Has Trunk or Treat Ruined Traditional Trick or Treating in Grand Rapids?
I'll admit, I'm one of those people that goes absolutely wild when it comes time to get ready for halloween. I'm picking out multiple costumes, throwing up inflatables in my yard, and trying to see if I can repurpose the cobwebs in my basement to use as decorations. (Okay, maybe that last one is a little bit of a stretch.)
So, when it was time to finally have my first experience with trick or treaters in Grand Rapids, I did my homework. I logged into my neighborhood facebook group and asked "Hey, should I expect the kiddos to come by?" to which everyone said "absolutely! we had dozens in years past! make sure you have the candy"
But last night, I put the candy out. We got costumes on (yes, even our dog tulip) and to our surprise... We only had 10-15 kids drop by over a two hour window.
Did I do something wrong? Nope. It turns out, according to other neighbors of mine as well, the kids don't really trick or treat on their own streets anymore.
Where are the trick or treaters in Grand Rapids?
It seems most people searching for halloween candy are concentrated to three general areas.
1. Trunk or Treats that are held throughout West Michigan, no specific one, they're just popular
2. East GR (We all know the big houses come with the big candy bars)
3. and apparently, an area right off Lake Michigan Drive near walker that no one can accurately describe to me other than "everyone has inflatables in their yards" which seems like a pretty legitimate choice to me.
But why aren't kids trick or treating in their own neighborhoods?
I asked a few parents who took their kids to these areas, and most of them told me: it's easier. If you know an entire area is participating heavily in Halloween, it makes more sense to travel.
You can get more 'bang for your buck' when you head to an area with lots of houses participating.
What can we do to fix this? It won't be easy, but if you want to see more kiddos on your street next year: get your neighbors to participate. If you're the only house having fun, you're less likely to attract a crowd.
Here's hoping we all start checking out every neighborhood down the line and not just the rich ones with full sized candy bars...