10 Unique Halloween Treats That Kids Love -- But Rarely Get!

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When it comes to Halloween treats I consider my daughter, Nina, to be the ultimate authority.

Nobody loves sweets and desserts like Nina — especially those that contain chocolate.

Pity any future suitor who makes the “mistake” of getting her flowers over chocolate on Valentine’s Day. In fact, I always tell the Honeybee that, when Nina does start dating, if she ever brings home a boy I find to be less than perfect for my little girl, then I’m going to take him aside and tell him exactly that: flowers, buddy — NOT chocolate.

Heh. That ought to seal his fate.

Anyway, I asked Nina if she could give me a list of the best Halloween treats she’s ever found in her goody bag. She was more than happy to oblige, of course.

Ironically, most of the treats Nina finds in her trick-or-treat bag every Halloween that she considers to be the among the best are NOT your typical fun-sized candy bars.

Here was her list of Halloween treats she loves to find in her trick-or-treat bag, but rarely gets (along with a little color commentary by yours truly):

1. Giant-sized candy bars. I know what you’re thinking, but keep in mind I said most of the treats weren’t chocolate — not all of them. Did you really expect anything else from a chocoholic like my daughter? We have some deceptively wealthy neighbors who enjoy handing out really big candy bars every Halloween. Not fun-sized. Not the typical regular-sized ones either. I’m talking about the GIANT ones that are just a little bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

2. Juice boxes. According to Nina, she loves it when she gets a juice box – especially if she’s been out trick-or-treating for awhile. She quaffs them on the spot – and why not? It quenches the mighty thirst she builds up as she’s out gathering up her Halloween booty, thereby allowing her to stay out longer, which in turn results in even more candy! Hey, trick-or-treating is hard work, folks.

3. Fruit roll-ups. This is another juicy treat that Nina likes to eat on the spot because “they’re refreshing” and it helps give her added energy.

4. Fun Dips. This is also known as Lick-a-Stix. The genius who created the Fun Dip — fruit-flavored powdered sugar and a candy stick used for dipping — smartly realized that most kids love to play with their food. The Fun Dip provides one of those rare instances where kids can actually do that without getting yelled at by Mom and Dad. Oh yeah, and as Nina noted, “Lick-a-Stix taste goooooood.” (She told me to make sure I spelled “good” with the extra vowels.)

5. Marshmallows. Nina says she loves getting mini marshmallows because we almost never buy them. She’s right. We’re not campers, so we never make smores. The only time we have mini marshmallows is during Thanksgiving when we put them in the fruit salad and use them as a topping for the candied yams.

6. Money. Just for the record, I asked Nina how much money she would have to get in order to push “money” to the top of this list. Without the slightest bit of hesitation she gave me her answer: $2.50. It’s almost as if she had previously pondered this question. Maybe she did.

7. Candy apples. Nina likes these because they’re fun to eat. For the record, she didn’t feel the same way about caramel apples. Really? When I was a kid, I preferred the latter. (I know. Since this isn’t my list I should just shut my trap.)

8. Popcorn balls. “Who doesn’t like like popcorn balls, Dad?” You’re right, Sweetheart; I certainly know I love them. So that makes two of us. For the record, Nina also noted that: 1) popcorn is always more fun to eat when it is in a ball; and, 2) she awards bonus points for kettle corn.

9. Goodie bags. Usually, these are small plastic bags adorned with Halloween decorations filled with a few pieces of candy and/or other small gifts, and then tied-off with decorative orange and black ribbon. Nina loves these because “it’s like a present and so you never know what you are going to get.” Think of it as a way for the kids to practice for Christmas.

10. Erasers. I know this may be hard to believe for some of you, but kids love erasers – especially if they are shaped like an animal or some other character. I think that’s because they’re always using them on their homework. I know Nina can’t get enough erasers, so when she does happen to find one in her Halloween bag she acts as if I just gave her permission to have a second helping of dessert. Alright; maybe that’s going a bit too far, but I think you know what I mean.

