Happy Halloween and a Note from New York

Hi Folks! I am at a friend’s apartment, borrowing her internet connection. I live in New York City — Queens — which was hit hard by Sandy, but my neighborhood was not severely affected. I wish everyone could say the same.

Anyway, for those  not dodging downed power lines,  it’s a great day for the kids to go forth and revel in candy and independence — both sweet. But  how can parents start letting go?

Maybe it’s not that hard — at least, that’s what I just saw. On Saturday, I gave my Free-Range Kids lecture rzetebzzfi
in Whitby, Ontario, and afterward lead a seminar for parents and their kids. I asked the parents to tell me one thing that they LOVED doing when they were young, but that they don’t let their kids do. Of course they talked about playing in the woods and building forts and roaming the neighborhood. Then I asked their kids — age 7 to 12 — what THEY wished they could do on their own, and SO MANY of them said, “I want to go trick or treating with my friends but without my parents.”

I can’t say exactly what age to let your kids do this, but some of the wistful, wishful kids were 10 already. What’s fantastic is that when they asked their parents point blank, “Please?” and the parents were primed by thoughts of their own childhood adventures (and, hopefully, my lecture), they all said: YES. Simple as that: Yes.

So here’s wishing you and yours a happy (and possibly transformative) Halloween! – L.


P.S. If your children come home with an unwrapped or a homemade treat, I’d still love you to send me a photo or video of them enjoying it. Please send it to [email protected] The goal is to drive a stake through the myth that neighbors delight in poisoning children on this holiday. (As if no one would ever trace the crime! Even if they WANTED to poison random kids, would they do it with a treat that all the still-alive kids could recall,”Oh, that came from Mrs. Weber’s house!”?)

50 Responses to Happy Halloween and a Note from New York

  1. JaneW October 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Here in NJ, Halloween has been officially cancelled and rescheduled due to general chaos and downed power lines.

    (It’s the second year in a row this has happened! Last year we had that early blizzard.)

  2. Jennifer October 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    My kids (both age 9) are going out alone with their 8 year old friend this year. Our neighborhood is always crawling with kids and I expect them to have a great time.

  3. AlanaM October 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Third year TotTing w/o parents here. They are 10 and 13 now. I would just slow them down. =-}

  4. KMary October 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    My kids are only 2 and 4, so I’ll be going with them, but I look forward to letting them go alone in the future. At this point, I’m probably far more excited about this prospect than they are 🙂

    On a related note, I just wrote a silly rant on my facebook page about the ever more popular “trick or treating in a mall” thing. Our local mall had theirs yesterday and most of my kids’ friends went to it . With God as my witness, my children will NEVER trick or treat in a warm, well-lit mall in the middle of the day on a date that isn’t even Halloween. Sheesh. 90 percent of the fun of Halloween is trapsing around one’s own neighborhood in the dark and “braving” the elements. And of course all the advertisements for it said how much nicer and safer it would be to trick or treat indoors. Yeah, an iota safer due to no cars and about a billion times less fun…

  5. Snow October 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    My almost 11 year old and his friends are the most free range kids I know, always out and about around the neighborhood, climbing trees, fishing, bike riding, going to the park and building forts, but for some reason my son wants me to follow along on Halloween. I can’t figure out why. That’s ok, though, some of the neighbors have special, adult only treats (think jello shots) that they give to the parents so I don’t mind.

  6. Susanna K. October 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    My kids are still little enough that I need to go with them, but whether you’re going along or sending them out with friends, please remind them to watch out for the true danger: cars!

    A lot of neighborhoods around here don’t have sidewalks, and the car culture is so ingrained that many parents drive their kids from house to house. And those parents aren’t always as careful as they should be watching out for the groups of kids walking through the streets. So bring some glow sticks and keep your eyes peeled!

  7. Elizabeth October 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    My son is only 4 so I can’t really let him trick or treat alone quite yet, but once he’s a little older I’m looking forward to it.

    My daughter is 7 and we will be going with her because in the aftermath of the storm there are so many downed power lines we are nervous about her and her friends being out with that storm debris.

    As for trick or treating in a mall… the local malls here also have trick or treating but it’s on Halloween. While we’ve never done it before I am grateful for it this year. As I said, with all the power lines and tress down we’re worried about reality based dangers like electricity and falling tree branches and the strong possibility of rain this afternoon. So, we might be turning to the mall as an option rather than not getting to trick or treat at all this year.

