For those of you that plan on taking your kids on one of the US Bases/Posts for some Halloween fun:
We have done this now for the past 10 years and being German myself, I always loved it.
Going through the housing area in Mannheim was like one of those 80’s movies you see as reruns that have flocks of children on the streets. Before the scares of strangers hiding razor blades in candy or giving out poisoned treats.
Even though I can’t remember ever there being any issues, usually the local clinics will X-ray your treats (exact locations are usually announced on the Radio or on shout outs).
Here are some of the “tricks” we learned.
If you have friends that live on base, do invade them and make it a fun night at their place. The sign in-waiting traffic is usually insane on Halloween. If you live on base yourself, do shelter some of your desperate Trick or Treaters that live off base.
Plan on coming a little ahead on base since you may be waiting in traffic.
Do bring some extra bags of candy to hand out to the families on base so they can satisfy all those kids coming on base for goodies (we normally bought 5 or six mixed bags and handed them out on our tour though the base).
Also explain to your excited and starved for candy offspring (cause we all know that your kid and my kids NEVER get any candy at home) the basics of politeness, like no running over toddlers and advise them to look out for cars.
Trick-or-treating times for the Ramstein and Vogelweh Housing on Halloween night (Oct. 31): 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The actual Pumpkin (safety) Patrol will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
On-post trick-or-treating hours on Halloween night (Oct. 31) on Grafenwoehr (includes Netzaberg) and Vilseck: 6 – 8 p.m.
Hohenfels: 5 – 7 p.m.
Garmisch: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Based on feedback, trick or treating activities in U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden housing areas will be changed to 5:30 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29. As a reminder, participants are prohibited from entering stairwells in multifamily housing units.
Update Oct. 20: A message from the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Commander on this topic can be found at: http://www.herald-union.com/a-message-from-the-commander-t…/.
Halloween Trick or Treat safety tips:
Know the route your kids will be taking if you aren’t going with them. Let them know that they are to check in with you every hour, by phone or by stopping back at home. Make sure that they know not to deviate from …the planned route so that you always know where they will be.
Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves.
Children should always go out trick or treating accompanied by a responsible adult. If you have a group of kids going, the parents should choose two or three of them to go along and keep an eye on things.
Help your young child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make sure that it is fire proof or treated with fire retardant. If they are wearing a mask of any kind, make sure that the eye holes are large enough for good peripheral vision.
Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
Let your children know not to cut through alleys and fields if they are out alone. Make sure they know to stay in populated areas and not to go off the beaten track. Let them know to stay in well lighted areas with lots of people around. Explain to them why it can be dangerous for kids not to do this. If they are going out alone, they are old enough to know what can happen to them in a bad situation and how to stop it from happening.
Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car. Explain why this is not a god idea and what to do if someone approaches them and tries to talk to them.
Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.
Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. This way you can check for any problem candy, and get the pick of the best stuff!
Some communities, such as the Hohenfels Military Community, set a curfew (1700 to 1900 hours) for trick or treating which makes it easier for the community to know who’s coming to their door. Make sure and stick to the curfew times and stick to areas with a lot of homes so your kids can get in as much trick or treating as possible in a few hours’ time.
Kids will be kids. Explain to kids of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem funny but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, that clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they’ve made.
Enjoy your favorite holiday and save trick or treating!