HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


What's the best thing you've ever received trick-or-treating?

Small, gift-sized boxes of Almond Roca and See's lollipops probably top the list for me,


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. King size anything - Butterfingers, Snickers, Milky Ways.

    1. Great question / thread idea :)

      Caramel Apples. We made sure to go to Mrs. Kight's house first so we wouldn't miss out. They were so good that may times we took a couple bites before moving on. They were the best caramel apples ever..memories make things taste better sometimes ...

      1. Ice cream cones. And not those pre-wrapped nutty buddy things. These were choose-your-flavor hand-dipped cones, given out by a family who had just moved to the neighborhood with a kid who hadn't really made any friends yet. So, probably a bribe of sorts, but when you're 10 who cares?

        1. Well, when I was a kid Trick or Treating age most houses gave full sized candy bars. They cost a nickel at that time but they were probably 1/3 larger than what costs $1 today. But one house gave comic books. I lived in the town where Dell comics were printed and that family worked in that factory. No one missed that house!

          1 Reply
          1. re: rainey

            ... my landlords gave out full-size paperbacks (kid's choice). Big, big hit with the kids (and we got all the kids from the poorer neighborhoods too).

            The best I ever got? A full grab-bag from my neighbor (pretzels, chocolate, candycorn). She'd always make about twenty or so, and never ran out... She used to make candy apples, but when I was a kid nobody would take one from a stranger.

          2. We take our minature daschund trick or treating, she loves it and gets plenty of biscuits. One year a guy gave her an entire Costco sized box of dog biscuits, his dog wouldn't eat them. She beat us all. Took her almost a year to finish off that big score!

            1. I once went to a house very late and they were all out of candy so they started giving out money. =D That was kind of neat.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Steven977

                Once (many years ago) (in the 60's) we went to our cousin's neighbor's house.
                He was a rotten, mean old man, but -
                - He gave out Rice Krispies Treats Balls.
                Had to go to his house, no matter what, for that!

                1. re: Steven977

                  Money for me as well. When I was a kid we lived in a high rise apartment building with a lot of senior citizens. Many had trouble getting around, and never had candy for the few kids who came around for trick or treat. They opened the door though, made a big fuss, and gave us dollar bills.

                  That was the best building ever.

                2. Popcorn "hands" from my old neighbor----take a plastic food service glove (clear, obviously unused), drop a candy corn in each finger as a "fingernail", then stuff the glove with caramel popcorn. Glorious.

                  Also, because I'm not a huge chocolate person, I got super excited when I got lollipops or Skittles, or anything fruit-flavored.

                  1. University in my residence 1st year... "trick or beer!" It worked out really well, perhaps a bit too well. I know I was too old but it was a good way to meet people.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: vanderb

                      ... that's nothing. For Uni trickertreating, nothing beats the Embassies in DC. The french one gives out wine, and because you're on french soil, you aren't underage.

                      1. re: Chowrin

                        [note to self: tell friends & cousins with kids in NYC to hit the French embassy on Fifth Avenue].

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I am so glad we know this now, ghg. I just love CH. :)

                          2. re: Chowrin

                            even though minimum age to buy or be served in France is 18?

                            Your parents can opt to give you some of theirs, but it's illegal to directly serve a minor.

                        1. There's a fabulous bakery in my neighborhood and they go all out for Halloween with decorations, the staff in costume, and scary/funny little skits for the kids. They give out bags of their cookies (4 per bag) to anyone, adult or child, in costume. I never miss that store. And I end Halloween night with a cup of tea and some delicious cookies.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: angelhair

                            The tiny town I lived in growing up had a great Mom & Pop bakery. They gave away cookies or mini-cupcakes (quite the novelty then, not like the cupcake overload now), just 1 per child. I always tried to hit 'em up early in the evening, and then again just before closing time. I was a devious child (but well fed).

                            The best I ever gave was full size boxes of Cracker Jacks. We had run out of candy, so I opened the CostCo case of C. J.s (intended for Mr. Pine's lunches) and gave all those out, too. Mr. Pine wasn't amused.

                            1. re: pine time

                              The one time I ran out of candy I gave out individual cocoa packets lol!

                              1. re: lusfolgena

                                LIKE! Now that's some creative thinking on your feet!!

                          2. Definitely full-size candy bars.

                            I was trick-or-treating in the early 80s, when the threat of razor-studded apples was rammed down our throats. Anything "homemade" was thrown in the trash.

                            1. Candy corn and malted milk balls.

                              1. A can of beer, haha! I was 9 or 10, and there was a creepy house where a bunch of guys lived. Guess they ran out of candy. But I was a good girl and turned it over to my dad.
                                I always liked the neighbors that gave out little bags of pretzels or chips. Even little kids can go into candy overload.

                                1. For the last bunch of years, I've been giving out full sized black and white cookies (wrapped from the factory of course) but at Halloween they make orange and black. The parents used to fight the kids for them. I used to buy them from where I worked but since I just retired, checking here for new ideas. Wanna keep wowwing them!

