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Have you heard of Trunk or Treat? It is an alternative to Trick or Treating. A group of people gather typically in a parking lot, they decorate the trunks of their vehicles and instead of going door to door for candy and treats the kids go trunk to trunk. I like to explain it as Halloween Tailgating.

As a host of a trunk you can pass out candy, prizes, have games like bobbing for apples, fishing for small toys, bean bag toss, ring toss, etc.

Trunk or Treat’s have become popular with many churches. This is a great idea for even a school to host, or if you live in a close-knit neighborhood it would be so much fun to get your neighbors outdoors and involved. You would definitely surprise the kids coming down your street with this unexpected surprise.

When it comes to decorating your vehicle you have the obvious pumpkins, spiders, and Halloween decorations. Many churches will ask you to be more family friendly in your decorating instead of going the scary route. Find out from your event organizer what is allowed and if they have a list of trunks, so you do not have the same theme as someone else.

When planning to participate in a Trunk or Treat begin with picking a theme. Then plan your decorations and treats you plan to give out with your theme in mind. You can do a game with your theme as well. Remember to plan your costume to go along with your decorated trunk.

Here are some Theme Ideas to help you:

  • Bible Theme (Jonah & the Whale, Noah’s Ark, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Egyptians, Nativity Scene)
  • Movie Theme (Movie Theater Style, or any Family Friendly Movie)
  • Video Game Theme (Pac Man, Angry Birds, Frogger, etc.)
  • Board Game Theme (Candy Land, Monopoly, Sorry, Connect Four, etc.)
  • Sports Theme–Pick a Team or a select sport and decorate accordingly
  • Disney Theme–There is a large variety of Favorite Disney Characters to choose from
  • Camping Theme
  • Beach Theme
  • Western Theme
  • Pirate Theme
  • Luau Theme
  • Animal Theme (Zoo, Petting Zoo, Aquarium, Pet Store, Jungle Animals, etc.)
  • Era Theme (70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc.)
  • Christmas or other Holiday Theme
  • Popular Toddler Themes (Paw Patrol, Veggie Tales, Sesame Street, Backyardigan’s, Nursery Rhymes, Dr. Seuss)

If you are hosting a Trunk or Treat as an organization (church, school, businesses) it’s a good idea to have other things available for not only guest but for the trunker’s such as a Snack Bar (You can sell food, or keep it simple to Apple Cider, Donuts and Hot Cocoa), Jump House, Hay Ride, Games/Activity Station, Puppet Show, etc.)

If your church is considering a Trunk or Treat as an outreach event, plan ahead to promote upcoming events, for example, a Christmas Trunk can pass out candy as well as invitations to your church Christmas Play, or if your church participates in Operation Christmas Child, you can promote participation for OCC.

If you are reading this post and do not have young children any longer this is a great way for you to get involved and give back. Do not count yourself out just because you don’t have kids, on the contrary, you are a huge blessing to your local church or group hosting. Many times families with young children need to be with their trunk and also make time to take their children around to the trunks. So single parents, grandparents, and young marrieds get involved, be a blessing to your community and get trunking!

Events like this are a fun and safe environment for kids, in this day and age we live in, it’s nice to be able to participate in these alternative events and provide great memories for families.

My local church (Family Community Church) is hosting a Trunk or Treat and we welcome you to join us. You can host a trunk or volunteer in the many different areas we have planned S’more Bar, Hay Ride, Games and more. You can contact my church for more information at (916) 334-7700.

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