Safety first

Halloween trend means more indoor trick or treating

Shopping centres are becoming an alternative for children and parents for safe, indoor trick or treating during Halloween.

Five shopping malls – The Forks, Grant Park Shopping Centre, Kildonan Place, Portage Place Shopping Centre, and St. Vital Shopping Centre – were alternative destinations for indoor trick or treating on Oct. 31.

Grant Park and Kildonan Place gave kids the opportunity to go trick or treating a day earlier on Oct. 30, while The Forks, Portage Place and St. Vital Centre held their day of candy collecting on Oct 31.

Some parents are taking advantage of the opportunity to take their children indoor trick or treating for convenience or for getting the chance to go trick or treating more than once.

Trick or treating inside shoppings centres lets parents be more at ease. With proper lighting, stable temperatures, no need for excessive clothing and stores closer together, it’s a relatively easier experience than trekking around outdoors.

But the experience can also be crowded, as friends Lindsay Ingram and Robyn Walker Barry can attest after taking their children to Grant Park Shopping Centre for indoor trick or treating in the past.

“(It’s a) warm indoor place to take kids. Costumes are not very warm and tend to be fully covered when outdoor trick or treating,” Ingram says. “(At Grant Park) little kids were buried under crowds. Stores were sold out of candy an hour before closing time.”

“I’m not sure I would go again unless we went early as the crowds were crazy,” Walker Barry adds. “I think the kids get more candy outdoor trick or treating and the candy is better at houses.”

While going trick or treating outside, Winnipeg citizens face a few more challenging factors, such as unpredictable weather, traffic, poorly lit streets and homes, pets and wildlife. They also have to keep in mind dressing properly according to the weather, wearing reflective gear, planning a route, looking for street activity and keeping close contact with others.

Jennifer Larrazabal, administrative assistant and marketing coordinator at Grant Park, has been helping out with decorations for the past five years and explains how each year Grant Park caters to citizens with different themes.

“We started off with basic set pieces for the first two years,” she says. “Three years ago, we had an empty store that was kind of large and we decided to do something big. We did a pirate theme that year… and last year we did Alice in Wonderland.”

This year, the theme at Grant Park was An Evening at Hogwarts. Creating A Scene Inc. was a partner in helping with decorations.

Kristin Pauls, marketing communications coordinator at The Forks, helped with indoor trick or treating at The Forks.

“We’ve been doing it for quite a few years and we will continue doing it as long as we see a need for it in the community,” she says. “We want to offer our version of Halloween trick or treating.”

Safe indoor trick or treating will be an alternative for young children and parents as long as there is a need. If there’s harsh weather on Halloween, parents can rest easy knowing there’s an indoor alternative for trick or treating.

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