Halloween has always been popular with children, but now it is big business – and a great excuse for everyone in the Charlotte region to dress up and engage in festivities. Spending on decorations, candy and costumes for all family members, including four-legged ones, is expected to top $6.9 billion this year. Almost half of all homes are being decorated, from simple pumpkins to extravagant displays rivaling those of Christmas.

The Charlotte region features a wealth of fun and spooky activities for all ages, including trick-or-treating, pumpkin patches, haunted houses and more. So, take advantage of all the Queen City has to offer this Halloween.

National Recognition for Halloween

The locals aren’t the only ones who know just how fun Halloween in Charlotte can be. Zillow recently ranked Charlotte the 11th best American city for trick-or-treating fun. Zillow’s rankings are based on the number of houses children could visit in the shortest period of time. Other criteria include median home values, distance between houses, area crime rates and the average age of residents. According to Zillow, Myers Park, Foxcroft, Montibello, Wendover-Sedgewood and Providence Plantation are the best neighborhoods for bagging lots of candy this Halloween.

Halloween Safety in Charlotte

While bringing in a good candy haul is important, safety should be every parent’s primary concern. In addition to accompanying children as they make their rounds, here are some things parents can do to ensure Halloween safety in Charlotte:

– Check local news outlets to find out recommended trick-or-treat times for the Charlotte neighborhoods.

– Plan the route in advance so that children are not too far from home (or the car) when they get worn out.

– Consider the costume carefully. Make sure the costume, whether a dinosaur, zombie, mermaid or other fantasy, is not too long for walking or climbing up porch steps. Likewise, little girls may think heels are appropriate for princesses, but they are not comfortable for walking around. Additionally, a mask may add authenticity to an ape or Darth Maul costume, but children should avoid any elements that impact their ability to see (or breathe).

– Make sure everyone is visible. Trick-or-treaters should wear reflective tape or wear light-up wristbands so drivers easily see them. Additionally, the adult should carry a flashlight to illuminate the path as they walk.

– Taking props with you is not a good idea. Props, whether they are supposed to be weapons or not, can be harmful. If a costume “requires” a prop, like a lightsaber or Wonder Woman’s shield, make sure it is rubber or plastic to avoid injury. You can also use props for taking pictures, but leave them at home while walking the neighborhood.

Other Activities For All Ages

There are also several other local Halloween activities besides trick-or-treating in Charlotte. The area has many pumpkin patches and corn mazes with planned events, such as the Patterson Farm in Mount Ulla, Country Days Corn Maze in Indian Trail, and Hall Family Farm in Charlotte.

Many of the area’s year-round attractions also hold special events or transform themselves for Halloween. Some highlights include Boo at the Zoo in Asheboro, the cankerworm festival in the Plaza Midwood Community Garden, and Ray’s Haunted Tour and Carnival at Splash Planet. Carowinds transforms from a theme park to a scream park with the addition of haunted attractions and hundreds of monsters; Carrigan Farms become Scarrigan Farms with a “haunted trail;” The Latta Plantation features a ghost walk in the former Civil War battlefield; while the NASCAR Hall of Fame presents a kid-friendly “Not-Too-Spooky Haunted Hall.”

After the little ones are tuckered out, the fun begins for grownups. The area has several pub crawls, horror movie double features, and other entertainment, like screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Charlotte is a great area for its diverse activities, growing economy, and home values. Halloween merely highlights what life in this area in like.