Not all neighborhoods in Tacoma are created equal when it comes to trick or treating and Halloween. In fact, many areas are downright sleepy on Halloween as more and more people head to local malls and special events to trick or treat rather than venture out into their own neighborhoods. However, this doesn’t mean there is nowhere left to go house to house! If you head to the right neighborhood, you'll find plenty of people out and about. Below is a list of the best areas are for safe and fun trick or treating, as well as neighborhood alternatives like local malls.
The Best Neighborhoods if You Want to Go Door to Door
Proctor District – Each year, the shops and businesses of the Proctor District in North Tacoma host trick or treating, inviting kids from all around Tacoma. The streets are closed to traffic for a couple hours, too. The neighborhood around the Proctor District is also a great place to trick or treat house to house after the festivities are done. Many houses go all out and you'll find plenty of people out trick or treating.
Fircrest – Tucked into the middle of Tacoma, Fircrest is a small, safe town (it's actually a separate city from Tacoma) with a quaint atmosphere, cute houses and family-friendly fun on Halloween. The Fircrest Community Center often has events on during the day. By night, the streets are filled with trick or treaters.
Stadium District – Like the Proctor District, Stadium District has plenty of locally owned businesses that love to open their doors to trick or treaters. Once the festivities are done, head to nearby Yakima Avenue—possibly the grandest place to trick or treat in all of Tacoma with a number of historic mansions and large homes (but you may or may not see a ton of trick or treaters out).
Gig Harbor Downtown and Uptown – Gig Harbor homes are often spread out a bit too far to make for ideal neighborhood trick or treating. Fortunately, both downtown Gig Harbor (the Harbor area along the water) and Uptown (at 4701 Point Fosdick Drive) welcome trick or treaters.
Whitman Elementary Neighborhood – In the neighborhood around Whitman Elementary in South Tacoma (approximately bounded by S 38th and 48th Streets), trick or treaters come out in large numbers. Many houses deck themselves out, especially along South K Street.
Silver Creek in Puyallup – If you live in the Puyallup area, the Silver Creek development is well lit, has lots of sidewalks, and has plenty of trick or treaters who go house to house.
Malls and Shopping Centers
Tacoma Mall, South Hill Mall in Puyallup and Capital Mall in Olympia all host trick or treaters. These events are best for and most commonly frequented by parents and tiny trick or treaters. The pros are that kids don't have to walk as far between candy stops and can stay warm and dry, and the terrain is very stroller friendly. The cons are that after these events get going, they can get a little crowded. Kids may have to wait in lines at some stores.
Other Places to Trick or Treat
Zoo Boo at Point Defiance Zoo – For one weekend in October, animals at the zoo get pumpkins to play with. Kids get treats, too. Even better, anyone in costume gets discounted zoo admission! It's not super scary or anything, but it's good innocent fun for kids who might get creeped out by more Halloween-centric activities.
Hoot n Howl Northwest Trek – Like the zoo, Northwest Trek in Eatonville (just outside Tacoma) also puts on a less scary Halloween event. Ride a night tram and search for animals or trick or treat from stations located throughout this wildlife park. Also enjoy games and live animal encounters. Come in costume!
Tacoma Art Museum – The museum generally has a Dia de los Muertos celebration throughout the month of October. The event usually has lots of arts and crafts for kids as well as music and dance performances, and often artwork on exhibit to go with the theme. It's good family-friendly fun.