What You Should Know About Trick-or-Treating in 2021
Celebrate Halloween with these safety tips in mind.
As your kid (or any kid you know) might tell you, trick-or-treating in 2020 was a total bust — the coronavirus was still infecting millions across the country, vaccines weren’t readily available and many parents were rightfully reluctant to send their little ones off to go knocking on strangers’ doors for candy.
However, things are looking up in 2021. Many, though certainly not all, Americans have received at least one coronavirus vaccine, the spread of the virus has slowed around much of the country and the kiddos are more than ready to rock their best costumes.
Still, trick-or-treating in 2021 isn’t exactly going to be back to "normal," whatever that word means anymore. For starters, the CDC says that while the annual quest for candy is more feasible this year than last year, trick-or-treaters (and their chaperones) should still keep a few key pointers in mind.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that she believes it’s safe for kids to trick-or-treat, especially outdoors and in smaller groups. "I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups," she explained on Face the Nation, noting that being outdoors is key. "I hope that we can do that this year."
Though the CDC recommendations for holiday celebrations haven’t been updated since August, the organization is still suggesting that people celebrate virtually or outdoors with masks.
On an encouraging note, a coronavirus vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 is apparently "days" away. Though it will take time for the FDA to approve the vaccine, its impending arrival could have a positive effect on Halloween.
Since Halloween happens to fall on a Sunday this year, many cities are starting the typical trick-or-treating hours a bit earlier than normal, perhaps in an effort to prevent large crowds. For example, local news outlets in Chicago suggest the festivities begin around 3 p.m. and over in Denver they kick off at 3:30 p.m. In Atlanta, there are actually several trick or treat events taking place on October 30.
Scroll down for an approximation on when trick-or-treating may begin in your area, but be sure to check your local news outlets for the most up-to-date information. Keep in mind that start times are often based on when the sun sets, which is why there’s such a wide range. Pro tip: Your local HOA or neighborhood Facebook group is also a great way to find out about all the Halloween celebrations in your area.
Atlanta: Click here for a list of Halloween events in and around Atlanta, including several trick or treats.
Baltimore: For a list of Halloween events (including trick or treats) in and around Baltimore on October 31, click here.
Boston: The fun typically begins at 5 p.m. and runs through 8 p.m., according to local outlets.
Chicago: Click here for all of the Halloween goings-on in Chicago, including trick or treats.
Cincinnati: In 2020, trick-or-treating in the Ohio city ranged from about 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to local news outlets.
Cleveland: The city’s exact trick or treat times are still to be determined, but in suburbs around Cleveland local news outlets report that trick-or-treating typically runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Indianapolis: According to local news outlets, trick-or-treating in and around Indianapolis will start from about 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. this year.
Las Vegas: As you may have guessed, Sin City really knows how to celebrate Halloween. For trick or treaters, the fun often lasts from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Philadelphia: The candy collecting typically kicks off at 6 p.m. and lasts until 8 p.m., according to a Philly law firm. For more tips on how to celebrate in Philly, including tips on which neighborhoods tend to have the most candy, click here.
Pittsburgh: Per local news outlets, trick-or-treating in Pittsburgh is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In many of the surrounding towns and suburbs, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is more common.
Seattle: Seattle is another city that really gets into the Halloween spirit and holds tons of pre-holiday events. In fact, kids can even trick or treat at local businesses in the area on October 30. On Halloween, trick-or-treating typically goes from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Washington D.C: Per local outlets, activities take place from 5:30 p.m. through 9 p.m.