Most of us grew up trick or treating at night, when the jack-o-lanterns flicker with candlelight and the trees appear darker and more ominous. No doubt about it, Halloween is a holiday of the night.
However, many communities switched to daytime trick or treating, citing safety as the reason for the schedule shift For some parents, this was a welcome change, but for others, it detracts from the spirit of Halloween. Hence, many neighborhoods have rallied to create a nighttime trick or treating event on their block so kids can experience more of the spookiness in a safe environment.
OnMilwaukee.com polled the Parent Posse this month with the question, "Should trick or treating be during the day or at night?" Here are the Posse's responses, and feel free to add your own thoughts via the Talkback feature.
I really miss having trick or treat at night. Running around with your flashlight and pillowcase in hand was half the fun. I say bring back the nighttime trick or treat. If parents are worried about safety, then go with your children. FYI, Chicago has their trick or treat on the night of Halloween every year. How cool is that?
The fact that this question has to be raised is disappointing to me. I grew up when there were no structured trick or treat schedules. Everyone went trick or treating on Halloween night in the evening, and the rule of lighting was just known by all: if someone's light isn't on, then you don't stop at that house.
Last year the designated time for my neighborhood was on a weekend day during mid-day. My husband and I returned from Home Depot to masses of trick or treaters at our doorstep and we ended up hiding in the back because we simply weren't prepared, not being parents yet.
I think it is a shame that things have to be so strict and scheduled today, and I wonder if it is because the neighborhoods have gotten bad or because the parents are too lazy to go along with their children or because everyone became so disrespectful that the entire process had to be reeled in? Whatever the reason, it is a shame.
I think either is fine. My neighborhood always does it at nighttime on Halloween from 5 to 7 p.m. The kids like it with all the decorations lit up and parents accompany the kids while they treat. You feel safe and everyone is in good spirits!
Mary Jo Preston
I'm all about nighttime trick or treat in Bay View! Back story: trick or treating in Bay View was changed (as a result of a neighborhood effort, with our alderman's blessing and with assistance of the Bay View Neighborhood Association) to the last Saturday of October between 5 and 8 p.m. a few years ago, and has overwhelmingly been a success! (It's a neighborhood treasure--and this year, the Pumpkin Palace at Humboldt Park will be a great addition to the nighttime activities with hundreds of carved pumpkins and activities all weekend.)
Nighttime works out great for all parents of kids of all ages. My toddler can go in the early eve and still get to bed on time, and my 'tween son can go the whole time but also get to bed on time.
Also, we've noticed that kids are wearing blinking lights, glowsticks, etc. and more neighbors are getting into the spirit of giving out candy at night. We just put a sign out for Sunday afternoon ("Last Night Was Trick or Treat in our Neighborhood") to avoid any confusion with the City of Milwaukee times.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.