What are the local rules on trick or treating? It was like trying to figure out who the stick people are in The Blair Witch Project. A dispatcher for the Montclair PD got all spooky on me: “Halloween is not official! We have nothing to do with trick or treat.” Yikes.
Granted, he has enough on his plate. The latest rumors–all false according to the Star-Ledger–are about gang initiation shootings around town tonight. Double yikes.
I still want to take my 1-year-old, AKA Johnny Rotten, and twin 3-year-olds, AKA Sid & Nancy, out for a few minutes early this evening, and I want to trick or treat safely.
I called my friend, Alma Schneider. She’s been through more than 5 local Halloweens with her 4 children. I also consulted the Montclair Watercooler Yahoo Group where another mom gave good unofficial tips. Here’s what I came up with.
Guidelines for Trick or Treating in Montclair:
- Little kids (age 4 and under) can start at 5 p.m.
- Bigger kids start a little later, around 6 p.m.
- Trick or treating is generally over by 7 p.m.
- If you’re staying home to give out candy, be prepared for snarky teenagers not in costume. Some–of course, not all–will tell you that you’re the Bride of Chucky if you don’t give them candy. If you don’t want to deal, don’t answer the door. Or be prepared with your speech.
- If you run out of candy, put a sign on the door: NO MORE CANDY. Certain streets like Montclair Avenue are heavy-traffic areas for trick-or-treaters. (Though I hear the lady who gives out Scholastic books is taking this year off.)
- If you don’t want trick or treaters, put a sign on the door or turn your lights out on the first floor of your house.
- Trick or treat is unofficially over at 7 p.m., and the people who come after then tend to be scary.
Another alternative is to hit Bloomfield Avenue. My hairdresser, Alicia Acuna at Alicia’s Hair & Design on Bloomfield Avenue at Midland sent me an email: “We will be giving out treats after 1 p.m. tomorrow if you want to stop by and bring the kids.” I hear all of the stores down there will be giving candy after 3 p.m.
Do you have any tips for keeping Halloween in Montclair zombie-free?