                                  1. My trick or treating was during the '60's and early '70's. As young kids we had a route from our house to my grandparents, where we would get hot cider and cinnamon toast and a ride home.
                                    Homemade treats were from just a few "known" homes - actually most of those were made by retired neighbor ladies and they usually brought them over earlier in the week. We were on the receiving end for a number of women who had out of town grandchildren!

                                    Most homes gave snack sized candies or standard lollypops and such. The best was a full sized candy bar or money. Just remembered - the best was one year when I received one of those stretchy necklaces strung with a sweet tart sort of candy. I loved those!

                                    I can't believe how excited I got when I remembered that - started smiling and typing very fast!
                                    Now I'm worried I might actually be a cheap date...

                                    1. Gotta be beer.

                                      When I was young, and my parents would take us trick-or-treating, there would invariably be that house with the father on the porch, next do a table of candy and a cooler full of beer. Parents would get beer, kids would get candy, but my dad always let me take a can of beer, too.

                                      So, fast forward a few decades. My parents aren't going to be in town on Halloween, and they live in a great neighborhood for trick-or-treating so they ask me to go over and hand out candy. Immediately, I know that I'm setting up in the driveway with a big fire, a bunch of candy and a couple coolers of beer. I invited a friend over. By about 8pm we had a group of around 15 parents hanging out in the driveway, and the last one didn't leave until around midnight.

                                      1. A few years ago we were walking around the neighborhood with our TnT'ing kids, carrying wine glasses, and some houses offered free refills. Nice!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: tcamp

                                          when I was in college, we trick-or-treated with shot glasses (to friends only). That works, too.

                                          Best trick or treat prize? My husband! We were attending the same party, made a date, and the rest is history.

                                        2. Best: Kennedy silver half dollar. Giving $ was just as common as giving candy, but usually it was a stack of pennies (1960's) so that was a big prize.
                                          Worst: A pencil!

                                          26 Replies
                                          1. re: Island

                                            My worst was a toothbrush from the home of a dentist!

                                            1. re: meatn3

                                              Hmmm, my dentist lives 3 doors down from me. I'll have to get the scoop from the neighborhood kids:/

                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                My kid still gets at least 1 toothbrush/paste package. Jeez, can't people relax for this ONE day a year? It's "Trick or TREAT", after all! Even a quarter is better than a toothbrush!

                                                1. re: Michelly

                                                  I'm late to this thread, but i totally disagree. I mean 30 snickers and 1 toothbrush beats 31 snickers. some kids might not get any toothbrushes, otherwise.

                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                    But my kid already has a toothbrush, and I make sure she brushes at least twice a day, Halloween or not.

                                                    And if a kid has a Halloween costume and is wearing shoes, the chances of them having a toothbrush is pretty high.

                                                    1. re: Michelly

                                                      That toothbrush won't last forever.
                                                      And i see no correlation between having a Halloween costume and wearing shoes and having a toothbrush.
                                                      When i was a kid there was a dentist that lived on one of the streets we trick or treated on. I liked getting the toothbrush.

                                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                                        i believe that Michelly is suggesting that if there's enough disposable income for shoes, a costume, and the gas to drive to the "good" neighborhoods to go trick-or-treating, that there's enough disposable income for a toothbrush, particularly when they're given out at school and at dental clinics, even in low-income neighborhoods.

                                                        If you really feel you're saving the world with a toothbrush, more power to you, but you're just not going to be seen as the cool house, nor are your "treats" going to be valued by the kids nearly as much as they are by you.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          Of course what she says is logical. Logic doesn't always prevail. I've seen shanties with satellite dishes, etc., etc.

                                                          And i don't think the dentist in our neighborhood was going for cool.

                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                            "And i don't think the dentist in our neighborhood was going for cool."

                                                            When I was 13 he would have been going for a t.p.'d house and yard... ;-D>

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              Whoa, you took the "trick" part seriously.

                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                I took the "treat" part seriously...(even then a budding Chowhound in the making)

                                                            2. re: TroyTempest

                                                              Well, logic would continue on to saying that if there's enough disposable income for shoes, costume, gas, and toothbrush, there's also enough for buying your own candy.

                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                well, other than that bothersome thing about "trick or treat" -- because it's so much more fun to ring your own doorbell, have your mom hand you candy, then run around the house and do it again until the bowl's empty!

                                                                1. re: AmyH

                                                                  So? What's your point?
                                                                  I don't get it.

                                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                    I guess my point is, if you don't like what someone's giving out at their house for trick or treat, be it crappy candy or a toothbrush, just bypass that house.

                                                                    Saying that dentists shouldn't give out toothbrushes because kids' parents can afford to buy them if they can buy a costume isn't a logical argument when kids are going door to door asking for candy. (I realize you didn't make that argument , TroyTempest, and I agree with you that 30 snickers and a toothbrush is better than 31 snickers. )

                                                                  2. re: AmyH

                                                                    <there's also enough for buying your own candy>

                                                                    I'm not sure what you're talking about. Are you saying the trick or treaters are doing so because they can't afford their own candy?

