My 10 step guide to Halloween in the Hamptons

Halloween in AmericaMy kids were just expecting to do some trick or treating and wear their spooky costumes but they experienced a full-blown wild day of celebrations when we had Halloween in the Hamptons.

in 2012 we moved here from London in mid-October. Then woosh Hurricane Sandy swept in two days before All Hallow’s Eve. We emerged from a night in a shelter to find trees down and no power. No school for a week.  As I wrote about here. So Halloween was a bit of a wash out.

So finally my kids experienced a full blast and full blown – without the wind – version of Halloween in the Hamptons – American style. So here’s my 10 step guide on how to celebrate Halloween in the Hamptons – and probably the same in many other small towns across the US.

Step 1 – Stop classes midday so students can change into costumes.

coven of witches in classroom

Step 2 – Block off the main shopping road in town for a school parade

Collage parade 2

Step 3 –  Encourage all local businesses to give away – not sell – candy (sweets) with a Pumpkin Trail

Basket of candy Halloween in America

Liquor Store Halloween candyStep 4 – Expect to see pets in Halloween costumes

dog wearing halloween costume

Step 5 – Don’t be surprised if your kids need frequent stops to rest.

halloween snack US flag

sitting main street halloween snack

Step 6 – Find out the best place for trick or treating. You know you’ve hit a winner when the road is closed to traffic.


road closed trick treating

Step 7 – Follow the crowds to the best haunted houses…or driveways.

Dracula and ghosts

Outside Halloween skeleton house

skulls bush halloween usa

Halloween display and flag man

Step 8 – Look out for hairy strangers.

American halloween creature

American Halloween ape person

Step 9 – Sometimes they’re mannequins and sometimes not.

scary Halloween mannequin

coffin trick or treat

Step 10 – Sort and hide the treats as soon as your kids are asleep.

american Halloween candy

Luckily my twins were more interested in getting as many treats as possible rather than feasting on them. (And if you want to know why I worry about American candy then read here). I wonder if in the coming years the same scenarios will be seen in the UK as Halloween American style catches on (or is it the opposite as I explained in my post on Halloween in Britain)?

Meanwhile, despite my love of country walks, I’m exhausted and my feet are still aching. All I know is if we have another Halloween in America I’m also going to invest in a post-trick-or-treating foot massage. My kids, though, had a blast.

If you’re in the Hamptons for Halloween with children then head over to East Hampton for trick or treating. Many of the residential roads just near Main Street are closed off to traffic so that families can go safely trick or treating.  Also take your kids on a haunted tour of Sag Harbor’s Whaling Museum over Halloween and the weekend.

Happy Halloween in the Hamptons!


24 thoughts on “My 10 step guide to Halloween in the Hamptons”

  1. Hannah Mums' Days

    I love the insight!! Stopping school at midday?! That image of everyone in the streets reminds me of ET (which we watched last Friday!) – fascinating how much effort everyone goes to for one day!! Or do people leave up their spooky (like too scary for me!) houses for a week or so?!

    Really great post! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xxx

  2. I’m not a fan of Halloween to be honest, but I guess that over in the US it’s very different with families getting on-board to have fun. In the UK I’m always concerned when I see young kids out Trick or Treating alone!!
    Great photos as always x

  3. This looks amazing! My sister has moved to San Francisco and sent me some pictures from the neighbourhood but they are nothing compared with this!

  4. I love Halloween and this is my absolute dream. I might have squealed several times whilst reading this. It’s top of my list – Halloween in the USA, I’ll be there one year. Thank you for making me very happy with these pictures x

    1. I hope you make it over to the US for Halloween! It is quite an amazing day here for kids as everybody takes part in all the festivities.

  5. Sounds like over here too! although I’m the one stuck at home giving out the candy not walking around, although I love seeing all the little ones coming to the door! Fabulous photos honey 😀

    1. Thanks Lou! We had kids coming to our door when we were back but then we had to turn the lights off to make sure our kids would go to sleep!

  6. How impressive and what a treat for the children to leave school early with the whole community participating. The photos are fab and show what a great time everyone had. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  7. Sounds like a serious business. Love the skeletons in the hedges. Fabulous ideas. We don’t trick or treat, but if we did I think I’d introduce the halloween fairy. I hear that if you leave out your sweet haul overnight, she’ll exchange it for a gift. I know my children would go for that. #CountryKids

  8. Oh wow Kriss that must be quite an experience after living in London – I do like the bit where you said about them giving away the candy though.

    1. It was quite an eye opener. Everybody here took it as a normal day while I was probably looking fairly gobsmacked. My kids obviously loved it all!

    1. My two couldn’t have had more fun! After they went to bed I picked out a very small bag of sweets for each of them, which like you, I ration over the months to come. Also hoping to get some British sweets brought over soon.

    1. I was quite surprised what a big deal Halloween was over here in the US but in a way it’s great as kids have such a brilliant time. And like birthday parties they get to take home a bag of treats (except lots lots more)

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