How Early Is Too Early SWH ADDED

Updated on November 02, 2018
M.6. asks from Woodbridge, NJ
11 answers

I'll be the first to admit that Halloween isn't my "jam." This year, the businesses in town are doing a little Halloween walk from 3:00 - 5:30. Basically you can go into any business that has the sign on their door stating they are participating during those hours and get a treat. I am a remote employee just a bit off of the main drag in a residential section, but because the kids are going to be out (it is only 2:30 here and they are already roaming around - we have early religious release for our school on Wed so school is already done for the day), I am thinking I could actually having kids pounding on my door in about 1/2 hr even though the event is only for businesses. Not because I have a "business" per se, but because if you have a costume on and it is Halloween, what kid ISN'T going to start banging on residential doors?

I have dogs that will bark mercilessly if my door is pounded on. I have clients and phone conferences to call in yet for today and a court hearing to attend via phone conference. Obviously it would be more than an annoyance to have kids pounding on my door every 5 minutes from 3 p.m. until the end of the night.

I also realize it is only one day, and I will certainly make the best of things, but I am curious - how early do you think IS too early to start with the candy begging? In previous years, I had kids starting at about 5 p.m. and planned that my work day would be over by 4:30 p.m. to handle any really earlybirds.

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So What Happened?

Well, I didn't get anyone during the business time like I was worried about. At least that I know about. I had to run to the store quick in the middle to pick up something and I did hear several moms talking about this very subject, though :).

It's now 5:30 and I can see kids heading up my block so it looks like they waited until the business part was done.

Next year we will be in the new place and farther out in the boonies with no kids on our block - I'll probably be missing handing out candy!

Thanks for the responses!

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on

I think 330 is WWWAAAYYY too early. I would say 5PM is acceptable.

if you don't want to deal with it (although I'm answering late), I would put a bowl of candy on the front porch

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

I think towns are different and there’s not a time that is too early. People dont have to answer their doors. I think most parents don’t go really early bc they know a lot of people won’t be home yet but kind of up to them to pick a time. And not sure I’d call it candy begging. I’ve told my kids I will buy them candy so I don’t get why they love trick or treating so much but they do. Just exciting for them. But it’s not unreasonable for you to have to work. Why not post a nice sign saying you’re “sorry but can’t greet trick or treaters until 5:00. Please come back then!”. Something like that. Parents will appreciate knowing and it’s not rude bc you’re offering to hand out candy later.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Our regular residential Trick or Treat hours are 5-8 on the 31st. If your porch light isn't on, no one comes to the door, so it wouldn't matter if you were not home.

The downtown businesses did theirs on Saturday from 1-4 pm. If the participation sign isn't on the door, no one comes in.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

It's a done deal for this year, but I would talk to the town office running this, and see if there's a simple signal that participants can display for the 3-5 time frame. Maybe an orange bow or a laminated pumpkin symbol that gets hung on the door or attached to the mailbox? We have all kinds of things all year round - food pantry collections by the Scouts, for example, plus a "holiday" (meaning "Christmas") shopping night when stores are expected to be open on an off night, provide hot chocolate, etc. But a simple display can say, "We're part of this and ready for you." Saves time and aggravation for all. The "push" for the town is, the more people/businesses who display the symbol, the more will participate and contribute to the spirit. The benefit for business owners is, the town doesn't appear to be anti-business by irritating the hell out of at-home businesses who have to shut down for the owner to answer doorbells.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Here, we had a toddler come up with the mom at 5 pm which was super early (for here). We live down a private lane kind of thing, and it was cute, but thank goodness we were prepared. It wasn't the norm.

Normally, it's dark. Kids are driving around to friends at 5:45 and kids are just getting organized there and I think head out around 6 pm. By 8 pm it's usually over.

I would find that annoying if it went on all afternoon. I am glad they didn't bang on your door!

Hope everyone had a good Halloween!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

In our county trick or treating is from 6 to 8 pm for 12 yrs old and under - although if older kids are taking younger kids around it's ok.
We happen to be out in the middle of a soybean field so no one comes door to door in our neighborhood - too much walking for too few houses.

In our old house we never had people come to our door because we were out.
The next town over had a great Halloween parade and you got plenty of candy just watching the parade.
It was much safer than going door to door.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I don't see why the time matters at all. I personally love Halloween but haven't been home for the past few years during trick or treat time because I go to a big, family oriented party with good friends in another town. So I just keep everything shuttered and dark when I leave. Kids know when no one's home (or if it's just a Grinch hiding out haha!) and they move on.
If you really think it's going to make your dogs bark and disturb your business just put a note on the door. That would have taken less time and been more effective than writing this post.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Our town has done downtown Halloween for years. And yes, it's done very early, which brings out the real little ones and their young parents in costumes. This is held the Thursday before Halloween.

I can understand how your town doing it on Halloween would also have folks knocking on doors at homes. I hope it works out ok for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Our town does something like this, but if you want to participate you put out a booth right outside your business with candy for the kids. It's always for a couple of hours the Firday before Halloween. Someone has to stand there and hand it out. All the kids and parents dress up. Two businesses in town go all out and make a haunted house walk through (not very scary). The local dance and gymnastics places do spooky shows and dances in the middle of the street and there is a dog costume pet parade starting from the local pet boutique. I am guessing in your case if you don' have a sign saying you are participating then no one will bother you. I'm glad it was not a pain after all!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Can you put a note on your door?
"Working until 5pm. Please come back then!"


answers from Washington DC on

well, hopefully most parents will confine their kids' trick or treating to businesses that have the appropriate signage.

not sure what you can do beyond that.

i love my little farm like a poodle dog loves his bone, but i sure do miss trick or treaters. it's been over 15 years since a kid dared our dark unpaved lane and long driveway.

:) khairete

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