TAMPA (WFLA) – When is trick or treating in Tampa Bay?

That’s a question we’ve been getting from parents across the area. The answer is pretty simple: “It’s a parent’s decision,” said Hillsborough County spokesman Cpl. Larry McKinnon.

Some neighborhoods have alternative events and traditions, but most cities and counties don’t dictate what hours children can go trick or treating, they just want to make sure your little ghosts, goblins and princesses are safe.

Happy Halloween Trick or Treat candy overhead jack-o-lantern buckets on bright orange wood table background.

Tampa officials remind trick or treaters to only visit homes that are well lit, use sidewalks and carry glowsticks or flashlights.

In Manatee County, the sheriff’s office recommends kids go begging for candy from 6 to 9 p.m.

In Pinellas County, popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Polk County said it doesn’t regulate trick-or-treat times, but they suggest 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “Some cities actually have set times that they advertise.”

Pasco County suggests you check with individual cities and communities for their event times, as well.

There are no times designated in Sarasota and Hernando counties.

“All our officers who are on patrol will have candy to give to kids as they see them out and about on Tuesday,” said Sarasota Police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge.

Most counties say they plan on increasing patrols in anticipation of lots of children taking to the streets garbed in costumes.

Keep trick or treaters safe:

  • Try to trick-or-treat in groups.
  • Never allow small children to visit a door without a trusted adult.
  • Teach children not approach vehicles.
  • Parents should always accompany trick-or-treaters, no matter how old the children are.
  • Only approach well-lit homes where porch or exterior lights are ON.
  • Cross streets at the corner, never between parked cars and not diagonally across an intersection.
  • Avoid shortcuts through back yards, alleys or parks.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats and never eat anything homemade from strangers.
  • Examine all candy for choking hazards and tampering.
  • Be cautious around pets and other animals.
  • Keep costumes short to prevent tripping/falling.
  • Make sure masks or head coverings do not hinder eyesight.
  • Wear light-colored costumes or add reflective tape to dark clothing.
  • Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen.
  • Report any and all suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.

The forecast is great for Tuesday night. Meteorologist Ian Oliver said it’s pretty much perfect. “A room temperature quest for candy more or less. Clear skies and temps falling from 70s to upper 60s.”

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