NEXT: 13 Yucky Halloween Treats Kids Would Rather Toss Than Eat

This is an updated version of an article originally posted on October 18, 2010)

Photo Credit: euart

41 comments to 10 Unique Halloween Treats That Kids Love — But Rarely Get!

  • Len, I know it’s all about the kids, but what is your favorite Halloween treat?

    I know you look through Nina’s bag to find em, I just know it!

    My wife is a candy corn freak-my kids had to hide those.
    I am a sucker for a Three Musketeer-haven’t had one in months, maybe I will stop by the C-store on the way to lunch….

  • Sabrina

    My 6 y.o. daughter is the same way in that she loves getting Halloween stuff that isn’t the typical mini chocolate bars. Last year somebody was giving out 4-paks of crayons and she thought it was just the greatest thing ever.

  • I’d be interested to know what Nina thinks about pencils. The past few years I’ve given out Halloween pencils with a cute eraser tip. Last year I decided to also hand out candy for those kids who complained, “A pencil?! Man, she’s only giving away pencils!” I can’t help myself; as a teacher I feel it’s my responsibility to give away healthy and safe treats! Or is my pencil a trick? Hmmm……

  • I totally forgot about popcorn balls! Deliciousness!

  • Nobody ever hands out homemade treats where we live because they will just end up in the garbage because they will inevitably be laced with poison…

    I NEVER ONCE even got a regular sized candy bar during my entire childhood of trick or treating. My kids get them quite frequently though.

    I give snack-sized goldfish to the little kids because so many parents abhor sugar and chocolate nowdays. My favorite as a kid was the reese, although I probably steak kit kats from the kids more than anything else.

  • One year, I caught an end of summer sale on Hot Wheels cars, they were like 50 cents or so. I gave them out for Halloween, and was the talk of the town for weeks after.
    We’ve been boring ever since.

  • Sharon

    We got a crazy good deal on small glow sticks one year and gave those out. Talk about a bunch of ecstatic kids! :-)

  • Pamela T.

    Candy apples, popcorn balls, marshmallows… Those three items at least looks like kids haven’t totally rejected some of the more traditional treats. How refreshing!

    Erasers is a great idea!

    On the down side, I will say a couple of those items might be a bit costly for people on a budget if they tend to get a lot of kids dropping by.

    Thanks for the list, Len!

  • @Sabrina: I like the crayons idea!
    @LittleHouse: When I was talking with Nina, she mentioned that she doesn’t like pencils because she ends up either putting them in a drawer and forgetting about them – or only using them for the erasers. I know when I was a kid I liked getting pencils for Halloween, but I guess we live in different times.
    @Jenna: Totally!
    @Everyday: I think goldfish (crackers) is another great idea.
    @Joe: If I was a kid and I had visited your house and got a Hot Wheels car, you’d have been my hero, Joe. I used to have the world’s largest collection!
    @Sharon: Glow sticks? Wow! That would have been awesome.
    @Pamela: You’re welcome! I’ll admit, some of these will stretch a budget – there are definite cheaper ways to go. But based upon these comments there are obviously deals out there for those willing to look for them. :-)

  • Fruit roll-ups rock! I haven’t had any of those in 20 years….didn’t know they were still around.

    Remember Big League Chew? What a horrible habit to instill in a child…but oh how good it was!

  • We don’t get many kids in this neighborhood, but I do like the mini glow stick idea. That way I won’t put on a couple of pounds eating the leftover candy! I wouldn’t give out anything like a candy apple – my mom made me throw unwrapped things out 30 years ago and I’m sure there are plenty of scared parents today.

  • Becky

    Does anybody remember those little wax coke bottles with colored syrup in them? How about the wax lips and mustaches, and candy cigarettes? I loved those as a kid!

