Trick-or-Treat Checklist

Author: Veronica Grosek

Happy Halloween week!

With the big day happening tomorrow, I’d like to share some tips and recommendations for making your trick-or-treating experience your best yet (courtesy of some local business owners, residents, and my own Google skills):

  • Bundle up! One of the most memorable things I recall from my trick-or-treating days is dad’s annual reminder that he didn’t want to find me frozen in a snowdrift that night. Living in South Dakota, this was a very real threat! Remember to layer those thin costume fabrics with snowpants, leggings, extra socks, headbands – anything you can to make sure the kids stay warm and safe!
  • Use the buddy system. There is no reason to venture out alone – adults and kids alike should have a trusted buddy for Halloween. This is important whether you are going trick-or-treating, or out to a party. You and your buddy are responsible for making sure you both get home safe and accounted for!
  • Make a plan. A good idea for all groups is to make sure everyone knows the plan of attack. If one of the kids accidentally gets turned around or separated from the group, knowing what location is next on the list can prevent a scary situation. Also be sure to bring fully-charged cell phones and flashlights if possible.
  • Double-check the candy. Treats should never be altered or opened in any way prior to eating. Avoid homemade treats as well – even though it’s a nice gesture, these treats could be made with ingredients that trigger allergies when not labeled, or could be a bearer of more frightening threats in disguise. Best to say thank you, but no thanks!
  • Stick to the steps! Even if someone invites your group into their home, politely decline. Staying out in the open will ensure that everyone is safe and comfortable. This is a well-known rule of thumb, so you won’t hurt any feelings.
  • Stay on the path. Remember Golum’s warning in Lord of the Rings to stay on the path? Same story here. Avoid spooky things, freezing cold, and getting lost by staying on a well-lit sidewalk.
  • Be visible. Again, flashlights or headlamps are a wise idea for Halloween night! Also consider wearing reflective tape or glowsticks to make extra certain there are no bicycle, skateboard, or vehicle accidents.
  • Be a mindful pedestrian! Even if you think a vehicle sees you, move slowly and make sure to cross streets only at designated crosswalks. Halloween is full of distractions for drivers!
  • Set a curfew. For those with older kids, make sure they know when they are expected home. Set very clear rules and have phones on loud volume so you hear calls or texts as they come in. Communication will make sure everyone is safe and happy.
  • Trick-or-Treat in safe spaces. Many businesses offer safe alternatives to traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating. Try visiting a senior living complex like Hillsview Highrise on Cedar Street or the Long-Term Care unit at Sturgis Hospital for a warm and safe indoor experience! Several churches also offer “Trunk-or-Treat” options for collecting candy without traversing unfamiliar streets – scroll down for details on these and more.

Have fun out there, and don’t forget to stop by some of the great local events happening on Halloween, including the Chamber’s Crypt Haunted House, the Fall Family Blast, White Canvas’s Halloween Photo Booth, the Trunk-or-Treat events, and more!


Veronica Grosek
Executive Director
Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau