Halloween will probably look very different this year for a number of reasons. First, depending on where you live, the corona virus could be a huge factor, which means you might not want to go trick-or-treating or, if you do, make sure you follow the guidelines for social distance. But beyond all of this, there is the simple fact that Halloween is a Saturday this year, which may make you wonder what time Trick or Treating actually starts.
In most years, when Halloween falls on a school day, children go out in the streets after the end of the school day to hunt for candy. This usually results in the first group of trick or treaters coming to your door between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. However, on a Saturday that falls on a school day, the hours do not seem to change, at least not nationally.
There are no federal regulations regarding trick or treatment times. These only apply to local communities. You can check with your city officials to find out when specific “trick or treating” times apply in your neighborhood. But the general rule seems to be that trick-or-treating times should start around 4 or 5 pm and end around 8 pm. This gives families a few hours to search their neighborhood for candy without overtaxing the mercy of their neighbors.
If you are desperate to stick to a plan, it is important to check your local rules. Depending on where you live, you can expect a certain amount of fluctuation in the hours listed above. Note that in some communities, hours are listed until 21:00.
As always, you will probably have some stragglers who trick or treat beyond the general opening hours, so don’t be surprised if you see some people outside later in the night. However, the large crowds are usually expected to arrive at your door early in the evening.
Because of COVID, you will probably see a larger number of households that don’t greet to ensure that people adhere to the guidelines of social distance. Trick or Treating in 2020 is considered a “high-risk” activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but they have identified some better ways to deal with the holiday.
The CDC recommends that individual treats be prepared to be left outside so that the “trick or treaters” can grab them. In this way, germs are not exchanged between physical persons. This idea is listed on the CDC website as a “moderate risk” activity.
If you don’t feel comfortable celebrating Halloween with the normal American traditions, we have outlined a list of ways you can make the most of a socially-distant Halloween.