The 10 Best Cities For Trick-or-Treating In America, Because Who Doesn't Want To Know If Their Neighborhood Is The Black Cat's Meow?

Dust off your black hat and pull that broomstick out of the closet, because the bewitching hour is upon us — Halloween is nearly here! And, to help us all hone in on our best spooky holiday yet, neighborhood networking app Nextdoor crunched some data to create a list of the top 10 U.S. cities for trick-or-treating. Since this feeds into my overly competitive nature and pairs well with my predilection for jumping out and scaring the bejeezus out of people, this news is right up my dark alley. But there's another reason this list speaks to me, and it's because it underscores that which makes Halloween a particularly festive holiday: Community spirit. When else can you knock on your neighbor's door and be greeted by Lady Gaga (or someone who looks like her) handing out candy bars?

But first, a little backstory. Every October, suburban and city dwellers rely on Nextdoor's Treat Map to let their neighbors know they'll be handing out candy. How do you they know, you ask? Once logged into the site, neighbors will see a virtual map of their neighborhood. If houses are marked on the map with a candy corn icon, neighbors know they can score some sweet loot at that casa. For example, despite my neighborhood's paltry participation, here's what my candy-lovin' household looks like to others who log in. (I'm zoomed way out obviously, because creepers.)

So, for the first time, Nextdoor analyzed analyzed data from the tens of thousands of neighborhoods that use the annual Treat Map to build its list of best cities to go trick-or-treating. As you can probably infer from the picture above, my city decidedly did not make the cut. If you happen to live in one of the following cities, well, you might want to stock up on extra toothpaste for your kiddos now — 'cause come Oct. 31, they're bringing home a majorly sweet haul.

You can do two things with this information from Nextdoor: you can use it to map out your route ahead of time (super helpful if you have small children in tow), or you can use the knowledge that your city didn't rank as motivation to make the list next year.

To help you accomplish the latter, here are a few fun ideas for goodies other than candy corn and Kit-Kats that you can hand out to trick-or-treaters who knock on your door.

1. Fruit

OK, don't skewer me (see what I did there?), but parents will thank you for the brief reprieve from sugary treats. And, really, kids actually love fruit, too. Jazz up a tangerine by drawing a jack-o-lantern face on it, and you'll definitely win the little rascals over.

2. Bubbles

No, this is not edible. If you want to, you can tie a sucker to it or something. But the bottom line is this — no child can resist the overwhelming allure of bubbles. Bonus? They're super affordable. Just head to your local Dollar Store and stock up.

3. Juice Boxes

I'm not sure if you noticed, but kids get super-hyped on Halloween. The mere thought of running around in search of the Holy Grail of candy houses amps them up, so the act itself is frenetic. Handing out Hi-C or some other type of juice box will be a hit that might not even make it home.

4. A Low-Calorie Savory Snack

Thankfully, there are far more bagged chip options than the Funions of yore (although, admittedly, I fancy Funions). Low calorie options like pretzels, kettle corn and rice crisps abound at the supermarket and often come in festive Halloween packaging.

5. Coloring Stuff

Again, I wouldn't recommend chowing down on these guys, but they're a great alternative for the kid who A) has hit the candy quota, according to Mom, B) has an allergy, or C) just loves the heck out of some art.

Images: slgckgc/Flickr; Nextdoor; Julie Sprankles/Bustle; Giphy (4)