City Announces Halloween Trick or Treat Hours, Recreation Department Family Fall/Halloween Events and Halloween Parade Restrictions

October 20, 2023

The City of Portsmouth Recreation Department has several family events and activities scheduled to celebrate fall and Halloween, culminating with the City’s Halloween trick-or-treat hours (5 to 8 pm on Monday, October 30, 2023). The Portsmouth Police Department reminds everyone to watch out for trick-or-treaters and traffic on the roads. For more information about safe practices for trick or treat activities, go to: Happy Hauntings: 13 Tips for a Healthy Halloween | Blogs | CDC.

City events and activities include:

Oct 9-12 Virtual Pumpkin Decorating: The Recreation Department's annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest takes place October 9 to 23, 2023. Go to for information and to enter. Winners will be announced the Friday before Halloween.

Starting Oct 16 Fall Story Walk: Storybook panels guide visitors along the Community Campus walking trail. The new panels will be installed along the trail as of Monday, October 16. The Trail is open from dawn to dusk. This event is hosted in partnership with the Portsmouth Public Library.

Oct 17 Halloween Craft Night: Families will enjoy a night of spooky rock painting on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, at the Community Campus. Activity for grades K - 2 at 5 pm; for grades 3 - 5 at 6 pm and grades 6 - 8 at 7 pm.

Oct 21 Snapology Halloween Robotics Workshop: For ages 7 - 14. on Saturday, October 21 from 1 to 4 pm at Community Campus. Registration is $29 per participant and is required in advance. Go to Registration:

• Oct 24 NEW! Haunted Trail: Tuesday, October 24: Family Friendly Spooky Walk, 5 - 6 pm. Haunted Trail, 6 - 8 pm. At the Community Campus trail with parking at the Athletic Field.

• Oct 28 Third Annual Fall Family Fun Fest: Saturday, October 28 from 11 am to 2 pm at the Campus Drive Athletic Fields. Free and open to the public, with costumes encouraged. Participants will enjoy live music, games, a s’mores fire pit, food trucks, petting zoo, touch-a-truck, dog aerial show, and fun for the whole family.

For details on all the events, go to:

The independently organized Portsmouth Halloween Parade takes place on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. For details go to their website: Parking restrictions and road closures are as follows:

The Portsmouth Halloween Parade steps off again from Four Tree Island at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. Please note, the Halloween Parade is not a City event.

On Tuesday, October 31, 2023, parking and vehicular travel on certain streets in the City will be prohibited due to the Portsmouth Halloween Parade. On-street parking is banned along the parade route: from Marcy Street to Daniel Street into Market Square, from Congress to Maplewood Avenue, then State Street and back to Prescott Park. The parking ban will last from 5 pm to 10 pm and the street closures from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Residents, business owners, and employers located inside the parade route are advised that no vehicles will be permitted to cross the parade route. It is required that all parked vehicles be moved outside the parade route prior to 5 pm. Other areas in and around the event will be restricted. Police Officers, event volunteers, signs and/or barricades will be in place for these areas. Due to safety and security concerns, privately operated drones are not permitted along the parade route. All vehicles in violation of the “no parking” areas as of 5 pm will be towed at the owner’s expense to National Wrecker Service (295 West Road, Portsmouth).

ROAD CLOSURES & DETOURS The following streets will be closed or restricted to local traffic only beginning at 6 pm. Police officers, signs and/or barricades will be in place for these streets:

• Marcy Street – from Hancock Street to State Street and under the bridge to Daniel Street;

• Daniel Street – from Bow Street to Market Square;

• Bow Street – from Daniel to Market Street;

• Market Street – from Hanover Street to Market Square;

• Fleet Street – from Hanover Street to State Street;

• Congress Street – from Market Street to Maplewood Avenue;

• Pleasant Street – from Court Street to Market Square;

• State Street – from Fleet Street to Marcy Street; and

• Porter Street – from Fleet Street to Pleasant Street.

There will be significant traffic delays in the parade route area as it passes and motorists are strongly urged to seek alternate routes away from affected streets.


High/Hanover, Foundry Place Garage, Worth Lot, Bridge Street Lot – normal rates apply.


The City of Portsmouth is providing a seated viewing area for the Portsmouth Halloween Parade located on the sidewalk along Marcy Street adjacent to Prescott Park near the intersection with State Street. The wheelchair-accessible area is reserved for people who have difficulty standing along with their companions. Space and seating are limited and available on a first-come basis.

Accessible parking is available in the Prescott Park parking lot near Memorial Bridge. Access Navigators will be the hosts of the space, providing assistance and community spirit. For more details visit Access Navigators on Facebook or at

For more information go to Portsmouth Halloween Parade for rules and restrictions for marching.

Halloween Parade Map