Moms Talk: Whatever Happened to "Neighborhood" Trick-or-Treating?

Why do we let our kids bypass our own neighbors and head straight to The Lakes?

C'mon, Mercer Island — you can tell me. I know I'm not the only one with a full bowl of candy at 9 p.m. .

Every year I hope it will be different, that the neighbor kids I know will stop by and ring my bell. I would even love to meet the newer kids that have moved into the neighborhood. But maybe they think the only place kids can ?

My own kids loved going to , but first we made the rounds with our own neighbors. For many of these elderly folks, seeing the kids in their costumes was a huge deal. Some invited us inside for a better view and treats. This is a different kind of memory than blasting through house after house in marathon trick-or-treating.

This year our street was decked out with numerous carved pumpkins, orange lights that flickered in trees, and fake tombstones — clearly an open invitation, as if it were a large neon sign to trick-or-treaters, "We're Open for Business!" But alas, I got just three costumed young people at my door (thank you Jordan and company!). At this point, I'd welcome teens, even adults of any age to stop by.

We all know that Mercer Island has funky neighborhoods with narrow streets and . But it'd be great if kids could slow down and hit a few houses in their own neck of the woods on their way to those neighborhoods more conducive to power trick-or-treating.

Not to mention that the folks that put on that amazing extravaganza in The Lakes could use a bit of a break!

Robert November 02, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Thank you for your commentary! I am a long-time Lakes resident and really do not like the Halloween trick-or-treating. This year I handed out over 1000 pieces of candy to children who don't know me and who I don't know. Occasionally there was a thank you but more often, grab and run to the next house or request two or more pieces, or request a trade. Parents and children ask to use my bathroom. Garbage is left throughout the neighborhood. I don't know my neighbor's young children - would love to see their faces on Halloween!
Kati Pearman November 02, 2011 at 10:57 PM
You bring up a very valid point....I guess most people want to get the biggest bang for their buck, getting as much candy in as little time and distance as possible. Although I'm sure it's really fun in The Lakes with most houses decorated, but personally I don't like to fight crowds and stand in line at strangers' homes....or worse: go to a mall!! We only trick-or-treated in our neighborhood, and intend to keep it that way. We stopped at about 25 houses, which took us a couple hours because we kept chatting and catching up with our neighbors. We had a great time!
Diane Taylor November 04, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I've also gotten emails that confirm I'm not alone---neighborhoods have experienced a decline in old-fashioned trick-or-treating. It was great to hear the perspective of someone from The Lakes. What a huge investment in Halloween! We need to remind our kids to say "Thank You!"
Carla Mead Barokas November 04, 2011 at 06:33 PM
I love the idea of the entire neighborhood getting into a holiday and applaud their efforts to benefit a charity in the process. Although 2 of my 3 children have expressed interest in seeing the Lakes experience for themselves I have never liked the idea of crowds. Seems a bit impersonal to me. This year as we made our way around the block with friends I realized how many of my neighbors don't get out much, and how thrilled they are to see my children and the other kids in the neighborhood on Halloween. Even when my 5 year old son throws down the trick or treat string cheese and announces, "This isn't candy!"


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