  • @Coach: I think Big League Chew is still around too!
    @Jennifer: I thought the glow stick idea was cool too. If you don’t get a lot of kids, it can’t be that expensive, can it? Our first Halloween in our house (1998) we got about 200 kids. It has been dwindling ever since. Last year I bet we got 40. What’s ironic is the number of kids in the neighborhood increased. Something about new neighborhoods out here that encourages folks to drop their kids off for trick-or-treating. Maybe it is the sense of adventure?
    @Becky: I loved all of them – especially those old wax bottles filled with syrup. Yummy!

  • We’re one of the houses that give the full sized candy bars. I would never do it on my mom’s street because she gets hundreds of kids, but we only get like 20. We always would end up buying way more than we needed and giving out 2-3 fun sized candies to each kid.

    My son got a full sized bar one day and it really was better than getting 2 fun bars, hence an idea was born.

    Aside from being the coolest house on the block,the full sized bars seem easier to resist than the 1/2 sized bars.

  • charwash

    Just to REALLY make your day, I dated a guy who brought me a 1-lb. box of Godiva chocolate on our first date. Yes, I also married him!

  • dianebk

    I’m a baker & candy maker, and I was dying to give out homemade cookies and molded Halloween chocolates, but I knew most would end up being tossed. A friend with a snack shop told me how they have to buy wrapped pastries with stickers listing ingredients & the manufacturer’s info, and suggested I try that. So I made candies, put them in little baggies, along with a business card with my name, address, and ingredients list.

    I heard back from a couple of people that the candies were “really yummy”, and I actually had two people hire me to make birthday cakes from that little bit of accidental advertising.

  • Too bad you don’t live in my neighborhood. :-)

    What a great way to drum up new business while giving kids unique treats! I’m glad your idea worked out for you.

  • Marchmama

    I always hated popcorn balls as a kid, but these other treats were personal favorites of mine too! I also like jawbreakers, which I noticed are on your most disliked list. :)

  • Shoe

    I read an article recently that said even though we have all “heard” that home made treats for Halloween are likely dangerous, in fact, there is absolutely NO research to back that up.

    Face it: the kids are trick-or-treating in their own neighborhoods. How difficult would it be to figure out which house gave out the candy apples with razor blades in them.

    Not that logic will convince anyone. I do like the idea of the woman who made her own, and found a way to “package” them.

    Anyway, thanks for the list. I like it. We always buy glow sticks at the dollar store, and I offer to put them on the kids’ wrists for them at the door. We don’t get many kids…maybe juice boxes might be a nice added option this year!

    • Len Penzo

      I’ve always thought the same thing about my kids’ Halloween candy hauls. I figured as long as they were trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, I had very little to worry about. Still, I’ve always checked their stuff — just to be sure. My parental instincts are too strong, I guess.

      The kids LOVE glow sticks. And unlike most candy, the kids never grumble about getting too many glow sticks, glow bracelets, or glow necklaces!

  • How cute that you asked your daughter. I like how she readily said $2.50 in regards to receiving money. Funny.

  • Heidi

    My daughter, who is now fifteen and too old for trick-or-treating, always loved Smarties. She still buys bags of them and eats them with her friends at Halloween. When I was growing up we loved individually wrapped bubble gum, mini Hershey bars and red or black licorice. Nerds were newly on the market back then so we loved getting them. The people handing out Nerds were modern and “cool.”

  • KM

    Ah, memories. I loved the mini candy bars the best and still go crazy at Halloween in the store at the candy section just for myself.(Of course I give the trick-or-treaters their share!)

  • debbie z

    I have painted nickels orange and dropped them into bags by handfuls, and for the 4-6 local kids I recognize I used to give out half dollars with a sticker on them. I had several kids ask a parent if the halves were real money since they had never seen one.

    We had a neighborhood lady who used to make homemade goodies and put them into zippy bags with her “business” card that gave her name, address, phone and the info that she was available to babysit or make goodies for kids parties. Needless to say parents REALLY liked to see her stuff in the kids bag.

