Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat: a Few Halloween Tips

zombie dance by philliefan99
zombie dance, a photo by philliefan99 on Flickr
I hope everybody survived the storm with minimal damage, and is ready to celebrate Halloween tonight. Here is a short guide to help make your Halloween more enjoyable. I think it's a a good reminder for longtimers, and a good primer for newbies.

The basics:

1. Do kids trick or treat around here? Absolutely. And I think we'll get pretty good turnout tonight because many of us still have cabin fever.

2. I bought candy. Why aren't kids are coming to my house? It's dark out there. Turn on your porchlight/light your pumpkin. Otherwise kids don't know you are home. Not getting the turnout you expected? Maybe your neighbors have dark houses. Kids will skip a mostly dark block.

3. Is someone going to smash my pumpkin? Probably not. I grew up mostly in the midwest. People always smashed our pumpkins (sometimes even before Halloween!). I've not had a single pumpkin (carved, or uncarved) smashed since I move here in 2001. I've heard a few stories of smashed pumpkins in DC, but I think it's rare.

4. Why the hell aren't those kids wearing costumes? Yes, that seems weird (and lazy) to me too. There are lots of cheap or free ways to dress up for Halloween, but it's not uncommon for kids to trick or treat sans costume.

5. Why are there a bunch of teenagers on my porch with bags? See the above note about costumes. Some teens here trick or treat until they are pretty up there in age. Something else you'll likely encounter is the parent who has their own bag for their own candy. Yep, it happens.

6. Hmm, anything else I should know? I'm glad you asked. Let's talk transportation and Halloween party safety.
A. If you drive on Halloween please watch out for others. Kids in costumes, and for adults who may have had too much to drink (or can't see well in their masks) are going to be out tonight.
B. Cabs are hard to get on big Halloween party nights (probably less of an issue since we're talking a Wednesday). Keep this in mind when making plans.
C. Metro runs, use it. Seriously. It's cheap, and probably faster than a cab. Alternately you could just stay close to home.
D. Keep your pets inside. Kids (and drunk people) aren't always nice to animals. Plus, your dog might escape when someone opens the gate hoping for candy, or he could bite a kid. We're also not so far removed from July 4th. Face it, someone still has leftover fireworks.

Don't forget to check out the Tots of Trinidad Halloween parade (6pm at Joe Cole Park, 1200 Morse).


Anonymous said...

Other things you'll see:

- adults who *don't* have any kids to chaperone, with no costume, coming to the door for candy;

- minivans with Maryland plates trolling the area for what look like the most productive blocks; stopping and releasing a gaggle of kids who circumnavigate the block, then return to the minivan; and then moving on in search of the next promising block.

wylie coyote said...

No love for adult trick or treaters on this side. I'll even tell the teens that I'm saving my candy for the little ones.

Never saw that minivan situation, but that's absurd and sad.

Anonymous said...

I have different candy I give out to the people I like and the people I don't like. I let them see that there is a difference too.

wylie coyote said...

The minivan thing is sad because someone is crossing a state line to trick or treat. No candy in their own neighborhood? Tragic.

Anonymous said...

What time does trick or treating start on Capitol Hill?

jaybeas said...

@anon 11:55, you can find the younger set out as early as 5pm or 5:30, but things really pick up after dark. A lot of families will hit up Hilloween at Eastern Market (starts at 5:30) and then venture out for trick-or-treating after that.

Anonymous said...

thank you!

Amanda said...

As beautiful single white woman, I take my sexy-nurse/sexy angel/sexy-______ costumed self up to embassy row.

Anonymous said...

sunset is 6:08 today
no candy shall be given out proir

4th and G said...


There are a number of embassies along 4th Street NE. Check them out!

8th and El said...

830 and only three kids in for trick or treating. I've only been here six years, but there has definitely been a decline of trick or treaters around here. But, so far no teens without costumes, and no adults with Scream masks.

Anonymous said...

3rd & H NE:
About the same overall volume as prior years (maybe a hair less), but fewer teenagers & wonder of wonders - only one adult sans kids all night.

diane on I said...

We took the granddaughter to Hilloween then down East Capitol..

Anonymous said...

We ran out of candy...always a big turnout on K street...

Anonymous said...

Hm...guess things are a bit different just a few blocks north. Sure, we get teens, but they're usually escorting youngins. They're still kids, they still get candy (they deserve it for escorting the little ones). Adults don't usually ask for candy, but I offer it if their kids don't seem to have a lot. My parents always raided my big hauls for a few treats of their own, but if the kids aren't bringing it in, the adults should get some candy, too. Many people bring their dogs with them, so I keep a bag of doggy treats with me for the furkids. Most of us sit outside, so everyone knows who's offering candy, and that way, I get to let my dog get a little loving on his own terms, since I just hand the candy over the gate, and he can come up if he wants and hide in the corner if he feels like it (that would be extremely unusual...he REALLY likes the little people). Yes, we get some people from Maryland, and I used to get those people on the Hill, too. I never felt like they were being opportunistic (one can only eat so much candy), I always felt bad that they didn't feel their neighborhood was adequate for trick-or-treating, whether that was an infrastructure problem (no or unsafe sidewalks, too-big or too-busy roads) or rude neighbors who overall don't participate.