    Once again, it’s nicer to look at these choices in a context rather than in absolute terms.

  8. Becky October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    For those who feel their kids are still too young to go out on their own, I propose a compromise. My dad and his good friend used to go out trick-or-treating with me and the good friends’ sons when we were still little. However, they ensured that our route always encompassed the tiny cul-de-sac where another mutual friend’s house was located. Although the dads dutifully stayed with us for most of the evening, in this little area we were left to our own devices while they stayed at the home of their acquaintance and imbibed in their own Halloween treats (my dad is particularly partial to Manhattans). That little bit of time alone resulted in great memories for us kids, and for our parents!

  9. Andrew October 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    I’m glad you and your family are okay. My prayers go out to the people of New York and New Jersey.

  10. Christine October 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I just wanted to say that I was so excited this morning when I watched the news. They were interviewing a rep from the local hospital about Halloween safety. When the reporter asked about “scary things in the candy” like poison or razor blades the rep said, “That would be tragic but the chances are very minimal. Our primary concern is that in areas where it is not well lit or children are running they may trip and fall. We see a lot of fractures from that.” While I wish he had come right out and said “That’s never happened.” I was so glad to see a responsible community member telling people that they should clean up their yards and turn on lights instead of worrying about imagined dangers!! Yaay!

  11. WendyW October 31, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    My kids are far apart in ages, so I often had one that still required a parent and one ready to go alone. My older one would take off as soon as she met up with a friend to buddy up with, and show up at home when everyone ran out of candy. When number 3 was old enough to go with number 2 and be trusted not to run off alone, I was DONE. I have better things to do than stand on streets micromanaging their adventures. Even when I was still escorting them, as soon as they were big enough to navigate the steps and crowds of “big kids”, I waited at the street and sent them to the door alone.

    My youngest is now 13, and he and his best friend, who lives 2+ miles away, plan to start at one home and TorT their way to the other home. The entire distance is residential areas, so that should be a pretty good haul of candy for us parents to raid after bedtime.

  12. Donna October 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    My 7 year old really wants to go trick or treating with her friend … and without parents. The friend refuses to go without her mommy. Since this girl is a bully who refuses to do anything my child suggests first, I don’t know if she is truly afraid to trick or treat alone or is just refusing to be a little brat. So I am stuck going with my child again this year.

  13. Warren October 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    I used to be the chosen adult, for my daughters group of friends, most likely cause I always hammed it up on Halloween. As young as 4 they would be a group of 5 or 6, and I would let them venture as a group up one side of the street to the corner, they would cross and work their way back. Street after street, it worked great. Became contagious, as the group of Dads and Moms at the corner grew, as the kids ran free.
    This made the transition to going without Dad, alot easier.

  14. hineata October 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    @Donna, I’m surprised they trick or treat in the Islands, I would have thought the churches were against it. Are there enough expat homes to make it worthwhile though? It’s a pain when the ‘friends’ our kids like are anything but, isn’t it!

    @Lenore, pleased to hear you guys are all right. That storm didn’t look like a whole lot of fun.

  15. Fuchsia October 31, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    “A lot of neighborhoods around here don’t have sidewalks, and the car culture is so ingrained that many parents drive their kids from house to house. And those parents aren’t always as careful as they should be watching out for the groups of kids walking through the streets. So bring some glow sticks and keep your eyes peeled!”

    They really drive them for trick or treating!? That is insane! If you can’t walk the route or are that worried then go to the mall and keep your car off the road. I don’t need my child being hit by a car as it goes house to house!

  16. Stephanie October 31, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    @Fuchsia – Never mind the lack of sidewalks, I’ve seen parents drive kids for trick or treat in our neighborhood. Closely packed suburban neighborhood, and we have wonderful sidewalks. Some just follow the kids in the car, but I’ve seen kids get in and out of the car at each house. It has to be more effort to do it that way!

    Our older two may choose to stick with it, but I’m fine if they want to head out on their own. We have a three year old, so she has to be escorted, but the others don’t. Cars and pushing to get to the door are my only concerns. We get kids from all over our town on our street, so things can actually be crowded at times.

