unclear. In any case, San Francisco kids across the city have tons of family-friendly candy-procurement options. Below are some of the best:
The Marina (Avila St.) - While this block party gets crowded quickly, it's fun and festive. I once misplaced a small child here for a heart-stopping minute. Be aware of houses where kids walk up to the door on one path and down another.
Sea Cliff - This neighborhood comes with flat streets, spooky fog, and the promise of full-size candy bars (The candy bar rumor has been circulating since I was a kid. I wouldn't trek across town expecting them, but the hope is real).
The Richmond (Lake St. between 5th and 9th avenues and 23rd to 25th avenues) - With elaborate decorations, but a low-key family-friendly vibe, Lake St. is a stroller-friendly trick-or-treating experience.
Presidio Heights (Washington St. between Arguello and Presidio) - Enjoy festive decorations, stately mansions, and medium-level crowds. My kids have already given their seal of approval to some particularly massive spiderwebs and enormous pumpkins.
NoPa (Grove St. between Central and Baker) - This central location comes complete with a kids-only costume contest, parade, and haunted houses. The Halloween block party starts at 5pm, so head over right after work. Extra points if you donate a bag of candy to make sure all attendees get treats.
Cole Valley (Belvedere St. between Parnassus and 17th St) - The "Hell-vedere" block party requires navigating a hill and crowds (some visitors get around both by incorporating wagons or strollers into their costumes), but the elaborate decorations are worth seeing. Whatever you do, just don't drive there. Some GGMG moms in the know mentioned smaller kids start trick-or-treating as early as 4pm and likely won't have fun when it gets especially wild after dark.
West Portal (Wawona St. between 14th St. and Taraval) - While I can't vouch for this trick-or-treating experience personally, I've heard friendly neighbors and at least one professional-level haunted house are at the ready.
Noe Valley (Fair Oaks St. between 21st and 26th streets, 24th St.) - With a reputation as a haven for children and dogs, Noe Valley couldn't possibly disappoint on Halloween. Fair Oaks closes to traffic and 24th St. merchants are happy to welcome young visitors. Festivities start around 6pm.
St. Francis Wood - Expect a family-friendly neighborhood experience with the addition of graveyards and skeletons.
Wishing you a magical evening!
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