                                                            3. re: Michelly

                                                              Giving toothbrushes to kids on Halloween just seems nasty. As if you're saying "this holiday is disgusting. Just brush your teeth when you're done." It's once a year, and I think even if you are a dentist, you could acknowledge that trick-or-treating is one of the most exciting things that happens in a kid's life, and getting a toothbrush is going to be disappointing for 99% of them. I think it would be okay if they gave out Halloween-themed toothbrushes with Halloween stickers or something.

                                                              1. re: jvanderh

                                                                "I think it would be okay if they gave out Halloween-themed toothbrushes with Halloween stickers or something."

                                                                Although, as an adult, I would be excited to find a discount coupon in my bag for my next crown or root canal... ;-D>

                                                        2. re: meatn3

                                                          Our local pediatric dentist does a swap, weighing in the candy kids swap in and exchanging it for cold, hard cash.

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            Wow, I would have LOVED that when I was a kid! I always got a FULL pillowcase of candy which inevitably sat in my room for months while I picked at it.

                                                            1. re: kubasd

                                                              What kind of weirdo are you, honey? Is there something wrong we don't know of? :)

                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                It's kinda like that at our house -- kids went apeshit for about a week, and I had to ration it out...but then 3/4 of the bucket would sit on top of the fridge, untouched.

                                                                I had a routine - -uneaten Halloween candy went out when the Christmas candy starts showing up....Christmas candy went out when the Valentine's candy appeared...Valentine's candy got dumped at Easter....and Easter candy went out before we left for summer vacation.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  Now that's what I call organization!! Yes, there was always something left over...those mini swee'tarts, and the like. I mean, even kids can only stand so much sugar over an extended period of time. I never rationed because I wanted to get it over with: "all three of you can have your sugarfreak NOW." Kind of like exposing your kids to chickenpox so they'll get it over with at a young age.
                                                                  Now, I wish retailers would follow your example: Let's get one holiday over with before we begin another!!

                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                    heh -- don't confuse "rationing" with "witholding -- they got plenty of candy....but there has to be a limit at some point...

                                                      2. Homemade cinnamon candy apples, followed by other homemade treats. Next would be full sized candy - the kinds that I really liked (Almond Joy, Mounds, Reese's, Hershey's, etc.). The worst were candy corn - just hate that stuff!

                                                        1. The best thing I ever got was an ice cream bar, but I didn't get to eat it. One year, when I was about three or four, our next door neighbors were giving out run of the mill candy to most kids, but the kids from our immediate neighborhood got ice cream bars. Since they were the first house my older brother and I hit, our dad didn't want us to get ice cream all over our costumes, so he put them in his pockets for later. I have no idea what the man was thinking...he's an otherwise really intelligent person, but for some reason, it didn't occur to him that 20 minutes of walking around the neighborhood would have a negative effect on the ice cream bars. By the time we got home, his pockets were swimming in melted ice cream.

                                                          The worst thing I've ever seen given out was a little booklet of Bible verses, given to my kids by the neighbors who "refused to participate in the devil's holiday."

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: ricepad

                                                            Colbert featured some group that wants Halloween to be "Jesus Ween" and have people hand out bibles instead of candy. Yeah, that'll make the kiddies sign up for church...

                                                            I was a 1960's trick or treater, and I distincty remember one house giving out homemade popcorn balls, and kids passing the word to other kids. Ah, those innocent days of homemade treats!

                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                              the family in our neighborhood who gave out tracts were usually the first on the list of houses to soap/wax/tp

                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                That's interesting considering that Halloween was the e'en (evening) before All Hallow's Day when one was supposed to pray to make sure that your dead loved ones made it to Heaven. Trick or Treaters were originally people who were willing to do the praying for you in return for payment in the form of All Souls' Cakes.

                                                                1. re: Michelly

                                                                  ... not quite. samhain's the original holiday. and like carolers, people would basically be peaceable thugs.

                                                                2. My trick or treating was during the early to mid 70's, by the late 70's it was shaving cream and egging fights and chugging beers. But during the peak my favs were Sixlets, sweet tarts, butterfingers, candy necklaces, soda caps, fizzies, the original chunky before they dumbed down the recipe, and we had an English neighbor who gave some of us boxes of English style jello mix. Not a powder, but a super thick, rubbery and tough, jello concentrate that you were supposed to add boiling water to, to melt it and make jello. But we ate the blocks as is. they were about 2x3" and 3/4" think. very tasty, imagine super concentrated, high quality jello, that you had to chew and chew to dissolve in your mouth.

                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                                    I forgot about chunky candy bars. They were so good!

                                                                    I wonder if that style jello mix is still sold - what an odd thing to give. But it sure made a memory!

                                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                                      Didn't know anybody else liked Sixlets! I just found them at the dollar store and bought a bunch for Halloween (if they last that long).

                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                        I have been wracking my brain trying to remember the name of one of my favorite candies from when my boys were young. The neighborhood kids loved them, and none of the other parents gave them out.
                                                                        We found them today at TJMaxx.....Sixlets!!! I haven't seen them in years. We got a container of yellow ones, but I really like the multicolor little tubes.

