The hunt is on for fun and safe Halloween events in Philadelphia

"Barely anyone trick or treats in their neighborhood," one mom said. "You want to go take your child to a safe environment."
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Halloween will be here before we know it, and many Philadelphia families are looking for some fun and safe ways to celebrate.

Hanna Valentine, a mom of four who lives in Cobbs Creek, says while her family loves Halloween, they usually trick or treat outside of the city.

"Barely anyone trick or treats in their neighborhood anymore, especially if you have young kids," said Valentine. "Because of the violence and whatever's going on you want to go take your child to a safe environment."

This year, with staggering homicide rates and escalating gun violence, families will be looking for safe places to trick or treat or organized events.

The Cobbs Creek Environmental Center is one of the city entities holding an event for kids.

The Trick or Treat Trail is planned for Saturday, October 30 from 1-4 p.m., starting at the Cobbs Creek Recreation Center and ending at the environmental center.

The event is free and no advance registration is required.

"We'll be having people stationed on the trail handing out candy in costume," said Tony Croasdale, an environmental education program specialist with Philadelphia Parks and Rec.

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Organizers say they wanted to have the event last year, but between COVID-19 and the civil unrest following the killing of Walter Wallace Jr. last year just days before Halloween, the event didn't happen.

Another concern this year? COVID-19, especially for children who cannot be vaccinated.

On Monday, the city released COVID-19 Halloween guidance, encouraging trick or treaters to wear masks, avoid going into people's homes, and to hold any parties outdoors if possible.

Many told Action News kids and adults still need some safe Halloween fun.

"They want to dress up and see their friends and adults like it, like me. They be like - 'Aw, look at y'all! Y'all look good!'" laughed Valentine.

"It's been such a tough year and a half for children with COVID and being inside," said Susan Haidar, environmental education planner with Cobbs Creek Environmental Center. "I think it's just great that they'll have something fun to look forward to."
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