Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Trick or Treat, at the Mall

 
shutterstock_330428186
yaipearn / Shutterstock.com

This seems like a new trend, or am I just woefully behind? A friend of mine signed off a text this afternoon by telling me he was heading to the mall with his kids to Trick or Treat.

The mall? The shopping mall?

Apparently, it’s a thing: here, and here, and here. And probably other places, too — I just listed the first three results when I Googled “trick or treat at the mall.”

The keyword here, from my investigation, is safety. Which just seems so lame to me. I know, I know, Halloween is dangerous and dark and kids get hit by cars. But surely there are better solutions than wandering around a mall, going up to the Cinnabon or the Bodyshop or Limited Express asking for candy.

Why bother to do it at all, if it’s so perilous that the only option is to do it at Nordstrom Rack?

Another sign of a country in decline. I don’t care if Trump makes America great again. Just make us a little less obsessed with safety. “Fewer Stupid Freak Outs” is a winning campaign slogan, to me, anyway.

There are 56 comments.

  1. PJS Thatcher
    PJS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We now have something called “Trunk or Treat.” It started after the Halloween Blizzard, when so many towns had trees down for days, and Halloween got cancelled. A whole bunch of people met in parking lots with decorated cars and trunks full of candy. The trick-or-treaters went from car to car collecting their candy. It has now evolved into a pre-planned even which requires registration. There are all kinds of crafts and games, then the trick-or-treating.

    You know what I think? I think modern parents are lazy.

    • #1
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Concretevol Thatcher

    Its super lame….started back when my kids were young. The entire point of trick or treating was to go house to house for crying out loud! How do you “trick” a store in a mall??? Soap someone’s windows or TP their trees? Seriously though the excuse is always safety and it is totally a terrible.

    • #2
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:16 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge

    This is hardly new. It’s been going on at least since our daughter was born in 1998. In fact, my sense is that it’s falling out of favor; a number of malls around here used to do it but stopped years ago.

    I actually thought it was pretty cool when our daughter was very young. We live in a mostly rural area, so trick-or-treating in the traditional way tends to involve a good deal of driving and a lot of walking between houses. Not to mention the fact that the mall is climate-controlled.

    However, in practice it was a hit-or-miss affair. A surprising number of the businesses just treated it as a marketing opportunity, and instead of handing out candy they would give the kids coupons. That is so completely missing the point.

    When my daughter got older, she preferred more traditional trick-or-treating, so we’d drive to a more densely populated subdivision and walk around there. We’re not in the trick-or-treat business around here anymore, so I honestly don’t know what the prevailing practice is now. (Living where we do, we’ve never gotten trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood.)

    • #3
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    2nd Law of Thermodynamics: everything eventually turns to s***.

    • #4
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief

    Part of this trend is due to houses not giving out candy. Why, back in my day <pulls corn cob pipe from overalls>, it seemed like 80 percent of houses were passing out candy. When we take our kids around now, it’s more like 40 percent.

    • #5
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Mike Rapkoch Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Part of this trend is due to houses not giving out candy. Why, back in my day <pulls corn cob pipe from overalls>, it seemed like 80 percent of houses were passing out candy. When we take our kids around now, it’s more like 40 percent.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY-FaTuuglo

    • #6
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    In honor of you, Rob, tonight’s festivities will include a shell game of pumpkins and firecrackers.

    Jack be nimble! Jack be quick! Jack be splattered all around the yard!

    (But not really, because that would be totally irresponsible. Right, NSA?)

    • #7
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:47 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. GadgetGal Thatcher

    Wow–lame. Welcome to some virtual Halloween-ing from Salisbury, MD. Neighborhood kids–mobilizing? Check. Candy ready? Check! Let’s do this!

    HiThere

    • #8
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:52 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I always go to the mall for trick or treat, but that’s because of the cool stuff they give out at Victoria’s Secret.

    • #9
    • October 31, 2015, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Part of this trend is due to houses not giving out candy. Why, back in my day <pulls corn cob pipe from overalls>, it seemed like 80 percent of houses were passing out candy. When we take our kids around now, it’s more like 40 percent.

    I’d heard of the “trunk or treat” thing, but the mall business is new to me.

    My dad got all nostalgic one year and decided to take us kids back to his hometown of Salina, KS for Halloween. As we approached one door, he overheard a neighbor he knew ask a boy there ahead of us, “Timmy, is that you?”

