Halloween: a sacred night for children everywhere. Halloween as a child consisted of trick-or-treating with my brothers in our neighborhood and then spending hours in the living room trading candy with each other while my parents begrudgingly handed out candy to the teenagers that came to our door past 8:30 PM. For the first time in many years, Halloween falls on a Saturday, meaning that children can go trick-or-treating for a longer amount of time without the pesky issue of school in the morning. While some may not take their children trick-or-treating this year, and some counties have outlawed it due to COVID-19, if you are taking your children out, this guide is here to help. As for me, I am spending my down time this week constructing a candy slide for our front porch.

Using some key demographic variables, such as the percentage of households with children, median income, median age, percentage of single family homes, and percentage of adults who bought “large” candy in last month (think king-sized bars, the most sought after of all of the candy), we mapped out the best areas to trick or treat in the Nashville area. While we only mapped one metropolitan area, this is applicable to where you live as well.


Let’s break down the groups:

Put this theory into a real example with my neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas. Our 1930’s bungalow stands as a relic to our once streetcar suburb, which has been turned into new build McMansions over the last 2 decades. While you may see king-sized candy bars in your eyes, and think that this is the perfect place to take Sally and Johnny come All Hallows’ Eve, look again: what you do not see are any Halloween decorations. No tacky inflatables, not a cobweb covered bush in sight. For this, there is a simple explanation: we have very few children in our neighborhood under the age of 16. So, while my neighborhood checks off some of our critical boxes (large, single family homes with a higher than average income), it lacks a key element: percentage of homes with children. Now, if you drive one neighborhood over, you will find slightly more modest homes with yards full of skeletons and ghosts hanging from trees. In this neighborhood, nearly every house will hand out candy, and many will hand out larger candy bars, or more than one piece per child. On my street, I think that I am one of 3 houses that still hand out candy (which, by the way, are king-sized. I handsomely reward the children that actually make it to my street). Remember that the key to making this guide work is the entire picture.

We’d love to hear from you if you put our hypothesis to good use this Halloween. Send us pictures of your scores, and mail us anything gummy and sour, for our troubles.