Trick-or-Treat or Trunk-or-Treat?


Luke O'Brien

Kennedy’s Happiness Inc. attends a Trunk-or-Treat.

Jordan Horne, Writer

Trick-or-treat or trunk-or-treat. As times are changing, people are beginning to see possible danger in trick-or-treating and look toward a  safer alternative—trunk-or-treating.

This past Halloween was one of the warmest in recent years, yet many people witnessed fewer kids trick-or-treating. Is this a permanent change for Halloween? Will the number of kids who trick-or-treat continue to decline?

“I see trunk-or-treats at churches and some business parks in the days ahead of Halloween. We also have one at the North Liberty Fire Dept on Halloween night,” said North Liberty Mayor Chris Hoffman. “I think they are put on as a way to provide a familiar and community-based space for kids and families.”

Since the pandemic, trunk-or-treats have been seen as a safer alternative to trick-or-treating. Kids don’t stay out as long in the cold, reducing the chances of getting sick.

The decline of trick-or-treaters could be due to the dangers or parents not wanting to buy costumes for their kids anymore. Costumes are somewhat expensive at times and are often a one-time use. Some parents may see it as meaningless to get their kids a costume.

In 2021, Americans spent $3.3 billion dollars on Halloween costumes. “On average, households spend $33.75 on costumes each year.”

As trunk-or-treats begin to rise in popularity, it’s possible they will permanently replace trick-or-treating in the upcoming years. However, the enjoyment of trick-or-treating may win out and continue this centuries-long tradition.

“I think they are both great options. Trunk-or-Treats are more concentrated, but in a familiar space. Trick-or-Treating is usually in a familiar neighborhood with neighbors you know, too,” said Hoffman.