Halloween in the Bubble

Most people in these parts go trick-or-treating in one of three areas: Hempstead Street, Three Springs in Westlake Village, and Deerhill in Oak Park. When I say “most people” I mean most trick-or-treating aged kids and their parents that we know in Agoura Hills.

For our first Halloween as Agoura residents we went along with the popular trend and ventured off to Hempstead. I was impressed with the organization of the event – the streets into the neighborhood are closed off the car traffic, and emergency response teams and police are on hand just in case. Many of the houses are over-the-top tricked out in decorations and even operate as haunted houses. Of course everyone wants to go there.


That year my kids were 5 and 3, and my husband did not come with us. They each took off in different directions, which is one thing when you’re walking along a normal street, but treacherous and nervewracking when that street is as crowded as Disneyland’s Main Street just after the fireworks.

Dude. It’s just too crowded for me. Plus because there were so many kids, they all had to stand in line at each house for their one piece of candy.

Every year since then, we’ve trick or treated here in our own neighborhood. Only every third house has a light on, and we only see a rare band of other kids out reveling, but it’s much easier for me to keep track of mine, and there’s no waiting in line. There’s no need for me to drive, find a unicorn parking space in the crowded streets around the target neighborhood, and chase my children through the crowds.

Also, it makes our neighbors feel good. There are some houses around here whose owners decorate like crazy, rigging up zombie mannequins that talk to you as you walk by, or full-on mock graveyards with things crawling out of the ground. But hardly anyone comes. Every time they open the door to my children’s cries of “Trick or treeeeeeeat!” each adult has joy on his or her face. “Wow, great to have you!” they say, or “We didn’t think we’d see any kids tonight!” And then they dump half their candy supply into my kids’ bags. After 45 minutes of this, my children are tired and their bags are full.

I know I am in the minority among parents in this town, but I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Take a chance, I encourage you, and try trick or treating in your own neighborhood. Take back Halloween!

Sadly, this might be the last year I get away with this little family scenario. My boys were asking to go off with their friends this year, and I firmly denied. There were only a few tears, and in the end we had just as much fun as ever. But I’m not sure that will work next year. Sad trombone.



  1. We stayed in our hood. It was awesome. We met neighbors. We took roadies with us. She’s 5 – our block wad plenty! !!!

  2. Hi there! Stumbled across your site and am loving it as an Agoura/Oak Park mom! We took our son, 22 months to Hempstead last year and this year… and I’m done! I know my son is small, but just for the lively experience, right?? wrong. rude trampling teens rushing to the candy lines that had no problem at all pushing over a toddler to get in front of him. Huge crowds of people, chaos, and over stimulation. He perhaps got 6 tiny pieces of candy (that he cant of course even eat) becasue of the crowds, the houses give out itty bitty candies. Just awful. Its gotten to be to TOO much. Next year, we’re keeping it to our own ‘hood’… also, totally laughing at the unicorn parking spot. dead on!

  3. Yay! for Halloween in your own ‘hood. My kids have done both Hempstead and Three Springs and this year my 14yo daughter opted to stay in our ‘hood and she had a blast. (She might be a rude teen at home, but she is ever the polite trick-or-treater.) It’s sad that those “cooler” neighborhoods have taken over Halloween. When we moved here almost 10 years ago our neighborhood was busy, but it’s close to a ghost town now. (Pardon the pun!) This year we only had three groups of kids come by. Kind of a bummer.

Leave a Comment