If it hasn't already, "trunk or treat" may soon reach Griswold status, because this alternative to traditional neighborhood trick-or-treating gets bigger every year. It's trick-or-treat meets tailgating; read on for fun ideas for getting started.

What is Trunk or Treat?

Trunk or treat events bring community members---and their decked out cars---to parking lots where kids go from decorated trunk to decorated trunk, collecting Halloween loot. What started at churches as a way to create a safe trick-or-treating environment for kids is becoming more mainstream with schools getting in on the action, too. And it makes total sense; trunk-or-treating provides a much more fun and creative Halloween outing than trick-or-treating at the mall. Those living in rural areas where houses are too far apart to go door-to-door now have an easy way to get into the Halloween spirit. And some parents like trunk-or-treating because it means their kids won't be walking around the streets in the dark.

If you're thinking about organizing a trunk-or-treat event, your first move should be to locate (and get permission to use) a big, safe, well-lit parking lot - one that you can block off to traffic. Then rally other parents and let the decorating begin!

Decorating Your Trunk

You can find creative trunk-or-treat decorating inspiration all over the internet; we found a few on

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You can take your cue from current kid trends (a Pokemon Go Pontiac?) or from classic literature, like those above. Why not a Hogwarts Honda? An Angry Birds Acura? Collaborating with kids on the theme will make it all the more meaningful.

Creating the Treats

Trunk-or-treating is sort of like a Halloween party combined with trick-or-treating. So, you know what that means, right? You're going to need treats! From spooky drinks and small bites for the group, to special homemade treats that'll make your trunk the place to be, we've got you covered with recipe ideas.

Steer clear of peanut allergies by creating these babies atop sugar cookies instead.

peanut butter spider cookies
Photo by Meredith Publishing

Another crowd pleaser, easy to make peanut-free as well.

Trick or Treat Caramel Corn. Photo by Land o Lakes
Photo by Land o Lakes

Super-cute and easy to make peanut-free:

Halloween Popcorn Pumpkins. Photo by The Messy Cook
Photo by The Messy Cook
Halloween Fruit Apple Teeth Treats. Photo by Meredith

Spooky Sips

Whip up some punch in a portable beverage dispenser and set it up with cups for parched trunk-or-treaters.

yummy apple cider punch

Check out more fun Halloween ideas: