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Where the wild things are

Knock! Knock! Ava Enlgesbe ‘24 prepares to trick-or-treat with her sister, Mia Englesbe ‘22, in Ann Arbor Hills during the early 2010s.
Knock! Knock! Ava Enlgesbe ‘24 prepares to trick-or-treat with her sister, Mia Englesbe ‘22, in Ann Arbor Hills during the early 2010s.

With Halloween here, adults and kids alike are on the hunt for the ultimate trick-or-treating spots. Finding which neighborhoods have the biggest candy bars and the best decorations takes experience, and some people have just the right intel. 

By far, the most popular spot amongst students to trick-or-treat, Burns Park has a storybook charm during Halloween. The neighborhood’s well-kept gardens and welcoming porches make it a prime spot for people seeking a friendly and enticing experience. Isaac Hess ‘24, a long-time resident of this area, claims there is no better place to trick-or-treat.

“The energy of the neighborhood is so nostalgic,” said Hess. “I have a lot of friends who live near this area, so it is always easy to hang out with them during Halloween. All the houses give so much candy that our bags would overflow with king-sized candy bars well before it was dark.” 

Granger Avenue, a street in Burns Park, has an exceptionally high Halloween spirit. Intricate decorations line the streets; ghosts, pumpkins, and skeletons pile on lawns, each house more extravagant than the last. 

“I’ve been to many neighborhoods to trick-or-treat, but nothing beats Burns Park,” said Camille Clem ‘27. “Granger Avenue is specifically my favorite street during Halloween because the decorations are so wild. When it’s dark and eerie, screaming and running around with my friends with spooky decorations scaring us is so fun. I never know what to expect each year, and that’s the best part.”

Right next to Burns Park is Ann Arbor Hills, another coveted location for trick-or-treaters. The houses are more spread apart, but neighbors come together to create a warm and inviting environment. Adults mingle on driveways while their kids cut through backyards to get as much candy as possible. 

“This neighborhood has the nicest families and prettiest autumn trees, creating a lively and dreamy place to trick-or-treat,” said Ava Englesbe ‘24. “One of my favorite moments during Halloween in this area was when a few neighbors gathered together on a driveway to hand out apple cider and donuts to trick-or-treaters. It is so nice to see the friendliness of families here during the spooky holiday.”

Unlike a neighborhood, Main Street in downtown has a daytime trick-or-treating event. This is perfect for families with younger children because businesses and stores on the street give out candy during the day. Manuel Garcia ‘27 has younger siblings he likes to take to this event.

“My siblings get scared of Halloween decorations at night, so this street allows them to get the trick-or-treating experience without getting frightened by scary ghosts,” said Garcia. “It is also safer for them during the day because if they run off at night, it would be difficult to find them. I highly recommend Main Street to teachers with young children or students with young siblings.”

In another part of town, the Old West Side neighborhood is a treasure trove for trick-or-treaters. The beautifully preserved historic homes and tree-lined streets offer a picturesque backdrop for an enchanting Halloween experience. 

“The decorations for the houses are always so elaborate,” said Mia Melendez ‘25. “When you put giant spider webs and skeletons on the front lawn of ancient houses, it adds to the spooky atmosphere. It is also really close to Washtenaw Dairy, so my friends and I always get Halloween donuts after getting candy.”

Many people choose to stay in their own neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. Staying local and going across the street to a neighbor’s door for treats can create a stronger sense of community.

“I love trick-or-treating in my neighborhood because everything is familiar. I know the streets and the people here, so it’s comforting,” said Englesbe. “Trick-or-treating is an activity where you bond with people; sometimes, the best place to do that is right where you feel you should belong.”

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