When it comes to Halloween in Miami, flashbacks of booze-filled, scantily clad partygoers flood the mind. Ah, memories.
But as fond as these memories are, those of us in the diapers-and-car-pool stage of life now face the challenge of trading this scene for one where free candy takes the place of free drinks, and where costumes, although still tiny, cover a lot more.
So where can you take the kids to troll for candy without being overrun by a flash mob of tipsy Harley Quinns? What are the safest spots? The most scenic? And most important, where can you find the best candy? We looked at traffic, real-estate values, income statistics, and local attractions to give you this list of Miami’s best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating.
1. Coral Gables
Coral Gables is known for its tree-lined byways and stately mansions. It’s home to two of the nation’s most expensive streets, according to Zillow, so this is a must-visit spot when full-sized candy bars are on the wish list. If wandering past Mediterranean-style houses gets boring, families can move on to Miracle Mile to enjoy the neighborhood block party and trick-or-treat past an ample selection of shops. The Coral Gables trolley, which runs free of charge, is also an easy way to explore the neighborhood and hit all the major landmarks.
Formerly a section of farmland filled with mango groves, the Village of Pinecrest is now ranked among Miami’s top neighborhoods for families thanks to its many excellent schools. The area is sure to be a lively scene on Halloween as local kids go door-to-door or gather for festivities at community beacons such as Pinecrest Gardens or the local branch of the public library.
3. Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne is the only neighborhood on this list with an entry fee, namely the toll on the Rickenbacker Causeway, and it is totally worth it. A stroll through these streets gives Halloween a Key West vibe — like going to Fantasy Fest, but without the hordes of half-naked senior citizens. The ocean backdrop also makes for some pretty epic costume photos. Look, you're raising your kids in one of the few places in the nation where they can trick-or-treat by the beach. Take advantage.
4. South Miami
This intimate neighborhood includes about 2.3 square miles of impressive homes as well as a growing and equally compact downtown area, so kids can choose to hit up individual residences or local businesses to get that sugar. Trick-or-treaters are also invited to check out the City of South Miami’s Safe Streets Halloween, a street fair that offers free candy and activities and runs along Sunset Drive from Red Road to South Dixie Highway.
5. Coconut Grove
One of Miami’s oldest and pedestrian-friendliest neighborhoods, Coconut Grove is a vibrant enclave featuring quaint streets lined with tightly packed homes and communities. The area also offers a number of shopping and entertainment options, all within walking distance of one another. You can ring door bells that are older than you and then continue the celebration at CocoWalk for a truly versatile Halloween experience. But beware: Families should watch the clock to avoid the crowd of college kids and rowdy adults that rises as night falls.
6. Country Walk
The picket-fenced cul-de-sac of Country Walk is a dream plucked from a 1950s sitcom, where lawns are perfectly manicured and friendly neighbors take their holiday decorations seriously. These homes are seriously decked-out, setting the scene for an authentically spooky Halloween. And with so much effort put into the exteriors, you know there's an epic jackpot of candy waiting behind each door. When sightseeing for an illuminated haunting is priority number one and good candy is a very close second, this is the place to go.