                                                                        1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                          i just saw them at Target the other day - with all the discounted Halloween candy - when my sister was on a hunt for the brown candy corns. that sighting gave me such flashbacks :)

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                            the bank my mom and dad used when I was a kid would send a little tube of Sixlets through the drive-in tube for every kid when my mom went through the drive-through window.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Funny timing that this threat got resurrected: just last week, I found another bag of the Sixlets I loaded up on last year. Sadly, they weren't quite as good as my memory had tricked me into believing. Same was true when I ate a Zero candy bar a few years ago--not quite as good. Altho' I still find the old Sky Bar to be crazy good.

                                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                                Also.. I feel like if we blink again it will be Halloween. Summer just passes so quickly... I have already seen Back-to-School commercials.

                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                  Nooooo, say it aint so. I'm not ready to start making lunches again

                                                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                    Public school just let out YESTERDAY in France....and the "back to school" supplies have been in the stores for 2 weeks now. Kinda jumpin' the gun.

                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      As an teacher--when I saw the commercials--(As much as a I 'luv da kidz') I wanted to scream aloud: No!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                        I don't know if it's the heat wave, but I'm noticing a few Thanksgiving and Halloween threads starting lately.

                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                            omg I'm still in my summer session... I don't want to think about the fall yet!!! Granted I do love the produce that'll be coming out in the end of August up here in CT...

                                                                      2. This is feedback from the kids that come to my door. The girls say that the jewelry I give out is the best thing they've ever received. I collect inexpensive beaded bracelets and necklaces throughout the year at various sales. I put them on a tray and offer the girls a choice of candy or jewelry. For boys I usually get the inexpensive parachuting toys or other cool things. I had plastic bat rings and the boys weren't interested in them until I put on in my nose (as a nose ring) and suddenly all of the boys wanted one. Just mixing things up.

                                                                        1. a grandma in my small town made popcorn balls which were delicious.

                                                                          1. A nice widow who owned the Chatterton mill in CT always gave the industrial sized Hershey bars. Mrs. Harris was classy, in many ways. She let us play hockey on her pond, when the ice was thick enough. Her pond was the last to freeze because it was very deep and had a damn and spillway and a gristmill way down below in all that steamy roar of the waterfall.

                                                                            1. funny Gawker piece on what you hand out to trick-or-treaters says about you:


                                                                              the comments are pretty entertaining too :)

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                Oh no, and I was thinking of giving out prepackaged cups of sugary cereals this year. No joke, I have a case of 100 I got stuck with,I had another and gave it to a neighbor and he said the kids were fighting over their favorite flavors. I usually offer a few different things and snack sized bags of cereal usually seemed to go: I'm still on the fence because there's a good sale on chocolate bars at Walgreens. They will be a bit disappointed either way, I usually give out full sized black and white cookies but lots of changes in my life the last year!

                                                                                Gotta get back into checking Gawker on a regular basis, thanks for reminding me!

                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                  lots of changes brewing among the Chowhounds this year, i hope everything is okay with you.

                                                                                  i actually didn't even see the story on Gawker initially - the local TV news did a spot on it and i caught it at the gym yesterday (apparently it was a slow news day), so i Googled it when i got home.

                                                                                  anyway, fret not, if i was a trick-or-treating kid i'd love to get a bag of sugary cereal :) and thanks for the tip about Walgreens because i have to go buy our stash today and there's one on my way to the gym!

                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    Hersheys, Mars and Nestles chocolate, fun or snack size, are $1.99, limit 4 (best price I've seen this season) you have to have the coupon but here the cashiers always scan it with theirs if you say you forgot it. Only til Saturday, then Sunday the price goes to I think 2/$5.

                                                                                    2011 has been a very bad luck year for my husband and I, can't wait til 2012 to begin! But we're hanging in there, thanks.

                                                                                  2. re: coll

                                                                                    i see nothing wrong with you giving out sugary cereals! it's not like you are passing off all-bran or something!

                                                                                    1. re: pie22

                                                                                      Thanks guys, I didn't even check the weather yet. so I may take a chance. Yeah it's Kelloggs frosted flakes, corn pops, cocoa krispies, fruit loops, apple jacks and the like. We're having our annual block party out in the street the day before and I have Twizzlers, candy corn and imported lemon candies for the kids then, besides the four soups I volunteered to make (homemade gumbo and chili, plus jazzed up Campbells NE Clam Chowder and Tomato soup to which I will probably add some type of pasta), Then the two "adult cakes" I will offer, alchohol based. If the weather is bad Monday, I will probably be twiddling my thumbs...which would be good, since it's my cat's birthday and I'm making her some shrimp over polenta, she loves her some shrimp.

                                                                                2. Homemade, from scratch chocolate cupcake when I was 12. We sat down on the curb and gobbled them up on the spot.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. Snickers. Overconsumed.
                                                                                    Thank God for the bucket.

                                                                                    1. Hotdogs - at the local funeral home. We had to walk up the dimly lit driveway, past the funeral home, and into the backyard. They gave out the hotdogs from the garage, where the hearses were kept. This was really scary when we were little, and there was lots of discussion about what the hotdogs were made from. But the warm treat on a chilly night was worth it.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: bootlady

                                                                                        What a cool story! Thank you, bootlady.