  17. Donna October 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    @hineata – The Samoans are getting into Halloween in Am. Samoa (I doubt it’s hit the more traditional Samoa). Probably because travel between Am. Samoa and the US is so frequent and we watch US television and movies. Trick or treating has really only been practiced by this generation, though, and is more common in the westernized Samoan population. And my child’s “best friend” sucks.

    By the way, we are finally going to get to see your country over Christmas break.

  18. Kenny Felder November 1, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Lenore, you are doing so much good in the world!!!

  19. AW13 November 1, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    My son is still too young for going it alone, but I was pleased to see packs of kids roaming the neighborhood, trick or treating, without parents. The parents I saw all had kids around my son’s age or younger (so from 4 on down). Other than that, the kids were running in packs, which was great.

    Also, I noticed at one house, the adults had a fire pit (and maybe an adult beverage or two) and were sitting around chatting and handing out candy. My husband and I decided that once our son goes off on his own with his friends, we’re doing that in our yard!

  20. Martha November 1, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    I agree wholeheartedly that kids are eventually old enough to trick or treat on their own – and that they should! However, for those of you complaining your child isn’t old enough to go alone or without a friend and that you are stuck escorting them, try to remember these years go by fast. Before you know it you’ll blink and these times will be over forever. So enjoy this time with them now. I have many happy memories trick or treating with my little ones and hopefully you will, too, someday. 🙂

  21. CrazyCatLady November 1, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Our newspaper had lists of “trunk or treat” locations. Pretty lame in my opinion – only good for people with toddlers or kids who can’t walk.

  22. hineata November 1, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    @Donna! Cool! You might have picked a better time this time, as the Met service thinks we may actually get a summer this year….

    If you make it down to Wellington, the offer to take you and kiddo sightseeing still stands…..we love showing off the sights, such as they are, and my hubby is a great cook! Also, Catspaw and I will no doubt be sick to death of our own kids by Christmas, so the excuse to pile everyone in a couple of cars to hoon around the wider region will be gratefully taken…:-).

    Be sure to bring plenty of digital camera space – in spite of the relative decline in the sheep population over the last few years (there are now only about 11 sheep per person, down from 22 when I was young), there are still heaps of them running around wanting their photos taken :-).

  23. MotherT November 1, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    I desperately wanted my 11-year-old to go “alone” with his best friend and, if possible, take my 7-year-old one as well. Both assured me they were ready and wanted to, and younger one assured me he would listen to older one (they’ve been walking to school together all year, so I figured he could manage it) but the friend’s mother wouldn’t allow him to go out unsupervised. Sigh. It could be worse. At least the friend is walking to and from school on his own, and is allowed to come over here after school even if I’m not going to be here.

    This was always my biggest worry before I became a parent: that my kids would be the only ones on the block allowed to do anything fun, so they wouldn’t have anyone to do it *with* and would thus be stuck either bored or with me or my husband for company (which, frankly, amounts to about the same thing).

  24. Chihiro November 1, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    The first year I lived in the house I do, we got so many trick-or-treaters that after we ran out of candy, my dad had to force us to shut the lights off and hide so the zillions of kids who came to our house didn’t mob us.
    That was five years ago. Tonight, when I came back from play practice, (Director doesn’t care about Halloween, apparently!) my dad and brothers were eating all the candy since less than a dozen kids came.
    Also, hardly any kids walked, alone or with their parents. It seemed like parents would just load their kids up in their car and drive them to each house. (Adding to the traffic on the road, and making it less safe for kids and adults who ARE walking. Not to mention wasting gas and contributing to the obesity problem.)
    In other news, glad to hear you’re doing alright out there with Sandy! Stay safe!

  25. CrazyCatLady November 1, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    I just got back from taking my kids trick or treating, about 5 miles away, in a different school district where we do not know any families. And I realized that there are two reasons why I can’t let my kids go alone.

    1. They don’t know the neighborhood and the roads snake around in strange ways making it easy to get lost.
    2. They don’t have my sense of direction. I don’t know the neighborhood either, but I have always been able to know what direction to go, no matter if I am in the woods, huge inside buildings, or driving. My kids are more like their dad – they need a map. Which is hard to do when carrying candy.

    Hopefully we will find some friends that I can set my kids up to go without adults at some point.

  26. AlanaM November 1, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    Sorry no homemade treats to take photos of in the bags this year. I figured you wouldn’t want us to “fake” a homemade treat just to make a point!

