Trunk or Treating is a growing trend that has been popping up around the country as a replacement for Trick or Treating. But, it might just be what saves Halloween for our kids during a pandemic.

I have already argued that trick or treating can be done safely in the age of COVID. And I still believe that. Still, some communities may be leery of holding a large, public event. I based my opinions on what I see here in my town.

Trunk or Treat 1

I’ve since heard that in some communities, trick-or-treat is a super big deal with large crowds. Some communities have literally car loads upon car loads of kids and it’s very crowded on the sidewalks.

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What is Trunk or Treating?

Trunk or treating is exactly what it sounds like. It’s Trick or Treating, but instead of going house to house, you’re going car trunk to car trunk. These events are often organized in church parking lots or other large parking lots that wouldn’t be active when trick or treating is happening. The trunk of cars and beds of trucks are decorated and kids can go around to each trunk to get candy.

Is Trunk-or-Treat Safer than regular Trick or Treat?

The primary way that trunk or treating is safer is the simple fact that kids are in a parking lot with parents, thus a controlled environment. But, it’s also safer when there’s a pandemic going on. Trunk or treat allows those handing out candy to keep a safe distance from the kids while still getting to see all the costumes.

In fact, after the initial setup, those who are handing out candy can stand at the other end of their car to watch the parade of kids until the candy bucket needs to be refilled. It’s also done out in the fresh air which means the risk of the virus being transmitted is vastly reduced, though not gone completely.

All of this means that it is safer for everyone involved. Because the trunk or treating will happen in a limited space you can also set up stations where people can use hand sanitizer.

How to Host a Trunk or Treat

Finding a trunk or treat event in your area might prove to be the most challenging part of the whole thing. Especially since most trunk or treat events require you to RSVP in advance so people know how much candy to bring. The first place I would start would be any of my local LDS (Mormon) friends.

Many Mormons will hold these events in their church parking lot and are happy for locals to attend as well. If you don’t know any then check in with your community Facebook groups at the start of October.

Keep in mind though, that your community may not be hosting one. If that’s the case, then consider organizing one yourself. Ask your local church or community center if you can use their parking lot. Then post on social media letting people know that the event is going to happen. You can use a free service like Signup Genius to take registration if space is limited.

  1. Choose a location.
  2. Secure a location by contacting the owner/lessee of the parking lot.
  3. Invite friends.
  4. Recruit friends and family to hand out candy.
  5. Use SignUpGenius or another online platform to have families RSVP and provide tickets.
  6. Dress up and have fun!

You’ll want to recruit people handing out candy as well as get RSVPs for kids. You can also make it mandatory that everyone who attends Trunk or Treating is wearing a mask. You can’t get that kind of security from regular Trick or Treating!

Closed or Open Invitation

If you decide to host a trunk or treat event, you’ll have to decide if it’s going to be open to the public or invitation only. If someone close to you is in the high risk group for COVID, you may want to invite other high-risk families. I belong to several disability-related parent groups, and I know many of them would love the opportunity for a safer Halloween for their kids.

Halloween in a Pandemic

This might just be the thing that saves Halloween for our kids in a pandemic. Especially for the little ones who love dressing up and going out to get candy. Or, those kids who would otherwise have to miss out on this tradition due to being high risk.

If you’re worried that the candy your kids get might have come into contact with the virus then have them pick up the candy with tongs or other similar objects. Then, have it sit somewhere up high in your house for at least 3 days. But be sure to have a bag of candy on hand when you get home so the kids don’t feel tortured having to wait for their loot. 

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