The Best Places to Celebrate Halloween in the US

Water park lovers will find that this Midwestern getaway has it all: plenty of outdoor thrill slides in the summer and an ideal theme park-style escape during cold winter months. Intertwined body slides, multiple funnel slides and tandem tube rides are among the dozens of attractions enticing both hotel guests and day visitors to the 125,000 square foot indoor-outdoor water park. But the highlight comes by way of Master Blaster, an indoor water roller coaster that dips down and shoots back up for a fast-paced thrill. Once you dry off, you can board a six-story Ferris wheel, ride go-karts, or even test your skills on a ropes course or enjoy some upside-down thrill rides fit for kids young and old—all without having to step off-property.

Halloween is just one week away but the festivities are already well underway in many places across America.

WalletHub recently compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on 20 metrics across three key dimensions—examining everything from costume stores per capita to share of potential trick-or-treat stops—to determine the best and most budget-friendly places to spend October 31.

Trick-or-treater-friendliness (population density, walk score, crime rate, etc.) accounts for a majority of the score, followed by Halloween fun (costume stores, haunted houses, candy stores, etc.) and Halloween weather (temperature and precipitation).

As it does so often, New York City ranks number one, coming in second in each of the two most important dimensions, trick-or-treater-friendliness and Halloween fun. According to WalletHub, the Big Apple is tied for first for most costume, candy and chocolate stores per capita.

Nearby Jersey City comes in second overall, earning the best score for trick-or-treater-friendliness.

Halloween decorations in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood: PHOTO: Halloween decorations in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. (photo via krblokhin/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

On the West Coast, California is heavily represented at the top, boasting a whopping 11 cities in the top 25. Los Angeles ranks third overall as well as for Halloween fun and is followed by Irvine, San Diego and Santa Ana in the top six. Unsurprisingly, sunny San Diego boasts the best Halloween weather forecast of any city WalletHub analyzed.

Chula Vista (12th), Anaheim (13th), San Jose (14th), Fresno (16th), Long Beach (17th), Sacramento (22nd) and San Francisco (25th) also rank in the top one-fourth.

Meanwhile, popular tourist destinations Chicago (7th) and Las Vegas (8th) both rank in the top 10 thanks to their impressive performances in the Halloween fun category. Irving, Texas (9th) and Saint Paul, Minnesota (10th) round out the top 10 on the strength of their trick-or-treater-friendliness scores.

Only Jersey City and New York rank higher than 11th-place Gilbert, Arizona when it comes to trick-or-treater friendliness. The city just southeast of Phoenix also boasts the second-lowest crime rate of the 100 cities analyzed.

Laredo (15th) and Plano, Texas (20th) crack the top 20 for 2018. The former boasts the highest percentage of potential trick-or-treaters while the latter possesses the third-lowest crime rate.

In Florida, Miami (18th) and nearby Hialeah (19th) are neck and neck with Miami ranking fifth in terms of Halloween fun and Hialeah finishing 10th for trick-or-treater-friendliness.

Boston (21st) ranks inside the top 55 in all three key dimensions, including 20th for trick-or-treater-friendliness. Despite the fourth-worst Halloween weather forecast, Philadelphia finds itself at number 23, followed by Arlington, Texas and San Francisco.

See below for WalletHub’s complete findings:

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