  27. Donna November 1, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    @hineata – As miserably hot as I am today, I’m not sure summer weather is a selling point.

    We are doing both islands so will definitely hit Wellington. I expect to be there very close to Christmas, depending on how we decide to get around. My daughter is pushing for caravan. A friend thinks I should do a backpacker bus so I don’t have to drive. I can’t decide. Maybe my brain has been cooked by all the heat.

  28. Owen Allen November 1, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Best wishes for you and all your friends, Lenore.

  29. Donna November 1, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    We did get a homemade treat – sorry Lenore, no picture. One house gave out frozen fruit punch in a cup (Halloween in the tropics). Kids were eating it as they walked all through the neighborhood. I will compliment the little group of Americans I trick or treated with. Not a single parent had a problem with their child consuming it. Half the kids didn’t like it so the parents ended up eating/drinking it. It had an odd, salty taste and still the parents didn’t insist that it must be poisoned and take it away. We just accepted that this is essentially a foreign country and Samoans don’t always make things the way Americans would.

    And instead of just saying “trick or treat,” Samoans sing a song. It is cute.

  30. JJ November 1, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    @MotherT, that is one of the hardest things–when friends’ parents don’t allow anywhere near the same freedoms. We go through that with many of the friends.

  31. Nicole November 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    My 11-year-old and his buddy went out on their own and had a blast! They even “inherited” a little one from the neighborhood who wanted to go with them instead of mom.

  32. Connie Dye November 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    My 10-year-old son and his friend went trick-or-treating alone in our very safe subdivision last night. They came back after about an hour, after hitting two of the three streets in our neighborhood with bags full of loot! Only one neighbor asked, “Where is your mother?” My son looked at his friend and they took off running, not knowing how to respond. I said next time, say, “I’m a free range kid and my mom is home passing out candy!”

  33. TaraK November 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    My twelve-year-old’s Halloween plans were cancelled so he came along with us to a local church’s party. We came home early and I sent my four kids (12, 9, 7 and 5) to hit the streets. I did not give them a time to come back or a boundary to follow (mostly because they ran out the door too fast and I didn’t get a chance!)

    At one point in all of their mad running from door to door my youngest fell and scraped her knee. Oldest brother examined the scrape, concerned homeowner asked if girl was okay, oldest brother asked concerned homeowner if she could get him a bandaid. Oldest brother bandaged up young sister and they continued on their way! Mom heard nothing of this until they got home, sorted out the loot and were getting ready for bed.

  34. Emily November 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    @Connie Dye–Did the neighbour say, specifically, “Where is your MOTHER?”; as opposed to “Where are your parents?”; or “Where is your mother OR FATHER?” Because, I agree with Lenore that the growing trend of assuming that men aren’t fit to care for children, sometimes even their OWN children, is disturbing. But, anyway, I also agree with you that ten is plenty old enough to go trick-or-treating in a safe subdivision with a friend or sibling, without any adults there. In fact, if I only had one child, and I lived in a similar set-up, I’d probably let my kid go completely alone, because in that case, “alone” wouldn’t really be “alone,” because there’d be other kids and adults walking from house to house, the neighbours’ lights would be on, they’d be watching for kids, and if anything went wrong, well, I’d hope that someone would intervene.

    Anyway, I participated in Halloween last night too–I volunteered in a haunted house event that someone in another neighbourhood put together for charity. Admission to the haunted house was free, but she encouraged donations to the food bank, and ended up with a huge crate of food. The kids had fun, for the most part, even though it was cold and rainy (and I ended up leaving early after soaking through two pairs of socks), but the thing that bothered me the most about this Halloween was the lack of original, homemade costumes–I made my own, but a lot of the kids (and the other “monsters”) were wearing prefab crap from the dollar store/party store/Wal-Mart, or no costumes at all. At one point in the evening, I was doing my zombie thing (as instructed by the event organizer), and two pre-teen girls saw me in my slashed, bloody shirt and powdered-and-painted face (I even drew stitches on my neck), and informed me that I was “really, really not cool.” They were wearing normal clothes.

  35. Amy November 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    My beautiful girl got an apple and she sat right down in the middle of all the snicker bars and ate it!

