We asked ten Alexandria parents for the inside scoop on the sweetest spots for trick-or-treating. While our survey didn’t poll enough folks to return a determined favorite, you’ll find the advice and experiences of these Alexandria Halloween veterans – who’ve been around the block a time or two (or twenty) – helpful in choosing which location you’ll make a family favorite.
“Born on Oct 31 and raised in Old Town, few times of the year are as special for me than Halloween, especially trick or treating with my family along festive Lee Street, which is decked out for the night unlike any place in America,” Alexandria native, John McCaslin shared.
The most popular response we received was to venture East toward the water’s edge to Lee Street. You’ll find stringy spider webs strung on wrought-iron fences, courtyards turned graveyards and larger than life spiders, ready to lurch on their next prey. South Lee Street traffic will be temporarily prohibited and the ghouls and goblins can roam freely to forage as much candy as their parents allow. Superbly fun for all ages, the majority of escorting parents and candy givers will be in costume, with many families making a themed group appearance. You may even happen upon an adult-only party or two, where an of-age passerby could be offered an invitation inside or gifted a walkalong libation.
No less exciting is exploring Davis Avenue where you’ll find a more suburban experience in the neighborhood of North Ridge. Jerry Slominski, having lived on the corner of Davis and Crestwood for decades, says, “Trick-or-treaters are lured to Davis Ave by ghosts and graveyards, skeletons and spiders, strobe lights and scary music. The occasional smoke machine clouds some yards and a motorcycle-riding Frankenstein guards the northern entrance.”
Davis Avenue has little traffic and the houses are close together resulting in an efficient round up of large bags of treats by the end of the evening. Mr. Slominski fondly remembers many Halloweens happening a little something like this, “The fun starts promptly at 6pm with the preschool aged children. Barely old enough to say trick or treat, they are stunned when they receive pieces of candy simply by asking. While the toddlers tend to have the cutest costumes, their watchful parents also seem the most into dressing up for the occasion. By 6:30, the street is buzzing with bumblebees, prancing princesses, menacing grim reapers and the occasional wizardry of Harry Potter. Later, the pre-teens begin showing up, usually in groups of three to four and without parents. Their costumes appear worn, and the treating more transactional but no less fun. By 8pm, most house lights are out and the street tucks in for the evening
You may want to skip the scary shenanigans with little ones under two or three. This daytime event on October 27, features the “Boo-Tiques” of Old Town Boutique District. From 10am to 5pm, you can trick-or-treat at these participating locations. No one will judge if you shop for a treat or two of your own.
A neighborhood tradition, the annual Del Ray Halloween Parade is a full day of Halloween fun. On Sunday, Oct 28 at 2pm, Mount Vernon Ave will be lined with spectators waiting to watch the mishmash of costumed paraders who will march from E. Bellefonte Ave to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center. Last year‘s march was packed with over 7,500 participants, more than a third were children. The parade ends with a celebration at the rec center featuring live music, goodie bags, refreshments and kid-friendly activities. The ‘best of’ awards will be announced in a variety of categories from four-wheeled strollers to four-legged pets.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Lucchesi of The LizLuke Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.868.5676.