kids trick-or-treating

Trick-or-Treating Tips & Fun


It’s hard to believe October and the holiday hoopla are already here. We’ve pulled together some Trick-or-Treating Tips & Fun of what you need to know for a happy Halloween this year. Scroll on for safety tips, costume ideas, and local spooooooky events and activities. Trick-or-Treat!

Halloween Safety Tips

girl with pumpkin bucket

  • Young children should be in the company of an adult when trick-or-treating.
  • Older kids should trick-or-treat with a friend or preferably in a group.
  • Tell your kids not to step inside the homes or cars of strangers or even acquaintances you haven’t pre-approved. Provide your kids with what to say if they’re invited in so they are prepared. Your child can be direct and just say, “My parents told me I have to wait outside.”
  • Give your older kids a curfew so you know what time to expect them home.
  • Know what route they plan to take. Make sure it’s in safe neighborhoods and that they won’t have to walk through secluded areas to get there.
  • Only go to houses with porch lights on.
  • Have kids carry a cell phone, and make sure they know how to use it to dial 9-1-1.
  • Add a tracking app to their phones, such as Family Tracker, Glympse, Footprints, FamilySignal or Life360.
  • Make sure costumes, masks and shoes fit well. Costumes shouldn’t drag on the ground posing a tripping hazard.
  • Avoid masks. Instead, use makeup and well-fitting hats or wigs so vision isn’t obstructed.
  • Avoid high heels.
  • Try to find flame-resistant costumes, and make sure kids keep their distance from lit pumpkins and luminaries.
  • If walking on roads, walk facing the oncoming traffic. Where possible, stay off the road completely.
  • When crossing streets, use crosswalks if possible, and look both ways twice. If at a stop sign or light, make sure traffic comes to a complete halt before crossing.
  • Don’t cross the street between parked cars or where drivers’ views might be obstructed.



Charlottesville Halloween Events

Learn about these and all other family-friendly area happenings on our Events Calendar.

Family Pumpkin Party
Blue Mountain Brewery, October 19
Enjoy food and drinks from Blue Mountain’s full menu and live music as you carve and decorate pumpkins with your family.

Dia De Muertos: A Celebration of Life
Virginia Discovery Museum, October 22
In Mexico and other Latinx countries, Halloween is not nearly as festive as the day after it. Join Miss Lara for a colorful look into the arts and traditions of Dia de Muertos, the “Day of the Dead,” and explore this celebratory autumn holiday through festive crafts and games. You can even learn a little Spanish.

Family Pumpkin Painting
Pikasso Swig Craft Bar, October 23 & 24
Join for a fun day of family Pumpkin Painting. Pikasso Swig will have fresh pumpkins and ceramic ones for each family to complete together! Guests can also enjoy spooky music, prizes and goodie bags.

Boo Bash
Virginia Discovery Museum, October 27–29
Dress up in your kookiest costumes for an evening of frighteningly fun carnival games, activities and crafts. Conduct eccentric experiments in the Mad Science lab, concoct crazy potions in the Witch’s Cabin, stomp to the beat in the Monster Mash dance room, brace yourself for a creepy Cryptid Encounter at the ranger station and so much more.

Wheels, Wine & Wonder
King Family Vineyards, October 30
Bring the whole family to the annual Chris Long Foundation fundraiser for an afternoon of food truck fare, drinks, great music and Halloween fun!

Doggie HowlOween
Charlottesville Downtown Mall, October 30
Dogs (and some families) will be dressed in costume and walking around to local businesses to “trick or treat” for dog goodies. Enjoy a parade as they show off their costumes followed by a costume contest at Central Place.

Trick-or-Treat at the Dairy Market
The Dairy Market, October 30
Come in costume and trick-or-treat at the market, where each merchant will have yummy treats to choose from.

Trick-or-Treat Cider Pairing
Albemarle Ciderworks, October 30
Adults can enjoy hard cider paired with candy from C-Ville Company, while kids taste freshly-pressed, non-alcoholic cider or juice and a candy sampler.


Halloween Costume Ideas

Still need some costume inspiration? We took a look back at our past Halloween Costume Contest entries to get those creative juices flowing. Here are just a few of our favorites. 

We hope you have a fun and safe Halloween with your family and friends! Still need a pumpkin or two…or three for carving? Check out our Local Pumpkin Patch Guide.

A very special and spooky thank you to our Halloween content sponsors: Charlottesville Orthodontics, Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville, Tucker Griffin Barnes Law and Virginia Discovery Museum.


ELLEN SEWELL, our Associate Editor, has a degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism and PR. She is a mom of two young kids, and enjoys promoting all the Charlottesville area has to offer.

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