I live in a multi-unit building, and I want to rot the teeth of today’s youth. How do I get trick-or-treaters? Or is this a lost cause?

And the flip side: What’s the protocol on trick-or-treaters in the city? Should my kids and I abide by “If there’s decor, knock on the door (or push the bell)”?

Tracy Brown, Community Builder / Program Developer for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families suggests coming together as a building in order to attract trick-or-treaters.

For example, contact your fellow tenants and ask if it would be possible to coordinate a candy meet-up in your building’s common area (for example, your building’s lobby). Post signs in front of and throughout the building so everyone’s aware of the event; then, on Halloween night, all residents interested in doling out candy can congregate in the common area (Brown suggests bringing Halloween decorations, too).

As far as trick-or-treating protocol goes, Brown, a mother of young children, says she asks herself this question every year. As a result of this query she says she “will work to enact and promote a city-wide protocol to make Halloween in San Francisco ‘a more kid-friendly event’ in the years to come.”

But for now, she follows the “unwritten protocol” that lights on and Halloween decorations in the window are a definite sign that there’s candy waiting inside. Brown takes her children to Fair Oaks Street (on the border of Noe Valley/Mission), which closes off the area for Halloween activities; she also told me about some events that might appeal to families with children:

Stonestown Family YMCA Halloween Festival

7th Annual Safe Halloween in Hayes Valley/Western Addition

Annual Halloween Extravaganza at Joe DiMaggio Playground

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