  36. Lollipoplover November 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Hey Lenore, we also weathered Sandy well and are fortunate that ALL have power in our neighborhood and there is little damage (just a few trees down, already cleared). School has been called off for the week because of power outages so the kids were really, really looking forward to Halloween. We have a fun block party every year that is so much fun. Imagine my surprise when our township announced (for the first time ever) that they were postponing Halloween to Saturday at 2pm (daytime!).

    So the kids revolted! They did not just accept that they could be told not to trick-or-treat on Halloween. They called around to their friends, knocked on doors, and saved Halloween night. Honestly, it was one of their best Halloweens ever! Other neighborhoods nearby (who still did not have power) even came over to join in- grateful their kids had something to do. We gave out all of our candy!

  37. Jennifer November 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    We had a Halloween experience that reinforced my view that most people are good and helpful and that teaching kids what to do when they encounter problems is a good thing.

    My 9 year olds went out trick or treating with their 8 year old friend. About 45 minutes later we got a call from a neighbor a few blocks away. My son had tripped and sprained his ankle on the steps going up to someone’s yard. The kids asked for help, stayed together, and called home from a neighbor’s phone. The neighbors from the houses a few blocks away carried my son to a comfortable place to sit and waited until we showed up. Everyone was helpful and kind and there was no criticism of my parenting for letting the kids out alone. My daughter and her friend continued trick or treating for another 45 minutes, after which she came home and gave a bunch of extra candy to her brother since he’d had to go home early. This stash included homemade cookies (which I did not examine for razor blades or other horrible things, because I don’t want my kids to get the idea that neighbors with cookies are trying to hurt them) and which were delicious.

  38. Sarah in WA November 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Regarding trick-or-treating in malls, personally, I think that misses the point. Of course, kids might tell you the point is simply to gather as much candy as you can, but I like the fact that they’re venturing out in their neighborhoods and knocking on neighbors’ doors, etc. I always feel a much better sense of community after Halloween. Besides, we go to the mall all the time. There’s nothing special about that.

    I know neighborhood trick-or-treating is not possible for everyone, but hopefully most people can at least find a neighborhood nearby that works. (Of course, in cases of extreme weather [like a hurricane], it’s understandable to want an indoor alternative.)

    I just wish that people who have to drive to a neighborhood would park their cars once they’re there. I, too, saw some kids being driven from house to house last night, and the houses here are all right next to each other! The kids I saw being driven were all much older than my kids, too (mine are 5 and 2). If my two-year-old can walk most of the way, they should too! It just irritated me that I had to constantly watch out for cars because some couldn’t be bothered to walk. That’s definitely not any safer!

    And, sorry, no home-made treats handed out last night, but it was a great Halloween.

  39. ifsogirl November 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    We had a rainy but still fairly warm Halloween on the west coast of Canada. We went out as a group of adults and children. Everyone wore costumes and had fun. In the neighbourhood we were in there are next to no sidewalks and very little streetlights. Children ranged from age 5 to 9. One of our kids has FAS and one has ADD. Much safer for some parental supervision in our eyes.

    I am proud to say all the kids went without coats or umbrellas and were completely soaked after about 3 hrs of trick or treating. There was no complaining about the rain until it was coming down so hard it was bouncing off the streets. Luckily at that point I had run back for my car as one of our adults has fybromylagia and needed a warm place to sit down. We packed up the 3 youngest kids and took them back home to wait for the rest.

    We had to cover a lot of ground as it seemed there were very few houses participating. We actually saw adults looking out doors and windows for kids. Every year it seems like less and less kids, and less and less houses giving out candy.

  40. Donna November 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Even in American Samoa, there were kids being driven from house to house. Houses are very close together in each village. And there were hundreds of kids in the few villages that do trick or treating with no sidewalks. Since the locals actually confined their dogs (dogs are a HUGE problem on the island), cars were really the only problem we faced trick or treating.

  41. Eilis November 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    A friend and I took our 1 and 2 year olds trick-or-treating around my grandparents subdivision, and it amazed me how many parents were literally driving their kids from house to house. These houses are maybe 40 feet away from each other, tops. It was insane. There were a few packs of kids seemingly on their own, but always followed pretty closely by a similar size pack of parents. My friend and I kept talking about when our kids are that age, we plan to be sitting on a porch with hot toddies, passing out candy while our kids roam around and have FUN.