                                                                                        1. My grandmother's friend owned the Pepsi bottling company. They always left out cases of Pepsi and 7Up cans.

                                                                                          1. I grew up in a small coastal town with 20 to 30 kids TOTAL, so trick or treating involved parents driving around the kids throughout the sparsely populated beach town. The last stop was always a retired couple who lived in a beautiful home right on the Bay. He was retired from Coca Cola and his treats were an entire six pack of COKE! AWESOME! We loved them forever for it...Nothing better than an ice cold Coke to wash down all that Halloween candy!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: SweetPhyl

                                                                                              geez -- I cannot imagine trying to get *that* bunch of kids to sleep -- jacked up on sugar and caffeine!

                                                                                              1. re: SweetPhyl

                                                                                                I also grew up in a small town, maybe 70 kids of trick or treating age in any given year. Most people gave out full size candy bars, but my grandparents were snack cake devotees and always had a selection of Little Debbie cakes for kids to choose. Their neighbor was in charge of Lance snacks distribution for the region, and always gave out packs of crackers and other Lance products.

                                                                                                We moved to a larger town when I was eight. No more full size candy bars, but a lot more variety and volume :) We did have one neighbor that would buy all of the personalized pencils and rulers from the dollar store and give those out. Your real name didn't matter - you got whatever name she pulled out of the bag.

                                                                                              2. BEST - full size snickers, hershey, reese's, or those ridiculous candy necklaces
                                                                                                WORST - apples, quarters, homemade junk, (cookies, popcorn balls, etc) usually from the old lady houses, bleah! sounds awful, but when you're a kid, you have a different view

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                                                                  best is always reese's, sour patch kids and juice boxes (walking around makes you thirsty)
                                                                                                  worst - hershey kisses (really, your just giving me one?), almond joys/mounds, raisins

                                                                                                2. As a kid back in the 70s it had to be Marathon bars. These were 12 inches of braided chocolate and caramel that took forever to finish. The wrapper even had a 12 inch ruler printed on the back. They were always the biggest thing in the candy bag.

                                                                                                  As an adult it has to be my neighbor who gives out oil cans of Foster's Lager and Premium Ale. They are the right size to make it around the block with the kids. Stopping by on the return trip is even better.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: CDouglas

                                                                                                    I am definitely outta the loop (sadly) with all this trick-or-drinking!

                                                                                                  2. Not trick-or-treating but I was invited to my next door neighbor's house for a Halloween party. All dressed up, I go into a dark room to dunk for apples and in they come in with a lit birthday cake. They turned it into a surprise birthday party for me (my birthday is the following week). Unforgettable! Best party I've ever had.

                                                                                                    1. Vendor size bags of potato chips. From Bars on Michigan Avenue. In Detroit.

                                                                                                      Now, my brother and I both give out bags of chips to Trick or Treaters. Passing it forward.

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                        Oh, GREAT idea! Will try it next year (my daughter insists that "everyone" loves Takis.

                                                                                                        1. re: Michelly

                                                                                                          I bought a box of snack size Doritos/Cheetos/Fritos from Costco and gave the kids a choice: chips or candy. Most of the older ones went for the chips. I'll do it again next year, but more carefully as the box I bought was all "spicy" snacks.

                                                                                                        2. re: Cathy

                                                                                                          my sister's best friend's dad growing up drove a Wise truck... they always gave out snack-size bags of chips. it was one of our favorite stops. :)

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              mmmm... archway molasses cookies were the BEST!

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                Mmmmmm - Archway. . . .

                                                                                                                "Iced Spice" was my favorite.

                                                                                                          1. The best was the neighbor who had a big bowl of pennies and a very shallow spoon. We could take as many pennies as we could scoop. If you took too many almost all would slide off. There were no do-overs.

                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: calliope_nh

                                                                                                              My best memory was one year near the end of my Trick or Treating phase. One of the houses in our neigborhood was home to a freshly married couple who must have shopped at one of the fancier supermarkets. So instead of the normal Hersehy's or M&M marst American Candy they were handing out Quality Stree chocolates and minature Bounty bars. Not all that different from the regular stuff objectively, but to someone getting a little jaded with most of the regular candy it was a nice change.
                                                                                                              And I probably went down as the best Haloween treat giver in a lot of kids minds in my colledge years, when I fogot to get candy and handed out Pokemon cards.

                                                                                                              1. re: calliope_nh

                                                                                                                One of my very earliest childhood memories was trick or treating with my mom when I was 4 years old. We lived in a little area of the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles) called Toluca Lake in a small duplex on the "wrong side" of the tracks. But the neighbors on the other side of that "track" included Bob Hope (whose huge estate is still there at 10346 Moorpark Street http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/b... ). I can still recall to this day his butler, fully turned out in classic butler uniform, coming to the door with this huge bowl filled with nickels. This was 1952 and the site of all those nickels, and being able to take one, stays with me to this day.

