Looking for the best spot in all of Southwestern Connecticut to go trick or treating Thursday? Pack your candy sacks and get moving to Stamford’s 06902 ZIP code.
In an effort to compile the first definitive ranking of 54 ZIP codes Southwestern Connecticut, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers devised a formula, weighing a handful of characteristics that are essential for trekking door-to-door in search of candy – and 06902 came in as the top trick-or-treating territory, followed by Bridgeport’s 06606 and Danbury’s 06810. Trumbull’s 06611 and Fairfield’s 02824 round out the top five.
The rankings figure in total population, as well as the percent of people living in the XIP code who are younger than 18 and the percent of total housing units that are currently occupied, according to recent census reports. In addition, we culled state licensing data to tally the number of grocery stores per 10,000 people in each area – in case anyone needs to make a quick run for more candy. Finally, we factored in the total crime rate per 1,000 people in the ZIP code’s corresponding town, captured in a 2012 Crime In Connecticut report compiled by the state.
For Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia, the honor of top spot in Stamford’s 06902 ZIP code didn’t come as much of a surprise. With more than 24,000 children living in the sprawling ZIP code, which encompasses much of the city’s west side, as well as shoreline areas like Shippan, 06902 is a hot spot for candy hunters.
“Within the 06902 ZIP code, there are safe neighborhoods and I think if you were to travel out on Halloween night, you’ll notice there’s strong family participation in those areas,” Pavia said this week.
While the Stamford native said he was pleased to see 06902 land on top, he added that the city’s candy bounty isn’t limited to that one particular area. While raising his children, Pavia lived in Davenport Farm, a private association situated in North Stamford’s 06903 ZIP code.
“Of course, we had the neighborhood kids that would come through and also other kids, because it’s considered to be a safe place to trick or treat and no one really minded,” he said, adding that “we went through candy like you wouldn’t believe.”
That ZIP code came in at No. 28 overall, falling into the bottom half of the list – a rarity for a neighborhood often celebrated for standing out. But North Stamford’s 06903 wasn’t the only well-to-do area that came in lower than one might expect.
The always kid-friendly Weston, celebrated for its superior schools, came in at No. 36, thanks in large part to low density (Sure, it’s tied with Darien for the highest percentage of residents with 52 percent, but with only 10,142 residents in total, that’s still not a lot of children) and a lack of stores for emergency candy runs. Backcountry Greenwich, where estates span several acres, came in at No. 35 for similar reasons. Similarly, Newtown’s 06482 came in at No. 42.
Greenwich parent Kim Blank said she takes her children to a different part of town each year in their quest for candy. Her two youngest children, who are 9 and 11, had not yet decided where they’ll head this year as of Wednesday evening, but Milbrook has been a popular destination for the family in the past.
“Because our neighborhood doesn’t have a lot of trick or treating, we have to go some place that’s sort of a destination, which is not what I grew up with. We used to just knock on our neighbors’ door,” said Blank, who is co-president of the Parent Teacher Association at North Street School.
“I think people who are fortunate enough to line in a neighborhood where the houses are near enough together than they can cover a good amount of ground stay near home,” she added, “But at North Street, Milbrook and Maher Avenue tend to be popular destinations.”
Then there’s Bridgeport, where five of the city’s six ZIP codes made it into the top half of the list, including 06606, which was No. 2 overall.
According to Thomas McCarthy, the City Council President who hails from 06606, the reasons behind Bridgeport’s high ranking are obvious.
“In the 06606 district, there are very close knit neighborhoods and from a physical point of view, the houses are close to each other,” he said. “So all the neighbors know each other and there’s a comfortable and safe environment for kids to go out and trick or treat.”
Unlike more suburban areas where the houses are spread farther apart, Bridgeport’s higher density means kids can make more stops in a shorter amount of time.
“And don’t forget the basic stuff,” McCarthy added. “We have well-lit streets compared to the suburbs, which don’t invest in the infrastructure like we do with sidewalks.”