  42. Stephanie November 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    I was very proud of my 10 year old. She first wanted to go on her own, but then decided to stick with us and her younger siblings because it wasn’t any fun going alone. But later, she ran into a group of girls her own age, and took off with them. I’m still not entirely clear if she knew them before, honestly, as my husband had the kids at that point as I had taken the three year old home. But she had the cell phone and instructions to check in at certain times. I also rather like how kids can make sudden friendships when they’re out and about.

    I told her that next year she needs to make plans with friends to meet at one house or another and just start out that way.

  43. elisabeth November 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Ironically, asked my 10 y-o and his 9 y-o buddy if they wanted to head out on their own and they ASKED US TO COME WITH THEM! I don’t know what the buddy’s reasons were, but my son just thought it would be nice for us to be together! And since it might have very well been my last chance to see my youngest trick-or-treat, I was happy to tag along. But the cool thing about Free-rangin’ is that you and your kids have a CHOICE about being together and aren’t run by fear. How cool is that?

  44. Emily November 2, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    @Amy–Did your daughter dress as Snow White? Because, that’d be an awesome photo-op, of Snow White eating a (non-poisoned) apple.

  45. Christina November 2, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    Mine are only 5 so we walk with them still, but they go up to the houses on their own. We’re just along for the ride. We also let them eat the popcorn handed out in ziplock bags by the sweet older couple every year, which I’m sure puts us on some sort of bad parent list. The only sorting of candy is mom’s secret nighttime raids on the Reese’s.

  46. Michelle November 2, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    I’m not looking forward to the day that I have no excuse to go trick-or-treating with my kids. I love Halloween, and have no desire to sit at home passing out candy! 🙁

    Currently I make all the kids stick with me just until the younger ones (4 and 5) get tired. Then I take the littles home, and the older ones go off with their friends. It’s not for safety or anything; I just want to enjoy one of my favorite holidays *with* my kids.

    I also noticed some of those parents who drive their kids house to house last night. Coincidentally, I was just telling my kids about how some people do that, and my kids were laughing and disbelieving me, when up pulled an SUV with two kids who literally got out and back in at every single house. What a waste of gas!

    Although, that didn’t bother me as much as the mob of like forty kids that suddenly descended on us right as we were leaving the house (while I was trying to take pictures of my kids’ costumes). They swarmed all over my driveway and yard with absolutely no regard for the fact that I was clearly trying to take pictures, grabbed huge handfuls from the candy bowl — AND not a single one said “trick or treat!” 🙁

  47. Library Diva November 2, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    We have a wretched event here that makes me think of this blog every time I see it. It’s called “Safe and Seen Halloween” and it’s on the campus of a local community college in the middle of the afternoon the weekend before Halloween. Here’s some dreadful copy from their website:

    “Knock – Knock! Trick or Treat!!

    The knocking part of that sentence may soon become a thing of the past as parents take more precautions when it comes to their children’s activities, especially trick or treating. The American Red Cross has found a way to keep that phrase alive for parents by presenting Buffalo’s premier “Safe Trick or Treating Event” where children under 12 can safely trick or treat in a family environment for ghoulish goodies inside our Haunted Hallway of Treats. Knocking on each door to trick or treat, winding their way through and picking up safety tips along with candy and treats, parents and their children will work their way into a Creepy Kidzone loaded with valuable family safety information of all kinds and other spooktacular fun! ”

    Ooooh, a Kidzone where you can get safety information! Kids just LOVE that! And I love how they’re making out like they’re rescuing a holiday that had become too dangerous…by completely ruining it. Ugh.

  48. JJ November 2, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    I am bawled over reading about kids being driven from house to house to trick or treat. Truly bizarre. Also, if they are pulling in and put from the curb all the time do their kids don’t have to walk 20 ft it would be dangerous.

  49. Uly November 2, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    Everybody on my block, it seems, had planned to do their candy buying this week. Nobody seriously expected the storm to be that bad. But our store got flooded out, so I went a mile and more out of my way to find an open supermarket and pick up candy so several houses could give it out. I had planned to bake, but without power….


  1. TechIntersect - Free Range Halloween - November 1, 2012

    […] if you ask me. And this year, Emily went out all over town, unsupervised with her friends. One of a handful of kids in the world doing this, I’m sure. What an experience of well-deserved freedom. Deserved, because […]