I've got junk in my trunk and I think you should get some too!
When Halloween falls on a weekday it can be a fright when you have school age children or have to work the next day. Let's face it. Putting my sugar-laden kids to bed at a decent time on Hallows' Eve and then trying to get them to school on time the next morning is about as appealing to me as a zombie attack.
For a few years now, my group of friends has organized a Trunk-or-Treat event to take the scary out of a weekday Halloween. We bring our kids to a prearranged parking lot on the Saturday morning prior to Halloween. Each family parks their vehicle, opens their trunk and sets up a candy display inside. The costumed children then trick-or-treat by collecting candy from each vehicle. It's safe. It's lighted and the kids get to celebrate with their friends. The best part? The sugar rush is long gone by bedtime.
Here is how to plan your own Trunk-or-Treat in 9 easy steps.
1. Find a venue.
My group conducts our Trunk-or-Treat in a covered parking garage that isn't in use on the weekends. However, parking lots located near parks, shopping centers, schools or sporting venues will all work. Just remember to get permission ahead of time.
2. Pick a date and a time.
We like to gather our troops during the daylight hours on the weekend prior to Halloween. The kiddos run around to burn of the sugar rush and we avoid any vampires that come out after bedtime. However, if you have an older group of children, you might prefer meeting in the evening for a haunted parking lot experience.
3. Gather your ghoulish friends and their mini goblins.
We use Facebook events to plan our Trunk-or-Treat, but there are lots of ways to set up your event. Before you send out a mass invite, you may want to decide how many trick-or-treaters works best for your group. Over the years, our group has grown to 50 families and more than 100 children. We find that a group of this size results in a festive atmosphere and full bags of candy for the kiddos. However, a group much larger in size might become unmanageable and a group that is very small may result in a quick and disappointing trick-or-treating experience.
No matter how many people you decide to invite, it is super important to obtain a reasonable estimate of how many children will be collecting treats. Otherwise, attendees won't know how many treats to prepare for. Trust me! It is best to avoid a Halloween riot fueled by hungry Elsas and Marshalls.
4. Prepare your treats.
I package the treats in individual-sized treat bags so that there is one for each child. I also like to throw in a little extra toy since these treats are for my friends' children. I hope my friends have forgiven me for the extra loud whistles I handed out last year!
Once the treats are ready, I place the booty in a large basket which is easily accessible by trick-or-treaters from the back of my minivan.
5. Plan your costumes and decorate your vehicle.
Incorporating a vehicle into your Halloween opens up endless theme possibilities. I have parked next to a mini-van dressed as a carriage. Out jumped Cinderella, the Prince, her step-sisters and her fairy-godmother. This year, I hear rumblings that a friend's giant SUV may be transformed into the paw patroller. Not everyone goes to such lengths. Last year, my vehicle was decked out as the minivan most in need of a good vacuum.
6. Organize your group of goblins in the parking lot.
For this, it is best to put one adult in charge. A bossy one.
Our Bossy One schedules an arrival time at 10:30 a.m. A traffic guard (aka someone's husband) directs the vehicles to line up and park in a safe manner. At 10:50, Bossy One blows a whistle, and vehicles are no longer permitted to enter or exit the venue for the safety of the eager kidlets.
7. Let the Trunk-or-Treating Begin.
At 11 a.m., Bossy One blows the whistle again, issues some safety-related instructions to the crowd and trunk-or-treating begins. The children move from vehicle to vehicle collecting their treats. One parent usually remains behind with each car to hand out the treats while the other chaperones the kiddos. However, our group is tight so it is no problem to leave the treats in the trunk unattended.
8. Nom nom nom.
Once the mini monsters have visited all of the vehicles, Bossy One blows the final whistle. Everyone loads up their kids in their cars and the kids stuff their faces with loot. It can be a challenge to make sure that the each Pikachu ends up in the appropriate vehicle.
9. Sort the candy.
This is the most important step of all. I wait for my kids to fall asleep before I sort the rest of their candy. And by sort the candy I mean test its yumminess with your mouth. It's the Halloween tax folks!
My children look forward to Trunk-or-Treat every season and it really takes the pressure off the big night for our family. And let's be honest. There could be worse things you could be distributing out of the trunk of your car!
What do you think? Would incorporating a Trunk-or-Treat event into your Halloween make the holiday easier or does it just result in more unnecessary candy?