Celebrate Halloween for Kids in Portland, Oregon

Kids enjoying Halloween candy while dressed in their Halloween costumes.

Kinzie+Riehm/Getty Images 

Halloween is a major holiday highlight for kids. They love dressing up in costume and getting bags full of free candy from the neighbors. You and your kids can get in the spirit of this spooky holiday a few days early around Portland at the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Children's Museum, and Lloyd Center.

But there are also some events all around Portland that give this time-honored ritual a twist. One of the best of these is trick-or-treating on Main Street in Oregon City. Kids can double-dip this Halloween by making the rounds and then get home just as night falls to do the usual thing around the neighborhood. Watch out for that sugar high.

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Trick-or-Treat on Main Street, Oregon City

Every year, Oregon City, which is about 20 miles south of Portland, pulls out all the stops on Halloween. Typically for two hours on October 31, kids can get candy at Liberty Plaza from the Oregon City Police Department. They can also check out the spooky lights on the Oregon City Municipal Elevator, get their pictures taken, and then trick-or-treat down Main Street at participating businesses.

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Howloween at the Oregon Zoo

Get the kids in costume and take them to the Oregon Zoo for the Howloween, which occurs each year on the Saturday before Halloween.​ The kids can go on a scavenger hunt as well as get treats and prizes at stations throughout the zoo while they learn about wildlife.

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Not-So-Scary Halloween at Portland Children's Museum

The Portland Children's Museum goes all out for Halloween. On a weekend day typically before Halloween, the kids can decorate trick-or-treat bags, listen to spooky stories, participate in a pumpkin smash, and have glow-in-the-dark painting done. Then comes the main event: trick-or-treating around the museum and a dance party (in costume) with a DJ.

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Best Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

It goes without saying that every kid from 2 to 16 (or older) wants to go out on Halloween night and collect as much candy as they can. Your own neighborhood is the usual location for this (sweet) yearly ritual. But Portland is a top-of-the-list city for trick-or-treaters. If you want to venture beyond your home turf, according to Zillow, the five best neighborhoods in Portland for trick-or-treating hauls are: 

  1. Alameda
  2. Grant Park
  3. Laurelhurst
  4. Beaumont-Wilshire
  5. Eastmoreland
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