    “Yes, Mrs. Carter.”

    “My goodness, I swear I don’t recognize half the children I’ve seen tonight. I think they’re coming all the way from the other side of town!”

    After Timmy left, we approached and called out, “Trick or treat!”

    “Well, hello there. And where did you girls come from?” she asked.

    “Tulsa.”

    Dad got up there on the porch in time to catch her candy bowl and explain.

    • #10
    • October 31, 2015, at 3:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Fricosis Guy Listener

    It was much easier to go house to house in Evansville and South County (RI). Once we moved to Connecticut, we didn’t know the neighborhoods–ours is too rural–and the weather sucked. The mall worked out just fine.

    • #11
    • October 31, 2015, at 3:39 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    Rob, come on. It is a longstanding national American tradition for parents to freak out about the dangers of Halloween and try to make it less fun for the kids. It’s also a longstanding national American tradition to have a completely absurd national panic about the danger of trick-or-treating. Why, when I was a youngster, my mom freaked out about razor blades in apples. (I reveal my age with that reference, but I bet you remember that too, Rob.) Oh, and she freaked out when she heard Pop Rocks would make my stomach explode, and actually forbade me from eating them. (Remember that one?)

    Nothing could be more traditional, more reassuring, and more American than American parents panicking about the danger of Halloween and finding some new way to make sure their kids don’t have fun on it. That’s what Halloween is all about, after all.

    • #12
    • October 31, 2015, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I thought I had pretty protective parents and yet, I remember being allowed to head out with a pack of kids every year with nothing but a curfew to rein me in.

    The only time I felt that mom “ruined” my Halloween was the year we got a serious cold snap on the 31st, and I was forced to cover up my costume with an ugly sweater that hid every inch of the pretty, sequined top. I was going for “beautiful ballerina.” I looked more like “crazy little old man in a tutu.”

    • #13
    • October 31, 2015, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Z in MT Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:Part of this trend is due to houses not giving out candy. Why, back in my day <pulls corn cob pipe from overalls>, it seemed like 80 percent of houses were passing out candy. When we take our kids around now, it’s more like 40 percent.

    If I was a father walking my kids around and a house refused to give my kid a treat when they range the doorbell, that house would be TP’d or egged right quick. Any house that does not give out candy on Halloween is fair game for tricks.

    • #14
    • October 31, 2015, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wait, I’m confused. Basil’s celebration at Victoria’s Secret and PJS’s “trunk or treat” are unrelated?

    • #15
    • October 31, 2015, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Pencilvania Inactive

    Only in America will mall stores entice Halloweeners with candy so their parents can get a head start on buying the newly stocked Christmas decorations.

    • #16
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rob has never received the flyers from the county sheriff showing where all the registered sex offenders in the neighborhood are.

    • #17
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Kay of MT Member

    Most of the time it is too blooming cold for the kids to be out on Halloween, and we don’t have a mall. So the local theater groups have taken to putting on a carnival and haunted house. For a price of course, but I didn’t mind paying it when my grandsons were small. Tonight I’ve had someone at my door for the first time in over 5 years. And I think they only came because I complained to one of the kids of feeling neglected. LOL Halloween was my favorite fun time when I owned my own home. I decorated my yard, porch, had a witch tossing candy from the roof, dressed up in costumes, etc.

    • #18
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Oh, and she freaked out when she heard Pop Rocks would make my stomach explode, and actually forbade me from eating them. (Remember that one?)

    Only if you drank pop while eating the Pop Rocks. The excessive CO2 would cause your stomach to explode.

    That’s what killed Mikey.

    mikey

    • #19
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    One year, just after I bought my first condo, I asked the kids to do a trick before I gave them a treat. They did, and it was fun for everyone.

    A couple of years ago, I dressed up for work in my easy cat costume (hairband with ears, pin-on tail, pencil-on whiskers), and I left it on when I got home and waited for the kids to come around. My heart just melted when one little boy, in his Mom’s arms grinned, pointed, and said “Look, Mommy, it’s a KITTY”.

    Tonight I’m wearing the “costume” we’ve all been wearing at work for the last two weeks in our construction zone-hard hat and orange safety vest.

    • #20
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Arahant Member

    Percival:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Oh, and she freaked out when she heard Pop Rocks would make my stomach explode, and actually forbade me from eating them. (Remember that one?)

