To ask how you do you trick or treat?

(29 Posts)
Howlingowl Thu 30-Oct-14 13:16:54

Never done trick or treat as I'm from another country. How is it done? Dressing up in scary costumes I get but what else do the kids do, go round to neighbours houses, sing songs, what else? Also if I invite a couple of dc's classmates, should I bake something? Have party food / drinks? It's not a party really, more getting together to do a light weight trick or treat in our street.


OP’s posts: |
ghostyslovesheep Thu 30-Oct-14 13:19:02

we dress up and go from door to door knocking and shouting 'trick or treat'

we only EVER knock on houses that are decorated for Halloween - we never knock at houses where people aren't taking part

it's good fun and most of our neighbours join in so there is a nice community spirit (small new build estate)

Minikievs Thu 30-Oct-14 13:24:40

I was going to write the exact same question....first year we are doing it.
Etiquette is? Only decorated houses? Only houses with front door lights on? Only immediate neighbours or whole block?
Feel utterly clueless!

strawberryshoes Thu 30-Oct-14 13:25:22

yes to only knocking on doors if there is a pumpkin outside or some kind of decorations - this is the unwritten rule that says we are happy to receive trick or treaters. Kids dress up, take a bucket or something, and every house you knock will offer you a sweet or something (and if they dont, you can "trick" them, but that has never happened).

Would not bother with anything special at your house - they are about to be given a bucket load of sweets off the neighbours anyway!

ghostyslovesheep Thu 30-Oct-14 13:25:41

only decorated houses smile

WooWooOwl Thu 30-Oct-14 13:26:49

My dc usually have friends round before it gets dark for hot dogs and whatever novelty cupcakes I've made or bought, and I let them have fizzy water with Ribena or lemonade with green food colouring in it as a treat.

We've managed to collect quite a few decorations over the years, so they decorate the front porch and put pumpkins out so that other trick or treaters know I they can come to our house.

The unwritten rule around here is that children only knock on doors with pumpkins or decorations out, but plenty of people take part so it works well and people who don't want to participate dont get disturbed.

Then as soon as it's dark the dc go out, all dressed up, in a group, and they are told which areas they're allowed to go to. They don't have tricks planned or any sort of a gimmick, they just say thank you and happy Halloween to anyone that gives them a treat.

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Thu 30-Oct-14 13:26:51

Surrounding streets, people you know. That's how we've been guising since I was a lass!


LovleyRitaMeterMaid Thu 30-Oct-14 13:29:33

Oh and any guisers have to sing a song or tell a joke or they get naff all. Shrieking 'trick or treat' and holding out a bucket doesn't cut it.

sillymillyb Thu 30-Oct-14 13:33:39

Ds is nearly 3 and is totally up for halloween this year. I'm dressing him up as a monster and then going to neighbours we know who have decorations up. I'm working on getting him to say "happy Halloween!" As he's quite shy so might just stand there, then I'm letting him have a late night and man the front door with sweeties for the other kids. Well, that's the plan. He might freak out and be in bed by 6pm in reality!

HighwayDragon Thu 30-Oct-14 13:33:42

whole block, decorated houses only

skylark2 Thu 30-Oct-14 13:33:51

Only decorated houses unless you know 100% for sure that you will be welcome (dcs used to go to our elderly neighbour as he liked to see their costumes, but this was well before it was dark - bear in mind that even if you would be welcome normally, someone who isn't "joining in" may not want to answer the door on Halloween).

Fudgeface123 Thu 30-Oct-14 13:36:59

I shut the blinds and ignore the door grin

sashh Thu 30-Oct-14 13:40:09

You don't need to sing songs (you might if you are in Scotland), most of my neighbours are anti trick or treat, but a few years ago a friend's son was going to be on his own trick or treating (don't ask) so neighbours were asked in advance to answer the door to him and they also kept an eye on him crossing the street so he thought he was on his own.