                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                  Circa 1967, we had an older lady in our neighborhood who lived in a home sitting on its own corner. The house was architecturally magnificent, a bit gothic for the times and she had a bowl of dimes in her foyer every Halloween for kids who had the nerve to ring her doorbell. She was not a nice lady. We didn't understand the dime as treats concept at all.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                    My mother used to do this, but the kids didn't seem to like it. She thought it was better than having to deal with leftover candy.

                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                      A short epilog to this story. All of the nickels were Indian Head/Buffalo type. When I got home my older brother convinced me to trade him my nickel for a dime. Today that same nickel is probably worth at least $50 (and probably more). Older brother is just another term for "con man!" ;-D>

                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                        Man! My husband's cousin con'd him out of some very valuable comic books back in his youthful days...they still fight about it.

                                                                                                                2. When I was a kid the authors Wende & Harry Devlin who wrote Old Black Witch were my neighbors. One Halloween Harry read the story to us on his front porch while we ate black licorice from his "black caldron." Still the best time I ever had on Halloween. I still miss you, Harry :)


                                                                                                                  not to mention the recipes! http://www.harryandwendedevlin.com/re...

                                                                                                                  1. A handful of fun sized milky ways.

                                                                                                                    This thread is enlightening. I always thought people giving out chips and pennies and popcorn balls were just killjoys. It appears they had great memories of getting those things as children. Aha! I so wish I weren't too old to trick or treat. Remember the smell when you'd empty it all out on the floor? Intoxicating. Nothing else smells like that.

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                      Ahem, just a little thing -
                                                                                                                      -I don't know if they are still doing it, but Disneyland, a few years ago, was still giving out candy to anyone who would ask, during their Halloween promotion days.
                                                                                                                      I remember, about 7-8 years ago, someone wheeling upt their (mother/grandmother)? up to one of their stations.
                                                                                                                      "Trick of Treat!" the family members yelled.
                                                                                                                      I can't tell you, the joy I feel the elderly lady felt, when she received her "treat"
                                                                                                                      We all feel the need to be needed.

                                                                                                                        1. re: aurora50

                                                                                                                          Mickey's Not-so-Scary Halloween Party. I believe Disney requires a separate or more expensive ticket than regular day time admission, but they offer all-ages trick or treating a few days a week from Mid-September through Halloween.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                            Oh yes, that is so fun. We've done that once or twice.
                                                                                                                            I remember one family, wheeling up their (mother? grandmother?) in her wheelchair and saying, "Trick or Treat!!" and her receiving candy in her little bag.
                                                                                                                            That is one of my best memories.

                                                                                                                        2. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                                          Wow I remember that smell too! Had totally forgotten!

                                                                                                                        3. 1960. Anaheim California. Homemade cinnamon sugar doughnut, still warm.
                                                                                                                          1967. Berkeley California. Hand rolled joint, already lit.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                                            now if you could just get the Anaheim neighbor to live about 4 doors further down the street from the Berkeley neighbor, you'd be on to something...

                                                                                                                            1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                                              cool. me too! a big bud of panama red. we rolled it up and smoked it before 5:30 Mass on the following saturday.

                                                                                                                              ah, the 70's

                                                                                                                            2. My folks used to give out homemade popcorn (just with oil and salt), packed in plastic sandwich bags. I'm sure that a lot of parents made their kids throw it away, but I always liked it more than candy.

                                                                                                                              I think I've gotten (homemade) popcorn balls once or twice as a kid.

                                                                                                                              1. Los Angeles suburbs, 1960's. The two houses that gave out homemade spiced cider, one hot, one cold. It was fantastic to get something to drink when we spent hours running around and wandered for miles. Second best was the house that gave out homemade pumpkin cake.

                                                                                                                                There was a constant rumor that a retired baseball player in the neighborhood gave out silver dollars. Not true, but it didn't stop hundreds of kids from banging on the door on his darkened front porch every year and hoping. Poor guy.

                                                                                                                                1. Full-sized boxes of Cracker Jack. Loved those silly prizes!

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: AnneMarieDear

                                                                                                                                    Full-sized boxes of Cracker Jacks was my favorite thing to get when I was a kid, too! There was a rumor that the man who lived in the house worked for the Cracker Jack company, but I don't know if that was true. There was also a house that would grill hotdogs and you could just stand there and eat one. That was a really nice break from all the walking.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                      One neighbor lady on our street dressed up as a witch and had a cauldron on her lawn filled with fresh lemonade! She cackled and handed out cups. It was great!

                                                                                                                                  2. We loved getting full size candy bars, but my favorite was the lady who made popcorn balls with caramel and M&Ms. I don't know how she kept the M&Ms from melting, but I love caramel corn, so that house was my favorite.

                                                                                                                                    1. One time we received a chocolate called an "Ice Cube" IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD. I never saw it again. Although I looked it up online, and you can still order it.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                        Oh yeah, Ice Cubes!!! MMMMMM.
                                                                                                                                        We used to get them at one of the restaurants we used to go to when we were young, they would be at the front counter as you paid.
                                                                                                                                        They're smooth, creamy and milky, almost/kind of like a truffle. But without the cost.
                                                                                                                                        Glad to know you can still get them online!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                          Oh that was my favorite candy for a long time, when I was a kid. Wonder if it would still taste the same now to me? I also liked white chocolate back then, I think it almost leaned that way.