    Only if you drank pop while eating the Pop Rocks. The excessive CO2 would cause your stomach to explode.

    That’s what killed Mikey.

    mikey

    Odd, he was still alive three years ago.

    • #21
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Arahant Member

    Rob Long: Just make us a little less obsessed with safety. “Fewer Stupid Freak Outs” is a winning campaign slogan, to me, anyway.

    It is not too late to run. “Rob Long for President. Iran with nukes is nothing to freak out about!”

    • #22
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Coolidge

    PJS:We now have something called “Trunk or Treat.” It started after the Halloween Blizzard, when so many towns had trees down for days, and Halloween got cancelled. A whole bunch of people met in parking lots with decorated cars and trunks full of candy. The trick-or-treaters went from car to car collecting their candy. It has now evolved into a pre-planned even which requires registration. There are all kinds of crafts and games, then the trick-or-treating.

    You know what I think? I think modern parents are lazy.

    Nah. This is lazy: “Make your own costumes, kids! Go run around the neighborhood! See you in a couple hours!”

    What you describe is parents who aren’t lazy enough. : )

    • #23
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. jonsouth Inactive

    Apparently it’s a thing where I live too. They even organized a stamp rally to promote some of the shops, which was so lame even the five year olds quit after getting three stamps and went to the playground.

    • #24
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Haunted House at Amling’s Flower Center in Melrose Park, Illinois. It predated malls. The 1950s were great!

    • #25
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant:

    Percival:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Oh, and she freaked out when she heard Pop Rocks would make my stomach explode, and actually forbade me from eating them. (Remember that one?)

    Only if you drank pop while eating the Pop Rocks. The excessive CO2 would cause your stomach to explode.

    That’s what killed Mikey.

    mikey

    Odd, he was still alive three years ago.

    Jeez, Arahant … why do you have to go around spoiling perfectly good urban legends with facts and stuff?

    Next you’ll be saying that Beaver from Leave it to Beaver wasn’t killed in Viet Nam.

    • #26
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. HeartofFLA Inactive

    Yes, they’ve had this option for quite awhile now. I think we only did this with our son one time when he was little and it was due to the weather. Otherwise, it’s door to door.

    We noticed something tonight though…lots of trick or treaters out before dark. It then dawned on us that it’s because the Royal’s are playing at 7pm. Get the kids out and about and get back in time to watch the game. Smart parents.

    • #27
    • October 31, 2015, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. GadgetGal Thatcher

    I guess the local parents haven’t gotten the memo–thank goodness, because I love Halloween. Here ya go, Rob….2015-10-31 18.45.57 2015-10-31 18.52.25 2015-10-31 19.12.48 2015-10-31 18.57.40 2015-10-31 19.14.09 2015-10-31 19.09.04 2015-10-31 19.02.57 Virtual Halloween

    • #28
    • October 31, 2015, at 5:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Front Seat Cat Member

    It’s more than cars on the road – it’s not safe – as in too many perverts and putting stuff in candy….so the stores and churches host events – we went to get take out and its been 15 years since kids came to the house but I get candy every year hoping…and we eat it all….the grocery store had games, face painting and candy – the whole shopping area was participating….costumes everywhere – the Hulk, Dracula, Minnie Mouse dressed as a cat (get it?), space men…Destin Commons is giving out candy and Chipolte Grille is selling $3.00 Boo-riots if you add something unexpected to your costume…..we got home and the door bell rang!!! Shock! My husband grabbed his alien mask, and dropped the candy, scooped it up and ran to the door….note the …is that a ghost or a burka I can’t tell…weird…..and the ghoul in back with the white eyes – did the camera do that?? These came off my iPhone so I can’t make them not be sideways! Pretend you are in a fun house! Off to watch Dorian Grey! PS My sister called and went to a costume party – she made Guacamole in a coffin bowl and told the guests she mugged the Bogey Man and stole his booger dip – here ya go…:-)alien husbandtrick or treaters

    • #29
    • October 31, 2015, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Casey Inactive

    We had a very normal, 80 house percent, bucket of candy, kids dashing on dark roads, dads with beers Halloween night. This is Pittsburgh. They’re gonna have to rip Halloween from our black and gold dead hands.

    • #30
    • October 31, 2015, at 7:04 PM PDT
    • Like