Momagain1 Thu 30-Oct-14 13:51:35

Everyone at my kids school is talking of it, and the kids can dress up on Friday. I know there is a neighborhood parade, but I suspect it is for smaller children. We are American and he remembers Halloween there. Last year it was bucketing down, so I pulled out a little stash of treats and we stayed in. But this year, he really wants to go out. but I dont see a bit of decoration up on our street. I am going to ask some parents closer to the school if their neighborhood is trick or treat friendly, My plan is to go to the parade, and if that is lame, go over there?

Or else, give the neighbours we have met in our close some candy to give to him? We have

mawbroon Thu 30-Oct-14 13:55:11

Depends where you live!

As others have said, in Scotland, guisers are expected to sing a song or tell a joke or poem or similar.

Round our bit, it tends to just be kids from around our street and they don't go out late either, they usually start around tea time.

Have plenty treats in for others coming round your door too!

Venticoffeecup Thu 30-Oct-14 13:55:53


I'm going to be a wicked old witch here, but I don't do it and I don't like the custom. I will be closing my curtains and ignoring the door.

However I think your party OP will be a great idea. If I were in your place I would only knock on decorated houses.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Thu 30-Oct-14 13:56:28

When did the 'only decorated houses' rule come in?

We have never decorated our house and going back a few years, we always had a few trick or treaters so usually bought a few packs of kitkats/penguins etc to give out.

But for the last couple of years we haven't had any and have had all the biscuits left over.

I don't plan to buy anything this year and won't be decorating the house, but that means that we'll get hordes of them and be either forced to run to the Co-op for supplies, or hand out random things like tins of beans or pieces of cheese won't we?

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Thu 30-Oct-14 13:59:44

Then it gets,daft because everyone else is out guising at the same time and it's dad's left to dish out the sweeties!

Dh gets left with the instructions not to eat everything and to be nice to any guisers!

nappyaddict Fri 31-Oct-14 19:11:07

Do you take your decorations down or bring your pumpkin in when it's too late to have any more trick or treaters? If not what's the latest you would be happy to receive trick or treaters?

Howlingowl Fri 31-Oct-14 19:41:45

Hello, thank you all for your thoughts. We had a fun time 'trick or treating', however we took on board some of the tips upthread and shouted 'happy hallwoen' instead of trick or treat and only knocked on houses with pumpkins (nots is many around).

On this note......
Happy Halloween folks. thlgrin

OP’s posts: |
MsVestibule Fri 31-Oct-14 19:56:06

I've never heard of the 'only knock at decorated houses' rule, either. If we'd stuck to that, we wouldn't have knocked at anybody's door at all! Most ignored the doorbell (their prerogative, I think I did the same pre-DCs), but I was extremely grateful when the 6th neighbour did answer and happily gave some sweets and money. Obviously the money was completely unnecessary but the DCs were delighted especially as I'm really tight.

OwlWearingSunglasses Fri 31-Oct-14 20:06:10

You do stand more chance of the door being opened if the house is decorated or at least there is pumpkin on the step. smile

We had no-one knock.

not bouncing off the walls because of the sugar rush from the sweeties, not me, no

MsVestibule Fri 31-Oct-14 20:23:27

owl I get that, but as not a single house was decorated in any way, my young DCs would have walked forlornly home with a completely empty cup grin

Brassrubbing Fri 31-Oct-14 21:18:50

I think the 'only knock at decorated houses' rule emerged out of 'only knock at houses with the porch light on', as people who weren't playing would draw curtains, and leave porches and hallways dark. If someone also sticks a pumpkin or plastic bat outside, it's less ambiguous. I think it's quite useful as bits of etiquette go.

Topseyt Fri 31-Oct-14 21:57:09

I've never really liked the trick or treat tradition of Halloween, and have to say that I am relieved my children have pretty much outgrown it now.

They did like going a few years back (against my better judgment) and we always said that they had to stay within our street, only visiting houses with clear signs of participation - i.e. a pumpkin or other Halloween decoration.

Left to myself I would deal with Halloween by just not bothering with it at all, especially now that mine are older. It can just be so irritating when the doorbell goes every couple of minutes and causes the dog to virtually blow a fuse.

This last two or three years I have not done pumpkins or anything, and we have barely had any callers. Just three or four really. Much more bearable.

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