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Here’s what you need to know about trick-or-treating in Arlington in 2023

Trick-or-treating in Arlington in 2021 (staff photo)

It’s less than a week until Halloween and rookie Arlingtonians might be wondering: when do the kids around here go trick-or-treating?

Thanks to our industry’s never-ending quest to earn the favor of the search engine gods, such that we can collect digital half-pennies for your visit and hopefully get you to stick around for more substantive local news, ARLnow has your answer.

Unlike some local jurisdictions in other parts of the country, Arlington does not designate an official day and time for trick-or-treating. Instead, the annual, costumed candy-gathering spree traditionally takes place on Halloween — Tuesday, Oct. 31 — and starts shortly before sunset. That’s typically around 6 p.m., though some youngsters and parents head out earlier than that.

The door knocking usually ends by 8 p.m., though some stragglers may remain out later.

This year, Halloween is taking place on a weekday, so trick-or-treaters and evening rush hour traffic will mix on local roads. Arlington County urges caution for anyone out Halloween night.

Below are some Halloween tips for trick-or-treaters and drivers, from an Arlington County press release.

As Arlington’s younger population takes to the streets, keep in mind these trick-or-treating tips from our friends at the Arlington County Police Department:

  • See and be seen! Select bright costumes, add reflective tape and/or carry flashlights and glow sticks.
  • Plan your trick-or-treat route in advance. Stick to familiar neighborhoods and well-lit streets. For those on the Nextdoor app, check out its annual Treat Map, which allows people to share how they will be celebrating Halloween – whether it’s decorating one’s home or taking part in the neighborhood trick-or-treating by giving out candy.
  • Only visit homes with exterior lights on.
  • Never send children out alone. Younger children should be with a trusted adult. Ensure older children take friends and stay together.
  • Check candy before eating. Consider bringing treats from home so children don’t snack on candy before it is inspected.
  • Walk on sidewalks and cross at corners, using traffic signals and/or crosswalks.
  • Drivers should be extra cautious on Halloween. Slow down, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn on your headlights earlier in the evening to spot children from greater distances.

October is National Pedestrian Safety Month. Remember to stop for pedestrians, maintain safe distance from cyclists on roadways, and follow all speed limits. Learn more about the County’s Vision Zero Action Plan.

Looking for other Halloween-themed fun around town? In addition to checking out some of the extensive decorations on local homes, there are plenty of family-friendly, dog-friendly and drag-friendly events to choose from. And, if you’re planning to drink this weekend, you can get a free Lyft ride home Saturday night.

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