Last year, there was some enthusiasm around the idea of Reverse Trick or Treating, the idea of going out and engaging with trick-or-treaters, or even going to people’s houses to give them treats. I’d like your help in evolving this idea, or something related, but Halloween in Wallingford this year.
Here’s where I’m coming from: Halloween is one of the best holidays out there: kids get to be creative, dressing up in costumes, roving in bands, being scared, being amused, being amazed.
Trick-or-treating is fun, but has some flaws: kids go door-to-door, hold out their bags and fill them up with candy that often gets thrown away or, worse yet, eaten. Most of the treats are the same: cheap chocolate mini-bars. Next house, same bars. Next house, same bars. What a wasted opportunity for awesomeness.
That, and the rise in allergies (nut, gluten, corn, egg, dairy, etc.) has made many of the treats verboten to a growing block of kids. Kids who deserve a fun Halloween!
Our best times on Halloween have been at the amazing haunted houses that people have created, like the one 42nd and 1st Ave NE and the one at 42nd and Corliss, or the day glo dungeon on Sunnyside below 42nd. The kids get so excited to interact with these amazing art and performance pieces that people have put on, and the parents chat with each other, and it feels like a carnival. So much more amazing than just going house to house filling up a bag of corn syrup and palm oil.
So, I’ve got a few ideas that I wanted to run by you, let’s see what there’s enthusiasm for this year.
First idea: call-out for roving reverse trick-or-treaters. Last year, Erin went out as Elliott from ET and stopped people on the street to give them bubbles and candy. Zev and I rolled a wagon full of super-balls, and quizzed kids with fun questions before giving over the goods.
How about make-believe camera crew interviewing kids about their costumes, in character (you’re dressed as superman, expect to be asked what it’s like to fly)? Or a fortune-teller offering to tell fortunes? Or the Headless Horseman looking for his head? Roving bartender for the adults?
Imagine if there were people all over the neighborhood intercepting bands of children, giving them more fun than just a candy bar in a bag?
Second idea: same as above, more or less, except we block off a street (preferably near one of the aforementioned haunted houses) and encourage folks to come set up their acts and games there. With a fixed place (and perhaps some power cords from friendly neighbors), we could have games, a performance stage, all sortsa fun.
So anyway, that’s some ideas to start with. What do people think?
(Photo by Michael Hanscom)