In many parts of NYC, children forgo trick-or-treating altogether or only visit stores, restaurants, and other businesses for candy handouts, because their residential areas just aren’t conducive to knocking on doors, and no one knows which doors are OK to knock on anyway. The more famous Halloween shenanigans in the city are for basically for adults.
But Queens is home to several safe, family-friendly neighborhoods where the tradition of going house to house is thriving. Here’s our guide to the best hoods for trick-or-treating in the borough.
Sunnyside Gardens – This historic part of Sunnyside is full of large trees and secret alleyways that can seem spooky at night, but it’s a charming neighborhood with a small-town vibe. Families here really get into the spirit of the holiday, and the quaint row houses and neat little gardens are decked out in cobwebs, skeletons, gravestones, and even more creative displays.
Middle Village – You can tell by the abundance of decorations in this neighborhood that it’s friendly to trick-or-treaters. The best destination for families is the area surrounding Juniper Valley Park.
Kew Gardens – The coop buildings here open their doors to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. One of the top kid-friendly candy destinations is inside the Roger Williams apartment building on Lefferts Boulevard and Austin Street. You’re welcome at any door that has a Halloween poster displayed.
East Flushing – Many of the more residential areas of Flushing are great for trick-or-treating. According to Queens Mamas, on 166th Street between 45th and 46th Avenues, the residents have turned the tradition into an annual Halloween block party, handing out candy to hundreds of children. Sometimes there’s even live music for the occasion. The presence of Flushing Cemetery at the south end of the block adds to the spookiness factor.
Whitestone – This suburban part of Queens has actual front lawns and driveways, so your trick-or-treating experience will almost be like the way they do it in the rest of the country. The Daily News recommends the area around 11th Avenue between 154th and 162nd Streets.
Bay Terrace – Historic Fort Totten is one of the biggest Halloween destinations in Queens; it’s the site of annual lantern-lit tours through its eerie old water battery. And the surrounding neighborhood of Bay Terrace, with a suburban feel, has plenty of friendly houses where the little ones can fill up their candy bags.
Forest Hills – If you do want to hit up local businesses instead of houses, your best bet is Metropolitan Avenue, where the independent stores, offices, restaurants, etc., all offer up treats. It has been an annual event for at least three decades, and there’s a real community vibe. To be part of the official trick-or-treating contingent, escorted by police officers, meet at the Maspeth Federal Savings bank parking lot at 3:30pm.
Here’s to a safe, sweet, and only slightly scary October 31 for you and your little ones! And let us know if there are any other ideal trick-or-treating neighborhoods that we missed.