Halloween Etiquette 101

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Halloween has gained huge momentum in Australia and there’s lots to know about how the whole thing works. If you plan to be involved, here are some tips to help you navigate the eerie event!

When to go

This year, Trick or treating will occur on Tuesday 31st of October. Door knocking usually starts from about 5pm onwards with things getting serious around 6pm and finishing up around 8 or 9pm.

Where to go

Stay local! Trick or Treating differs from experiences such as visiting streets with Christmas Lights. Where possible, trick or treat within walking distance of your home – you’ll be surprised how many houses within a 30-minute walk from your house will participate.

It’s unreasonable to expect that a select few streets can provide enough treats for the now hundreds of kids who trick or treat each year. Plus, it’s a great way to meet your neighbours and be part of the community.

Costumes – go hard or go home!

If you’re heading out to trick or treating, costumes are everything. One accessory doth not maketh the spook!! Give it your best shot when dressing the kids and don’t be shy to get into the spirit as well! The kids will remember your participation fondly. You don’t have to spend a fortune either – homemade outfits are often the best! Make-up/face paint also goes a long way to completing the look!


Before you head out, remind the kids of the rules:

  • Use please and thank you
  • No complaining about treats
  • Don’t touch any decorations
  • There’s plenty of treats for everyone – no need to push

Some people will hand out the treats, some will offer a bowl so children can choose. Stay close to your kids to monitor how much they’re taking. Understandably it’s tempting for them to grab a big handful but they really should only grab 1 treat. By the end of the night, they’ll likely have at least 10 pieces which let’s face it, is more than enough anyway.

Encourage them to be friendly to every person they meet. It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable for everyone.

Bring water

All those sweets and walking will work up a thirst and there’s nothing worse than a hangry child! Maybe bring a wine flask for yourself!

Don’t knock on undecorated houses

If a house isn’t decorated, leave it be. They might not be home, they might be sick, they might have a new baby, they might not like Halloween or they might just want a quiet evening!

Wave your freaky flag

If you’re planning on staying home to offer treats, dress your house up so that it’s very clear to passers-by. Some houses go all out so if you want to be noticed you might have to invest – but you can always use them next year! Another idea is to leave a sign on your letterbox about the hours you’ll be offering treats.

Once your treats run out, best to take down your decorations (where possible) and turn off your lights.

Heads up: leaving a bowl of candy out the front unattended won’t last very long!

Offer wrapped treats

It’s not great (nay, terrible) for the environment but best for the germ factor – offer wrapped lollies and chocolates. If you want to hand out toothbrushes, pencils or mandarins be prepared for a few groans and disappointed looks. Remind your ghoulish visitors that they can recycle the individual wrappers in the soft plastic recycling bins at Coles / Woolies and other locations!

Good luck and have a great night!