Trick-or-Treating at an Apartment Building

Don’t let living in an apartment building put a damper on your trick-or-treating plans. Bring the community together to create a new Halloween tradition.
Deirdre Mundorf Avatar
trick or treating kids in costumes in the hall


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Trick or Treat

Halloween is fast-approaching, and we all know what that means! Children will soon be donning their costumes and heading off to trick or treat.

Trick-or-treating in an apartment may look a little different from trick-or-treating around a neighborhood with single-family homes or townhouses, but it is certainly doable. In fact, there are several benefits to trick-or-treating in an apartment complex. The doors are closer together, so kids can gather more candy in a shorter amount of time. Plus, when you decide you’ve had enough fun for one night, you won’t be too far from home. With the hallways in some apartment complexes indoors, children can show off their costumes instead of layering against the elements.

Use the tips below to help ensure a safe and successful trick-or-treating mission for your little ones, and to help encourage other tenants to participate in the festivities and pass out candy to children in the community.

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Go trick-or-treating with a group.

The safest way to enjoy trick-or-treating is by traveling together as a group. Going door to door with other children in the complex or community can also make the holiday more exciting for kids.

While most neighbors will be looking out for trick-or-treaters on Halloween, sadly, some people may not have the best interests of your children in mind. Even if your children are older, it is still a good idea to have them walk around with an adult. If you have older teens who insist on trick-or-treating without an adult, make sure they stay together with their friends, bring their phones with them, and come home at a predetermined time.

Walk—don’t run—between units.

The prospect of getting candy from each door they knock on can, understandably, get kids really excited. They may be tempted to run from one door to the next in the apartment complex to increase their haul for the evening. However, running around, especially in their costumes, can make it more likely for an accident to occur. Encourage the children you’re supervising to walk around the complex, especially when going up or down the stairs.

trick or treat kids in costumes getting candy

Wear bright colors.

One of the benefits of trick-or-treating in an apartment complex is that there are fewer streets to cross, which can reduce the likelihood of an accident. However, many complexes have multiple buildings, so your children still might need to cross the street or parking lot a few times. Any drivers in the area will have a harder time seeing children (or adults) who are dressed in dark colors.

Consider bright Halloween costumes. You can also add reflective accessories to the costumes—such as these reflective arm bands available on Amazon—to make them more visible in the dark.

Leave the pets at home.

Leaving your pets at home is the safest idea on Halloween. Even well-trained dogs could get frightened by all the people in masks and costumes. Plus, the pets in the apartments you’ll be knocking on are likely to already be on high alert from all the doorbells, knocking, and noise from trick-or-treaters. Adding another pet into the mix is just asking for trouble.

Inform community members and get them excited.

Not all members of your community may be planning to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. For some, this may be because they don’t think anyone will be stopping by their house. To help get more neighborhood buy-in, you’ll want to make sure everyone knows that children in the community are planning to trick or treat. Ask your management company if you can post a few flyers around the community to spread the word.

Establish a method to identify which units are handing out candy.

Your children don’t have to knock on every door in the complex. In fact, there may be a few doors you want to skip. If you’ve had unpleasant exchanges with any of your neighbors or know that someone isn’t celebrating Halloween, just skip their door and move on to the next.

You’ll also want to remove confusion for trick-or-treaters and their parents about which units will be handing out candy. People who are handing out candy often have some Halloween decor or pumpkins outside their door.

Traditionally, individuals who have candy to hand out also turn on their front porch light. However, some apartments with indoor hallways may not have a porch light. If this is the case in your apartment complex, you could come up with an alternative symbol to let trick-or-treaters know which doors to knock on. For example, you could ask those who wish to participate and hand out candy to tie a ribbon around their door knob or hang up a printed “Trick-or-Treaters Welcome” sign next to their door. These simple methods can prevent confusion for families and avoid annoying those residents who do not wish to participate.

Organize a door decorating contest.

Another way to help trick-or-treaters identify which doors they should knock on—and increase the Halloween excitement in the community—is to encourage residents to decorate their doors. You could even make it a competition and have residents vote to choose the door they believe is the best decorated. If your complex allows, you don’t have to limit the contest to just the door. You could also encourage individuals to add some decorations around their door, such as painted pumpkins or a scarecrow.

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Welcome community members to set up outside their doors.

You can make Halloween a social event by encouraging individuals to set up their trick or treat station outside their doors. Ask people to bring out a small table for their candy and a chair to sit on so they can welcome trick-or-treaters in person. Those who are really in the Halloween spirit might set up a speaker with some spooky Halloween music or a DIY Halloween decoration such as a spooky cauldron or spider web. In addition to making Halloween more fun for the kids, tenants might get to know their neighbors better, which is good for apartment security.

trick or treating pumpkin decorating party

Organize a Halloween event for the children.

If it doesn’t look like enough people in your community are willing to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, consider alternative options to keep the holiday fun for the children. You can organize a Halloween parade and pass out goody bags to each kid, or you little ones could have an “I Spy” to count pumpkins they see along the way. Another idea is to plan a candy hunt—much like an Easter Egg hunt—around the complex, even if it’s only for your children. Halloween is the perfect time to get creative and let kids explore their community.

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