Hosting Trick or Treaters

Information for participating houses

Thank you for being involved in this community event that is LOVED by so many kids and adults alike.  Here you will find some Frequently Asked Questions about Halloween in Paddington, Brisbane.

What time do the kids come knocking?

Trick or Treat usually runs from 5pm until about 7pm. Older kids may still be out after dark, whereas younger ones will complete their route before the sun goes down.

What if I’m not home from work until a bit later than 5pm?

You can write your start time on your laminated poster (pictured below) which will be provided to you when you sign up as a host, and the kids will return to your place a little later. Also at 40 Hayward Street, I’ll have a list of houses that may be starting later that I will hand out to parents so they can plan their route.

You could also print the picture below and write your times on the front and secure it to your letterbox.

TorT Welsome between

How will the kids know to knock on my door?

Display your decorations provided by Paddington Halloween on the footpath outside your house entrance, maybe somewhere near your letterbox – or use your own halloween decorations to show your participation.

If you live in an apartment, the kids might not know where to go…make sure you use a marker to your front door and place the decorations provided by Paddington Halloween on your footpath so they can be seen from the street.

If your address is not adjacent to Hayward Street, let us know by email or facebook messenger, and we’ll include your location on our website and social media pages so that locals will be able to find you.

What if I definitely don’t want to participate?

That’s OK! If you’re in the trick or treat route and you don’t display an orange balloon or streamers, or decorations, then the kids won’t call on you. You can keep your verandah light off too.

When should I put out my decorations/orange balloon/ribbon out?

The best time is lunchtime or the morning of the 31st. Many parents will do a drive by during the day to get an idea of who is participating, so get them up as early as you can. If you’d like to borrow a couple of props from us, please email, and if you’re on the trick or treat route, we’ll help you out. 2019 hosts will be given some decorations to borrow including the plastic pumpkin and shepherd’s hook which will be reused next year, so we’ll deliver them to you and we’d love it if you could return them to us at the end.

If you have your own decorations it’s usually acceptable to put up your decorations about one week before halloween, and to take them down promptly at the end.

How many children can I expect?

Last year we had between 300 and 400 children involved in the trick or treat and haunted house. Numbers are looking like at least that again this year. Don’t worry! There’s no need to provide for all of them!

How many lollies/treats should I buy?

It would be normal to account for one or two wrapped lollies per child. They don’t need to grab a handful each!  This time of year, supermarkets often stock large packets of individually wrapped and themed lollies which are perfect and cheap to buy. We have also given out small packets of chips as an alternative choice. Remember even though there may be 300 or so children participating, they may not all make it to your house.

If you let me know that you’re participating I’ll make sure I supplement your supply of treats! Please sign up so I can get them to you, thanks.

You can also provide other types of treats for younger children or those who can’t have sweets – party favours are usually the go.

2019 UPDATE – All hosts will receive a supplementary supply of treats courtesy of Funding provided by the Lord Mayor’s Community Fund and the Councillor for Paddington Ward #paddingtonpete

I will deliver these to registered hosts a few days before halloween.

Councillor Peter Matic- Thank you!!

Can I make my own treats?

No. Parents appreciate the gesture, but it is not appropriate to make your own edible treats for safety reasons. non-edible treats are OK, but make sure the kids know they can’t eat them if they look even a little bit like food!

I don’t want to give out lollies, what else can I do?

There are many alternatives, starting with savoury foods likes chips and crackers or even biscuits and fruit. Non-food alternatives include things like stickers, small toys, playdough, small bouncy balls, colouring pages, and pencils. The teal pumpkin symbolises houses that are giving out non-food treats. Parents of children with food allergies will thank you for it!  Please let me know if you need some supplies of non-food options. Text Kerry on 0418 844 511.

What happens if I run out of treats?

Please don’t feel like you need to cater for the huge number of kids – when you run out, that’s it. When you run out of treats, it would be customary to remove your decorations / orange balloon and ribbon, to turn off your verandah light and go inside. You could also come and visit us at the haunted house and say “Hi!”

If you have decorations up that can’t be removed or switched off easily, you can always display the printable sign below.

Sorry! We're out of treats

Will the kids play tricks on me too?

Most of the kids don’t play tricks, but some of the older kids might have something planned, so look out!

Should I scare the kids?

Well, you’ll need to choose your audience for this one. Generally speaking, you would try to appeal to a wider (and younger) audience by keeping your decorations friendly & spooky rather than terrifying and gory.  The element of surprise will get them all squealing and laughing!

Should I dress up or decorate?

Dress-ups are always welcome and appreciated by everyone involved! A lot of parents will leave the dressing up to the kids and that’s perfectly acceptable too.

Paddington Halloween will provide you with something orange to display if you are in the trick or treat area, but if you have your own decorations it really adds to the festivities. Please feel free to add decorations of your own to your house. Easy and cheap decorations can be purchased from place like Woolworths, Coles, Overflow Jindalee, Target, Big W and various party shops.

Verandah decorations for Trick or Treat

I hear you’re fundraising – how can I donate?

This year, Paddington Halloween are raising money for Samuel G. and his work with Kids4Kids. All money raised goes towards improving the lives of local families, helping them meet the costs associated with getting kids back to school – stationery, uniforms, text books etc. During our Haunted House event we will be accepting gold-coin donations.

I’ve taken some photos of the event how do I tag you?

Instagram @paddingtonhalloween #paddingtonhalloween

Facebook @paddingtonhalloween or send them in messenger.

Email photos to

Where can I get more information?

Your event organizers:  Kerry & John Forsythe

40 Hayward Street, Paddington QLD

0418 844 511