                                                                                                                                          The big thing was most candy then was 5 cents, but Ice Cubes were only 2 cents. I remember that box, always by the cash register, the original impulse item.

                                                                                                                                        2. I wasn't allowed to TOT as a child (insert lame bibical nonesense) so I have a certain amount of pent up need surrounding the holiday. But my kids are small and I won't let them eat junk.

                                                                                                                                          So...we handed mostly bags of Snyders prezels with some super tiny gummy candies and organic lolipops thrown in. And wouldn't you know it, the prezels were a HUGE hit. I got a lot of great comments and only one skeptic who picked them up, put them back, and choose again.

                                                                                                                                          I left out a big bucket of prezels and most of my kid's candy and in the morning lots of candy left and no prezels.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                            I was a very serious T-o-T'er, and still have a huge sweet tooth. The occasional savory treat is good - it helps cleanse the palate when sugar overload leaves things tasting bland.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                              Bought a giant pumpkin shaped box full of individually packaged pretzels last year, and the kids chose that over the candy at least 2:1.

                                                                                                                                          2. Best gift on Halloween?

                                                                                                                                            As a parent, must say
                                                                                                                                            it is smiles of excitement
                                                                                                                                            on the faces of children
                                                                                                                                            as they race door to door.

                                                                                                                                            1. One of my friends got really weirded out the other day. When she went through her 4 year old son's bag, she found a pair of "Love Cuffs" (you know, satin covered handcuffs) still in their package from CVS, and is freaking out who gave them to him. I told her, her husband just became a cop so maybe they thought it would be funny, but I don't think she'll ever be the same again!

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                I'd be freaking out too, and checking the sex offender registry for my neighborhood. Hopefully if it was a joke, the person tells them so they stop worrying.

                                                                                                                                              2. My most memorable was an old man in our neighborhood who worked for Barq's root beer. Every year he gave each kid a can of root beer, a small bag of Zapp's potato chips with halloween decorations on them and as many sheets of these amazing temporary Barq's tattoos as he could stuff in your bag! We looked forward to his house every year and those tattoos stayed on so long, it would be Christmas and my mom would still be finding lips and spiders all over my brother!

                                                                                                                                                1. A beer!
                                                                                                                                                  I think we were in 7th grade.
                                                                                                                                                  Me and the girl I was with split it lol

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. Actually, ipse, it was a walnut. I thought I was "suprise" trick-or-treating my boyfriend, and when he handed me the walnut I thought, "well, the trick's on me then." Turns out it WAS on me: he'd split it and hollowed it, filled it with my engagement ring, and glued it back together. :) Next best was our neighborhood when the kids were little and all the adults went trick-or-drinking and we all tried to outdo each other with Halloween-y drinks.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I always went to my grandparents first so they could see me in my costume. One year my grandfather made me a papier mâché rock filled with candy bars. Like Charlie Brown, I got a rock.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: silvergirl

                                                                                                                                                        I like your Grandpa's style, silvergirl. :)

                                                                                                                                                      2. Homemade treats - popcorn balls, candy apples, etc., etc.

                                                                                                                                                        Of course this was before psychotics started sticking razor blades in apples & handing out aspirin & other pill along with lookalike candies.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                          The popcorn balls always confused me as a little kid. I couldn't imagine how they got the popcorn stuck together, so I was afraid to eat them.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Another great post by ipsedixit, which I only discovered now for some reason.

                                                                                                                                                          1. This has already been mentioned, but, King Sized Snickers. My friend s and I were so impressed that my mother had us get the address and we wrote her (the lady who gave them to us) an thank you card.


                                                                                                                                                            One neighbor of ours would have a whole setup at her place. You would ring the (front) door bell and the garage door would start to open. You would then start walking towards the opening garage door and smoke would be coming out.

                                                                                                                                                            Inside the garage amongst the dangling (fake) spiders would be a witch and her henchman. She would be stewing an enormous cauldron. Inside the cauldron would be tons and tons of candy. (She would also have some fake eyeballs and toads in the cauldron as well).

                                                                                                                                                            It was impressive.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                                                                                              We lived in a neighborhood with very few tick or treaters when I was a teenager, and my parents lived there for another 10 years after I moved out. Only the kids from the surrounding few blocks came by, so my parent knew exactly how many to expect, and eventually learned each kids favorite candy. They would buy a king size bar for each kid in his/her favorite flavor, plus a couple of extras just in case. They also would carve up to a dozen pumpkins, with a different theme each year, and always dressed up to hand out candy. Yeah... We're big on Halloween in my family.

