Tips for organizing a Halloween trunk-or-treat

Instead of bringing the kids to the treats, bring the treats to the kids. With a truck-or-treat, your trick-or-treaters get to have all the fun of dressing up as their favorite princess, super hero or "Star Wars" character and fill a bag with candy, in a safe environment. Participants dress up their car trunks, form a circle and trick-or-treaters go from vehicle to vehicle collecting treats.

Secure your spot - Determine where to set up shop in your community. Some locations may be free, others may have a small fee for the space. Consider these locations:

* A neighborhood cul-de-sac

* A local church parking lot

* A school parking lot if the local PTO is involved

* Any public, community space, if you can get permission

* Ask a local establishment with any child care or babysitting services, like your local gym.

Publicize and invite

- The trunk-or-treat will be as quiet as a ghost town if you don't invite eager trick-or-treaters.

* Send out invitations for a small trunk-or-treat in your neighborhood.

* Use email, text messages, or stick flyers in mailboxes and use word of mouth to spread the news.

* Include both a starting and a stopping time so none of the little monsters or angry birds miss the event.

Make the decorating an event

- Adults can have their own decorating party, before the kids arrive. Your older kids, you know, the ones too cool for costumes, can help out.

* Set a theme for the the trunk-or-treat if that's appropriate for the intended age group.

* Bring along extra decorations, and ask other participants to do the same, for last-minute participants.

* Ask kids to vote for their favorite trunk and award the adults, too! Prizes can be given for the scariest or cutest trunks.

Decorating ideas

- Help the adult participants with decorating ideas if they are stuck. Here are some suggestions:

* Decorate the top and bottom of the opening of the trunk with white felt cut into jagged teeth. Make extra long fangs with some red felt for a vampire trunk.

* Use a harvest theme with baskets, pumpkins, apples and gourds.

* Create a "cage" with string, netting or fake bars and have someone hand out candy from inside the trunk.

Costumes not masks

- Adult participants and neighbors handing out candy can dress up, but ask that they keep their masks at home.

Host a trunk-or-treat indoors

- If holding the event int he traditional way is not an option, consider taking the trunks indoors.

* Instead of decorating car trunks, decorate large baskets, storage bins or trunks indoors and hand out the candy or treats.