2017’s Best Places for Halloween
There’s a lot to love about Halloween: candy, costumes, horror films, haunted houses, parties and more. Plus, you get a legitimate excuse to scare the daylights out of people. So if you love Halloween, then you’ll want to make sure you’re in the most spook-tacular part of America on Oct. 31.
But just how hauntingly fun you want this time of year to be depends on your plans and budget. This year, the average U.S. household is expected to spend $86.13 on Halloween expenses, from decorations to treats to costumes. In some cities you’ll spend less, in others more. And if you’re counting on getting more free treats in return for your investment, you’ll definitely want to be in a place with the most trick-or-treat stops.
To help you decide where to spend Halloween without frightening your wallet, we compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on 18 key metrics. They range from costume stores per capita to average price per Halloween party ticket to share of potential trick-or-treat stops. Read on for the winners, expert Halloween spending and safety advice, and a full description of our methodology.
For fun and interesting facts about the third most popular holiday in America, check out WalletHub’s Halloween Facts: Tricks & Treats By the Numbers infographic.
Best Places for Halloween
‘Halloween Fun’ Rank
‘Halloween Weather’ Rank
|1||New York, NY||76.05||1||2||53|
|2||Jersey City, NJ||64.79||2||56||70|
|3||Santa Ana, CA||63.80||3||37||78|
|4||Las Vegas, NV||62.31||48||3||25|
|6||Los Angeles, CA||62.01||23||6||53|
|9||San Diego, CA||61.16||34||4||41|
|11||St. Paul, MN||59.84||13||41||24|
|13||San Jose, CA||58.47||18||26||33|
|14||Chula Vista, CA||57.98||7||76||37|
|16||El Paso, TX||57.90||16||77||10|
|18||San Francisco, CA||57.42||41||9||33|
|20||Long Beach, CA||56.37||9||63||41|
|33||Colorado Springs, CO||54.43||39||48||1|
|37||Fort Worth, TX||53.73||30||80||4|
|43||San Antonio, TX||52.54||69||16||29|
|51||Virginia Beach, VA||51.46||28||62||78|
|53||North Las Vegas, NV||51.09||33||100||18|
|60||Corpus Christi, TX||49.14||51||82||33|
|68||Fort Wayne, IN||47.22||43||87||77|
|69||San Bernardino, CA||46.74||59||83||60|
|72||Oklahoma City, OK||45.96||72||61||18|
|84||New Orleans, LA||43.42||88||31||41|
|89||Baton Rouge, LA||41.14||86||57||65|
|91||St. Louis, MO||40.71||99||15||32|
|94||Kansas City, MO||38.88||95||68||18|
|99||St. Petersburg, FL||35.17||96||90||53|
Ask the Experts
Halloween can be more than playing dress-up and hoarding sweet treats. It’s also a big holiday expense for many American households. We’ve asked a panel of experts to share their financial wisdom for keeping Halloween budgets in check as well as strategies for ensuring the safety of young trick-or-treaters. Click on the experts’ profiles to read their bios and thoughts on the following key questions:
- How can the process of collecting and allocating Halloween candy be used to teach children about personal finance?
- What are some strategies for celebrating Halloween without breaking the bank?
- In evaluating the best cities for Halloween, what are the top five indicators?
- What measures should local authorities take to ensure kids are safe when trick-or-treating?
In order to determine the best Halloween destinations, WalletHub’s analysts compared 100 of the most populated U.S. cities across three key dimensions: 1) Trick-or-Treater-Friendliness, 2) Halloween Fun and 3) Halloween Weather.
We evaluated those dimensions using 18 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for a Halloween celebration. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), we calculated the population size using the square root of the population in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.
Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the “city proper” in each case and excluded cities in the surrounding metro area.
Trick-or-Treater-Friendliness – Total Points: 60
- Share of Potential Trick-or-Treaters: Double Weight (~16.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population aged 14 and younger.
- Share of Potential Trick-or-Treat Stops: Half Weight (~4.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the percentage of occupied housing units.
- Population Density: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)
- Walk Score: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the walkable distance in the neighborhood.
- Crime Rate: Double Weight (~16.00 Points)
Note: This metric was used as a proxy for neighborhood security.
- Pedestrian Fatality Rate: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)
Halloween Fun – Total Points: 30
- Average Price per Halloween Party Ticket: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
Note: Average prices are based on Halloween events listed on Eventbrite.com as of Oct. 10, 2017, where at least two events were available.
- Halloween Costume Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Halloween Party Supply Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Candy & Chocolate Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Haunted Houses per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Pumpkin Patches per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Movie Theaters per Capita*: Half Weight (~1.67 Points)
Note: This metric was used as a proxy for horror films timed with Halloween.
- Average Price per Movie Ticket: Half Weight (~1.67 Points)
- Bars & Dance Clubs per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
- Number of Amusement Parks: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
Halloween Weather – Total Points: 10
- Halloween Temperature vs. Average Temperature: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the difference between the average forecasted temperature for Halloween and the average normal temperature for this time period.
- Forecasted Halloween Precipitation: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Transportation - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Council for Community and Economic Research, AccuWeather, Walk Score, Yelp and Eventbrite.
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