Duration: 3h +
Age: All Ages
Guest Numbers: Unlimited
Venue: Your Street or Community Hall
Budget: $100 – $200, more if hiring a venue
Halloween is becoming bigger and bigger here in Australia but it’s still not at the point where kids can go from house to house trick or treating and be sure of a happy response. A Trunk or Treat is a fantastic way to gather like minded people in a safe area to allow all kids the chance to get some lollies and have some fun. Instead of decorating house for kids to go to, cars are decorated and kids go from trunk to trunk to collect lollies and play a few games. Our family has helped run one for the last 5 years and its often talked about during the year as kids plan and get excited. The one we help host has over 200 people attend but you can host a smaller scale one with the help of a few friends and give the kids a fun and safe Halloween party.
A trunk or treat is an outside activity, it’s really hard to get all the cars inside! Holding it in your street or finding a hall or church that will let you use their car park are great options.
If you do it in your street people who are participating can bring their cars to the end of their driveway with the boot facing the path or if using a car park people park with the boot facing out. If using a car park make sure that during the treat collection process all entry points are buckled off so no one drives through where the kids are running around.
To invite the whole street a simple flyer drop is a easy way to do it. Create a simply flyer that has what day and time you plan on holding it. Also explain a little about what it is and that there is no pressure to participate. Make mention that if people don’t have a car decorated then their door wont be knocked on as part of the evening. Mentioning things like ach child will need a collecting bag, people can decorate their yard instead of a car, you don’t have to have kids to participate etc help people to feel involved and know what is going on.
An RSVP isn’t totally necessary as it will be obvious who is coming by the decorated cars but do include a contact name and number if people have questions.
If you are going to a different location think about who you want to invite. Is it just friends or will you use it as a chance to get to know the neighbours? Combining a flyer drop with personal invites will achieve this.
You might want to create a Facebook event to provide additional information and place for people to RSVP if they want to.
The decorations will all be for your car and a quick Google will give you plenty of idea to work with.
They don’t need to be elaborate or expensive just fun. Look around the house and see what you can use. A branch with small black ribbons tied on creates a tree with bats, a big bowl on a pretend fire of sticks and cellophane makes a cauldron and jars with toys in green water could be science experiments or ingredients for witches.
Your car also doesn’t have to be spooky and scary. Paper plate fish hanging from the roof with crepe paper seaweed and a backdrop of blue balloons becomes the ocean. Green towels on the floor, a soccer ball, masking tape lines on the towels and you can create a soccer field. If you have small goals at home stick them in the back and make it like a penalty shoot out.
I’ve seen people decorate the outside of the car to make it a monster or expand the to the area leading to the car as well. Whatever you choose to do so long as there are treats to be had the kids will love it.
Food and Drink
For this party there is no need to provide additional food and drink if you are just sticking to the trunk and treat. Having said that it is a nice activity to add a BBQ or pot luck dinner to if you have the space available.
Obviously the trick or treating section is the big activity for this party but each trunk has the chance to run their own mini game before the kids can collect the treats. Most games I’ve seen go along with the theme of the cars decorations and help add to the atmosphere of the event for all the kids.
Some simple ideas are:
– digging in a paddling pool for the treat for a pirate or beach themed car
– fishing for a treat with a magnet fishing rod or a boating, ocean, fish tank themed car
– shooting hoops or a sports themed car
– a punch box style collection point
– colouring in station
– craft making station to make their treat such as marshmallow snowmen, or decorate a cookie
– balloon popping to get the treat inside
– face painting or temporary tattoos
Party Bag/Thank you
The party bag is the treats they all collect, no need to do anything for each child that is coming.
If you are holding it in your street and people want to come who don’t live in your street they can use car spaces at others homes. Find out which people are willing to let others use their lawn or spare space just for the evening. It might take a little organising but letting them know beforehand makes a smoother day for you.
We have often held it the weekend before Halloween on the Friday or Saturday night rather than a school night. Depending when Halloween falls you could also hold it just after Halloween, then all the lollies are cheaper too!
Treats don’t need to be sugary. Things like glow sticks, mini play dough tubs, bubbles, key chains and small toys (that you have cleaned out of your house because you don’t need them anymore hehe) are all things kids love.
If holding at another location you can run a few bigger activities like the Minecraft Recipe game, pumpkin decorating/carving, or have music going for a little disco.
This sort of party is a good thing to hold year after year. Word gets around and the more people that are involved the better it becomes. And more people doesn’t mean more work for you as most work is done by those who are coming.
You can also run this as a Halloween party at home and use different rooms for different stations and have a person hand out treats in each room. That requires a lot more work from you but it is doable.
To keep track of the event download and print our easy to use planner or purchase the colour version in the Etsy Store.
Click here to download the PDF