Celebrating Halloween in Alexandria

Halloween is celebrated with a variety of family-friendly festivities all over Alexandria. The City of Alexandria does not set official trick-or-treating hours for Halloween, so expect the children in your neighborhood to head out for trick-or-treating on the day it is traditionally celebrated - October 31.

Page updated on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Stay Safe

Watch the video to learn more about Halloween safety from Alexandria Police
Alexandria Police will be out to make sure trick-or-treaters have a safe Halloween night by enforcing violations involving speeding, stop signs and pedestrian cross walks during the evening. Follow these safety tips to help keep your child safe on Halloween:

Children should:

  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
  • Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult.
  • Know their phone number and carry cell phones for emergency telephone calls.
  • Have their names and addresses attached to their costumes.
  • Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
  • Use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.

Parents and adults should: 

  • Supervise the outing for children under age 12.
  • Establish a curfew (a return time) for older children.
  • Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o-lanterns away from doorways and landings.
  • Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
  • Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it.
  • Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters
  • Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for children in the street and on medians.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.

When walking in neighborhoods: 

  • Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
  • Consider using face paint instead of masks. (Masks can obstruct a child's vision.)
  • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.
  • Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes (to prevent tripping).
  • Be reminded to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

Be Healthy

Options that help keep children healthy and happy on Halloween:

Best healthy treats to give the goblins and ghouls who knock on your door:  

  • Trail mix or dried fruit (individually pre-packaged)
  • Protein bars

Best trick-or-treating practices:  

  • Give your child a light meal or snack before trick-or-treating to prevent snacking on too many goodies
  • Have them wait until they get home before eating their treats so that you can inspect the goodies first
  • Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn't commercially wrapped
  • Inspect all candy and treats, including commercially wrapped ones, for signs of tampering. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
  • Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys
  • Consider providing non-food treats for children that visit your home
  • If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween parties, make sure it has been pasteurized to destroy harmful bacteria. Juice or cider that has not been treated will say so on the label.

See More Health & Safety Tips from the FDA >>

Make Your Halloween "Green"

"Green" your Halloween festivities by following these tips compiled by  Eco-City Alexandria!

  • Set a spooky mood with soy or beeswax candles, not those made from petroleum-based paraffin. If you like scented candles, look for ones with fragrances derived from essential oils rather than synthetic chemicals.
  • Invest creativity instead of cash in your costume. Dig into the back of the closet (yours or a friend's) or hit the thrift store to find wacky clothes and accessories instead of buying plastic costumes. Need inspiration? The  Green Guide and  Care2 have clever do-it-yourself ideas that can be great projects for adults and kids (You can make your own decorations too).
  • Avoid masks made out of vinyl. Latex ones are safer, unless you're allergic to the material.
  • Whether you're going glamorous or ghoulish, use natural makeup to avoid chemical exposure.
  • Hand out fair trade or organic chocolates, organic hard candy, fruit snacks, or other ecofriendly edibles to all those cute trick-or-treaters. Global Exchange evens sells a Fair Trade Trick or Treat Action Kit that includes individually wrapped chocolates along with Halloween-themed informational postcards.
  • Worried about rotting those little monsters' teeth? Fun nonfood alternative treats include nontoxic crayons, coloring books, stickers, or even small change.
  • Whether for dressing up or handing out, avoid costume jewelry, especially glossy, fake painted pearls and toys from vending machines, both of which may contain lead. There were almost 30 recalls of lead-containing children's products this year, so use a LeadCheck kit if you're unsure about a toy your child already owns.
  • Look up some recipes for pumpkin pie, soup, or curry so your decoration doesn't go to waste after Halloween (Not much of a chef? Compost that jack-o-lantern, at least).
  • Don't forget a reusable shopping bag to carry your trick-or-treating haul!

Source: Sierra Club's The Green Life