Get us in your inbox

Trick or treating
Photograph: Shutterstock/

Where to trick or treat in San Francisco

Grab the kids and the costumes and hit the spooky pavement—this is where to trick or treat in San Francisco

Clara Hogan
Written by
Katie Sweeney
Clara Hogan

October can be a whirlwind, packing in all the spooky and fall-festive activities, including visiting haunted spotspumpkin patches and corn mazes. But the main event is at the very end: Halloween. As October 31 approaches, and if you have kiddos in your life, it's essential to have a plan of attack to make the most out of your trick-or-treating adventure. 

Thankfully, Halloween in San Francisco is taken seriously, with plenty of festive and picturesque neighborhoods that go all out to ensure the kids have a Halloween they'll remember—and enough candy to last them until Thanksgiving. 

We've compiled the best places to trick or treat in San Francisco. From the stately mansions of Presidio Heights to Sea Cliff to the communal vibes of the Mission to the big Halloween bash in Nopa, you're sure to find the perfect neighborhood for your family on our list. Just make sure to bring a bag big enough to hold all of your loot: Most of these neighborhoods are known to be quite generous!

If you are after more adult-friendly Halloween ideas, don't miss our round-up of Halloween events in San Francisco.

Where to trick or treat in San Francisco

Noe Valley
Photograph: Noe Valley SF

1. Noe Valley

In-the-know locals head to Fair Oaks Street between Noe Valley and the Mission, specifically 21st and 26th Streets. Roads are closed to traffic, so you don’t have to worry about cars. Most houses start handing out candy around 6pm, so if you’ve got young kids, get dinner in the neighborhood. Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers and Patxi’s Pizza are the most child-friendly stand-bys.

Cole Valley
Photograph: Courtesy Cole Valley Improvement Association

2. Cole Valley

Head to Belvedere Street between 17th Street and Parnassus Avenue for one of the city’s most well-known Halloween celebrations. The houses are wildly decorated with ghouls and goblins, dropping spiders, flashing strobe lights, and glowing jack-o-lanterns. The street is closed to thru traffic and is a trendy spot to trick-or-treat, so go early to ensure you hit up the houses before they run out of candy—it can get very crowded. Also, be prepared to search for parking and note that Belvedere is on a hill, so if you have toddlers who might get tired, consider adding some sort of wagon element to their costume.


3. NoPa

Every year the residents of NoPa throw a Halloween block party. The festival takes place at the 1500 and 1600 block of Grove Street and includes a kids-only costume contest, a haunted house, and trick-or-treating. Guests are asked to bring a bag of candy to donate to the event to ensure that all kids in attendance get plenty of sweet goodies. The North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association does its best to keep the party contained with a PG atmosphere so it’s safe for everyone.

4. Sea Cliff

One of the ritziest neighborhoods in San Francisco, Sea Cliff attracts a couple hundred trick-or-treaters looking for the biggest and best treats around. Rumor has it that the residents of this neighborhood (once home to the late Robin Williams) hand out full-sized candy bars instead of the mini bars that are standard Halloween fare. While kids freak over giant treats, parents will enjoy seeing the breathtaking mansions. Most of Sea Cliff is flat, and the sidewalks are wide, so it makes for an easy walk, and it’s not too hard to find parking.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @sf_daily_photo

Glen Park
Photograph: Courtesy Glen Park Neighborhood Association

5. Glen Park

With dark and quiet streets, Glen Park is a snoozy but spooktacular little neighborhood on the outskirts of SF that’s easily accessible by BART. The small main road (only a few blocks long and dotted with shops and restaurants) is directly across from the Glen Park Bart Station. Simply grab the costumed kiddos and head to the surrounding residential area; most neighbors place carved pumpkins on their front porches to greet trick-or-treaters, and many storefronts hand out candy.

6. West Portal

A Halloween block party takes place annually in West Portal on Wawona Street between 14th and Taraval Streets. This area has been a well-known spot for trick-or-treating for quite some time: native San Franciscans have been asking for candy here since the early '80s, and for about a decade back in the 00s, the neighborhood threw a huge, annual Harry Potter-themed party every Halloween. This year, West Portal dwellers can expect at least one haunted house—complete with live actors and scary surprises—that will be free and open to the public.

Richmond District
Photograph: Shutterstock/

7. Richmond District

Lake Street has two regions that are good for trick-or-treating: along 5th and 9th Avenues and 23rd to 25th Avenues. If your kids have lots of energy, walk from 6th to 25th along Lake Street and stop at the most friendly houses along the way. The street fills up with kids and parents, all admiring the elaborate decorations and munching on mountains of candy. It’s a fun, peaceful, and super family-friendly celebration.

Photograph: Courtesy Central Mission Neighborhood Organization

8. Mission

The Mission has many trick-or-treating spots, but a specific section has become a trick-or-treating destination: Shotwell Street between 18th and 24th streets. You'll find detailed Victorians decked out for the holiday, oozing spooky vibes. In addition to being a go-to spot for trick-or-treating, the Mission hosts various Día de los Muertos and Halloween events worth checking out. 


9. Laurel Heights

This quiet, unassuming neighborhood is nestled between Presidio Heights and Inner Richmond, where the homeowners go all out for Halloween. The streets are usually closed off so kids can roam safely and there are often food trucks to visit for once that sugar rush wears off. 

10. St. Francis Wood

Known for its tree-lined streets, historic and stately homes and suburban-like atmosphere right within the city, St. Francis Moore—located in the southwestern part of San Francisco—is a picturesque place to head out for a night of trick or treating. Ring the bell at the elegant estates that tend to go all out with decorations for the occasion (and the affluent homeowners here are known to be quite generous, too). 

Photograph: Courtesy Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

11. Sunnyside

This ‘hood is home to many families, and each year the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association hosts an annual Halloween block party and carnival with food, games, face painting, a haunted house, and costume contests for both kids and adults (check out the Neighborhood Association's website in the weeks before Halloween for specific location info). Bring the kids for the festivities, which take place during the afternoon, then head to nearby Monterey Street for a block or two of trick-or-treating; the homeowners there are used to opening their front doors and handing out candy.

12. Presidio Heights

The stately homes of Presidio Heights go all out with spooky decorations, making it the perfect spot for trick or treating if you're looking to mingle with decent, yet not overwhelming, crowds of families. Don't miss the cul-de-sac, Presidio Terrace, featuring stunning homes that go all out. Before or after you visit the residential areas, take a stroll with the kids along Sacramento Street, where local businesses give out candy, too.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @sf_daily_photo


    More on Halloween

      You may also like
      You may also like