You know it’s Easter when grocery stores have special aisles just for chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps while their dairy sections keep running out of eggs. Beside Valentine’s Day, it’s the other big “consumer” holiday that’s expected to rake in billions and give every American a toothache. But candy and big meals are just one part of the celebration. Most people dye their eggs in bright colors, and hide plastic ones around the home for the kids to hunt on Easter Sunday. At least that’s the Easter tradition that’s familiar to the roughly 80 percent of Americans who celebrate the occasion in some way.
For Christians, however, Easter is less of a commercial event than a holy experience. It not only marks the end of Lent — a 40-day period of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance followed directly by Easter Sunday — but it also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and represents the “new covenant” between God and humanity. In observance of the holiday, many families will attend services, feast and continue to share the messages of Christ.
But some Americans will feel the Easter spirit more than others, depending on where they live. To identify those areas, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities based on 12 metrics that speak to an ideal Easter celebration. Our metrics range from “number of egg-hunt events per capita” to “share of Christian population.” Read on for the full ranking, money-saving tips from experts and our methodology. Make sure to also check out WalletHub’s Easter Facts & Stats – Church, Candy & Cash infographic for fun facts about the holiday.
Best Places to Celebrate Easter
‘Easter Observers’ Rank
‘Easter Traditions’ Rank
‘Kids’ Easter’ Rank
‘Easter Weather’ Rank
|1||New York, NY||65.31||4||1||3||40|
|3||Los Angeles, CA||56.25||15||4||93||31|
|5||St. Louis, MO||55.21||2||20||38||71|
|10||Las Vegas, NV||52.66||54||3||16||7|
|14||San Diego, CA||48.46||46||10||59||7|
|17||San Antonio, TX||47.01||20||15||44||85|
|18||San Francisco, CA||46.85||58||8||77||28|
|23||New Orleans, LA||45.02||37||19||4||86|
|30||St. Paul, MN||42.90||26||50||82||12|
|35||Oklahoma City, OK||42.46||13||34||53||91|
|38||El Paso, TX||41.13||36||40||51||61|
|48||Kansas City, MO||39.45||27||70||42||74|
|50||Long Beach, CA||39.11||43||53||94||31|
|56||Corpus Christi, TX||38.32||34||62||13||81|
|58||Baton Rouge, LA||37.95||39||47||23||89|
|60||San Jose, CA||37.72||75||42||71||29|
|63||Fort Worth, TX||37.50||24||54||69||94|
|64||Fort Wayne, IN||37.47||48||74||67||49|
|71||Santa Ana, CA||36.22||63||90||26||19|
|73||Jersey City, NJ||35.68||41||97||46||38|
|75||Virginia Beach, VA||35.37||85||43||28||57|
|77||Colorado Springs, CO||34.88||87||51||20||46|
|83||Chula Vista, CA||33.60||86||77||32||13|
|86||St. Petersburg, FL||32.42||88||71||66||36|
|87||San Bernardino, CA||31.52||84||94||40||19|
|98||North Las Vegas, NV||28.52||100||100||2||7|
Ask the Experts
Easter can be an expensive holiday to celebrate. According to the National Retail Federation, the average U.S. consumer will spend roughly $151 — the second highest figure in the history of the NRF’s consumer trends survey — on celebration expenses this year. For tips on staying within budget, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:
- What tips do you have for celebrating Easter on a budget?
- What are some of the big money wasters on Easter?
- Has Easter in America become too commercialized?
- What money-saving tips do you have for people planning to travel for the Easter holiday?
Ask the Experts
In order to determine the best cities for celebrating Easter, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across four key dimensions: 1) Easter Observers, 2) Easter Traditions, 3) Kids’ Easter and 4) Easter Weather.
We evaluated those dimensions using 12 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 celebrating the holiday. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), we used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.
We then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.
Easter Observers – Total Points: 50
- Share of Christian Population: Double Weight (~33.33 Points)
Note: The percentage is based on the ratio between the total adherents of the following U.S. religions — Adventist, Baptist, Catholicism, Communal, Episcopalianism/Anglicanism, European Free-Church, Holiness, Ind. Fundamentalist, Latter-Day Saints, Lutheran, Methodist/Pietist, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Presbyterian-Reformed — and the total population of the city.
- Churches per Capita*: Full Weight (~16.67 Points)
Easter Traditions – Total Points: 30
- Google Search Interest for “Easter Celebration”: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
Note: The metric measures the search interest for “Easter Celebration”, “Easter Sunday”, “Easter Parade”, “Easter Egg Hunt”, “Easter Activities” and “Easter Dinner”.
- Brunch Restaurants per Capita*: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
- Cost of Restaurant Meal: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
- Candy & Chocolate Stores per Capita*: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
- Flower & Gift Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~6.00 Points)
Kids’ Easter – Total Points: 10
- Share of Children Aged 9 & Younger: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
- Easter Egg-Hunt Events per Capita*: Full Weight (~4.00 Points)
- Acres of Parkland per Capita: Half Weight (~2.00 Points)
Note: Many of the public Egg Hunt events take place in parks.
Easter Weather – Total Points: 10
- Difference Between Forecasted and Normal Temperatures on Easter: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Note: For this metric, the city was penalized if its forecasted temperature on Easter’s Day is colder than the holiday’s average temperature.
- Forecasted Precipitations for Easter: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Association Of Religion Data Archives, The Trust for Public Land, Yelp, Google Ads, Eventbrite, Numbeo and AccuWeather.
Image: Viktoriia Hnatiuk / Shutterstock.com