When it comes to Halloween, costumed kiddos have one goal, and one goal only: to collect as much candy as possible. And traditionally, that meant getting dressed up and going door-to-door to get treats. But there’s a new (and potentially safer) way for kids to get candy, and that’s by participating in a trunk-or-treat. This new holiday tradition is catching on with parents and kids because of its many spooktacular benefits.
What exactly is trunk-or-treat?
Trunk-or-treat takes the idea of trick-or-treating and elevates it to a newer (and safer) level. Typically a group of people in a community or a neighborhood will bring their cars to a designated location so that kids can trick-or-treat from the trunks of the participants’ cars.
But if thought that your kid was going to just grab some Twizzlers from an undecorated trunk of a Tesla, think again. Parents who agree to participate in trunk-or-treat go all out decorating the trunks of their cars (complete with cobwebs, spooky décor, speakers booming out scary sounds, and even rigging fog machines to add to the ambience). Kids don’t actually get into the cars, because the trunks are open at all times and being manned by an adult who is helping dole out the candy.
How did trunk-or-treat start?
Back in the day, parents probably didn’t think twice about their kids banging on strangers’ doors and begging for candy. Sure, there were urban legends of kids finding razor blades in their (gasp, unwrapped) apples, or candies that had packaging that seemed to be mysteriously rewrapped for some strange reason. But it was out of growing concern for children’s safety that trunk-or-treat began with church groups who sought a safer way for kids to get their Snickers.
When is trunk-or-treat held?
Many times, trunk-or-treat will be held on Halloween or in the days leading up to the holiday. Communities will let their neighbors know when (and where) an upcoming trunk-or-treat will be held, so that parents can prepare for the holiday by ensuring that their kiddo has a costume or by running to the craft store to bling out the back of their car. If your community has hosted a trunk-or-treat in the past, it’s probably been held sometime in the month of October.
These are the benefits of trunk-or-treat
But you might argue “Where’s the fun in going to a parking lot and picking candy from some cars? Isn’t the point of trick-or-treating to walk up to a lot of houses to get your candy?” Well, yes and no. Of course, there is something to be said for the anticipation that builds when you’re walking up to a door and unsure if the neighbors are home, and if they do open the door, if they’ll be giving out full-size Hershey bars. But it’s for that same reason that many parents prefer trunk-or-treat, because there’s much less walking, which is ideal if you’re in an area where walking door-to-door isn’t feasible. With trunk-or-treat, you score a lot more candy in a much faster time frame. It’s a short (and sweet) way to get your candy quicker.
Also, you’ll most likely know at least some (if not all) of the people participating in trunk-or-treat. That way, you won’t have to worry about questionable candy winding up in your kid’s sack or (ack) if your overly excited kid tries to run into someone’s house (hey, it happens).
And when weather conditions are unfavorable, trunk-or-treat ensures that your kid will get their candy on Halloween without having to deal too long with the cold, rain, or other unpleasant environmental elements. And it means that you won’t have to hand over your own stash of Skittles as a substitute when your kid is crying that they missed Halloween this year.
Trunk-or-treat helps to keep the magic and excitement of Halloween alive. In fact, many communities will offer a trunk-or-treat option in addition to traditional trick-or-treating. That means your kid can get double the amount of candy — and extra Kit Kats for you, too.