                                                                                                                                                              No the 'rents live in a new neighborhood (new town, new state...) with more active trick or treating. The neighborhood holds a block party on Halloween, and everyone dresses up. Kids get to roam somewhat freely to trick or treat.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                Halloween Block parties can be a lot of fun. The one problem, in my experience, is that few people will make anything that does NOT have sugar in it and it can be difficult to get any sustenance. (Personally, I find the frozen hockey puck hamburgers and stale bunned hot dogs to be really disappointing...but they can hold you over)

                                                                                                                                                            2. Growing up I had a neighbor who worked for Scholastic books. Every year for Halloween he would have tables covered in paperback books. You were allowed to take a few. I loved to read so it was my favorite house. One year I changed costumes so I could go there twice.

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Disneyfreak

                                                                                                                                                                One year my younger brother tried the costume change thinking he was fooling our neighbors but they recognized the kid who showed up with a pillow case for a Halloween sack pretty quickly-LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Disneyfreak

                                                                                                                                                                  This reminded me of a neighbor who worked for a company that made small electronics-I remember him giving out transistor radios once for Halloween!

                                                                                                                                                                2. This wouldn't be my answer now as an adult, but when I was a kid, pixie sticks were my favorite to receive. I also had an affinity for Fun Dip! Artificially colored & flavored sugar. Nothing seemed better at the time. This was the 70s, so I also liked candy cigarettes. The white ones with the fake red tip. Although those weren't given away at Halloween, thankfully. Some older neighbors gave away oranges, apples, or pennies. Those were the worst to receive from my kid perspective.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: browndogs2

                                                                                                                                                                    Nothing seemed better in the early 90's either :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. $5 from my neighbor when I was 10 years old.. really..

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Crisp US $ 1.00 bills, but that WAS back in the very earls 60's, so they actually had some worth back then.


                                                                                                                                                                      1. Several people responded here with comments about households who gave out dimes or other quantities of money for the Trick or Treaters themselves. Does anyone else remember taking a small milk carton around... We would wrap it in an orange label and "Trick or Treat for UNICEF," collecting those pennies and dimes for charity. I don't think we were any more honest angels than any other generation, but I do think most of the contributions did end up back at school and eventually at UNICEF.
                                                                                                                                                                        Otherwise, the best thing I remember was a Trick or Treat bag that got so full and so heavy I could hardly carry it, and I would get home and pour hundreds of candy bars and Dum Dums and lollypops and those classic orange wax harmonicas and all of it onto the dining room table or across the living room carpet and just be in awe of the haul.

                                                                                                                                                                        So we had crass selfishness working alongside of generosity for the children of the world, or something like that

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                                                                                                          We collected for UNICEF too. We usually did the collection earlier than the trick or treating. Our neighborhood had 100's of kids* out and just handing out candy was a job. If we did the charity collection earlier we got much more in contributions.

                                                                                                                                                                          *One year as a teen I handed out the candy - 1 piece per child. We went through over 500 pieces!
                                                                                                                                                                          30+ years later and I have had perhaps 5 trick or treaters in the last 7 years.Times have changed.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Licorice pipes, & the best homemade molasses candy ever, from the scary old lady who was always outside swaying & waving her arms at the sky & trees!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Our best neighbor lady used to buy us KING SIZED Hershey bars. Bearing in mind, there were only like 6 kids of trick-or-treating age in our nabe.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. My favorite of the mainstream candies are Heath Bars. I make it a point to check if my kids bring any home now.

                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                LOL. And I'm sure if they do, they appear totally unsafe for consumption by anybody under 18.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                  If they're in the mix I purchase to hand out, I always pick through and remove them.... that toffee is bad for kids' teeth, dontcha know?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, yes indeed, kubasd! I can't tell you how carefully I picked over my kids' candy for that very reason. I always left them the pennies though, even though they complained that it hurt to chew them. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                  I nicked a bunch of the Heath Bars out of the candy we were handing out. They were so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                3. When we were kids, we loved getting coupon books from McDonald's - the coupons were all for ice cream or pies or other things our parents wouldn't let us order. Also, we rarely ate at McDonald's (pretty much only on road trips) so a book of 5 coupons would last most of the year.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. A full-sized Cadbury fruit & nut bar. I think that was the begining of my love for hazelnuts!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Late 70's in southern California, you could take your Halloween candy to the hospital to get it x- rayed for needles and razor blades. I thought angel dust was some kind of sparkly candy powder that they always talked about on tv news. I'm a little embarrassed to say, but my favorite houses at the time were the ones that gave out coupons for McDonald's french fries. I also liked pop rocks. There was a certain element of danger to them because teenagers said swallowing them would kill you if you drank them with a coke.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: carolinevalentine

                                                                                                                                                                                        Gasp! Why EVERYONE knows if you eat pop rocks and a coke together your stomach will explode!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                                                                          but at that time, we believed bubble gum was made with spider eggs, too.....

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Neighbor lady made popcorn balls wrapped in wax paper back in the days when no one really worried about the safety of homemade treats in your own neighborhood. Fresh and caramelly and better than any wrapped candy!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Sigh. Not allowed to TOT as a child.

                                                                                                                                                                                          We give out play dough, bags of preztels, and some tiny organic lollipops. The play dough FLIES out of the bowl every year. Next goes the pretzels and the lollipops always go last.