How To Host a Trunk-or-Treat

A fun Halloween tradition among our friends is an annual Trunk-or-Treat Party. We hold it the day before Halloween {or weekend before, depending on the calendar}. Our friends host the party in their cul-de-sac because they’ve got great neighbors and the perfect set up for this kind of event. When we arrive, the dads take the kids inside the house to have a light dinner and play while the moms decorate the trunks of their cars.

This truly is one of my favorite family holiday traditions. Use the tips below to help you get started with a Trunk-or-Treat party too!

How To Host a Trunk-or-Treat | Houston Moms Blog

So, what exactly is Trunk-or-Treat?

It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s trick-or-treating, but instead of going door-to-door around the neighborhood, you go from one car trunk to the next. You don’t have to actually use the trunk of a car … you can use the back of an SUV, the bed of a truck, or the space around the back of your vehicle. Just don’t forget the candy!

How To Host a Trunk-or-Treat | Houston Moms Blog

I don’t live on a cul-de-sac, so where do I host a Trunk-or-Treat?

The parking lot of your neighborhood park or pool is a great space to hold a Trunk-or-Treat. The idea is to keep it a safe spot for the kids to walk around and not be concerned with a great deal of traffic.

How do I decorate my trunk?

Surprisingly, I’ve never had much luck with Pinterest in this area, so I’ve had to decorate using my own ideas. {Gasp!} Usually, I pay a visit to Party City or Arne’s and stock up on orange and black crepe paper, balloons, and other door/wall hangings I can find that can double as car décor. Our group has a competition for the best decorated car, which is fun for the adults!

How To Host a Trunk-or-Treat | Houston Moms Blog

Do you have more ideas for decorating my trunk?

Sure I do! The cutest idea I’ve seen is when a friend put dry ice in the trunk of her car and had the kids reach inside to get their candy. It gave the spooky Halloween feel, but in a kid-friendly manner! Remember that your trunk doesn’t have to just be a candy dispenser … make the kids work for their candy! I’ve seen a football beanbag toss game, and when the kids made three in, they got their candy. Same concept can be done with Halloween putt-putt or bobbing for apples. When you tie in elements of a carnival into your Trunk-or-Treat, you’ve found the perfect combination of games and fun. And then your actual Trunk-or-Treating lasts more than 3 minutes!

How To Host a Trunk-or-Treat | Houston Moms Blog

How do I organize a Trunk-or-Treat party?

Start with your friend group from your neighborhood or school, and choose your date and location. Its convenient that Halloween is on a Monday this year, so you have the weekend to have your party. Try to get as many families – or trunks – to participate as possible so that the kids have more “places” to visit. The only downfall of Trunk-or-Treat is that it can be too small for all of the effort you put forth if you only have a handful of families.

Why Trunk-or-Treat?

There are several reasons I love Trunk-or-Treating. First, I like that my kids are getting candy from people that I know really well. As a mom, that’s just comforting. It’s also nice that after the kids are done trunk-or-treating, we can all go back to the host family’s house and continue having fun, letting the kids play together and getting out all of their energy from the candy! But maybe the best part of extending Halloween one more night is that the kids get to wear their costumes another time! We like to get as much wear out of these costumes as possible, right Moms?

How To Host a Trunk-or-Treat | Houston Moms Blog

Do you have any experience with Trunk-or-Treating? Share your tips with us in the comments below!



  1. The Spirit of Halloween - October 30, 2016

    […] In the current reality of my front yard with my two-year-old and five-year-old, I smiled at the contrast between Halloween then and Halloween now. What exemplified a temporary reprieve from teenage societal constraints, unfettered freedom in dipping our toes into the world of evil, and an annual expunging of pent-up screams and compulsions to hit things, has given way to eagerly awaiting this year’s Pottery Barn Kids costume catalog, monogrammed treat bags, The Hallo-wiener read by flashlight, and “safe” trunk-or-treating. […]

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