  • Linda

    I don’t often get to read your site but it is very good information you give.
    We have about 200 to 300 trick-or-treaters each year because we live in a nice development. People who live here are allowed to drive in or out of the area but everyone else is asked to please park at the school which happens to be at the entrance. All our yards have lights in the yards so parents feel much safer for their children. Also, we personally have 2 sheepdogs that the children love to see each year.
    What I want to know is how could I afford to give such gifts such as those your daughter favors? They all sound very nice but with this many kids, it is just not feasible. The box of 4 crayons sounds good, tho.

  • deRuiter

    I give each kid who bothers to show up in any kind of a costume and shreik “Trick or treat” a dollar. No one has ever said they didn’t like it, flavor was wrong, they were allergic. It’s easy, almost as cheap as candy, and any leftovers aren’t a problem. As a kid, my favorite stop for trick or treating was Mr. Ecklund around the corner. When you rang the bell the door swung open and a stuffed moose head popped out of the doorway. Then the moosehead was retreated and out popped Mr. Ecklund with a big wood salad bowl full of pennies and you got as many as you could get in one scoop with one hand. Sixty years later i still remember what fun it was to do the Ecklund house on Halloween, while all the candy people and apple people (were they nuts? hated kids? had an apple tree in the yard?) have been forgotten.

    • Len Penzo

      I wish I had a Mr.Ecklund in my neighborhood when I was growing up.

      And what a great way to get rid of all those pennies sitting in a giant pickle jar too.

      Thanks for sharing that, deRuiter!

  • Jen of Hens

    Len! I originally found you while searching for cool halloween treats to give out in my very popular “treating” neighborhood. After perusing Nina’s list, my neighbor and I decided on Fun Dip and Juice Boxes respectively. They where a huge hit! We had a couple of tweens texting their friends that they should come visit us because we had the “cool” stuff (you know – it’s all about image – HA!)

    Special thanks to Nina for her treat savvy. And thanks to you to – loving your blog – even though I was lured here by candy….

    Jen of hens

  • It sure would be nice if Halloween was still like it was when I was a kid. We could roam the neighborhood in perfect safety and not worry about getting tainted treats. Caramel covered popcorn balls was one of my favorites.

  • Tracy

    I always make homemade treats, wrap them up cute (candy apples, popcorn balls, homemade chocolates and so on). A lot of people are hesitant to take those. So, mostly it’s for the people we know. I love halloween and we go all-out. I always have a variety of items. The larger candy bars, little bags of doritos, chips, pretzels…. gummies in scary shapes, teddy grahams in snack pouches (this always works good for the little ones). We have done juice boxes, little water bottles, the mini halloween soda cans, and a few years, we even had hot chocolate or cider and the kids were able to take a little rest. People tended to get greedy and we don’t do that part anymore. Another thing we do is that I get some halloween toys from dollar tree or oriental trading company, ebay, etc. for those kids who are alergic to say chocolate, nuts, glueten. Most people are repeat trick or treaters and they know I do this. I also post a little sign to tell me if there is an allergy so I can give them a safe treat. Goody bags are always good ideas too. Such a variety. Halloween is my favorite holiday. Most people do vacation clubs, or xmas clubs and save up all year for those. not me. halloween club all the way! lol.

  • Joe

    We live in a condo and we don’t get any kids at all.
    I’m probably going to take the kid to the mall this year. He’s only 2 and half and refuses to wear a costume.

  • I hadn’t planned on giving out candy this year, but you and Nina have given me an idea. I was just going through all of our crafts and school supplies now that my girls are both in college and I have a ton of unused decorative pencils, small shape erasers, pencil grippers and other fun trinkets. My kids loved them. I can mix those in with a bag or two of candy and get rid of clutter and make the kids happy.

    • Len Penzo

      Hey, that is great, Betsy! If this article can help just one community’s trick-or-treaters, then I think I’ve done my job here.

  • Wow, I did not know that people gave out cold hard cash! I remember trick-or-treating back in the 1970s and collecting donations in a square paper box for UNESCO.

  • LOL, I love Nina’s list. I’m with you on the caramel apples rather than candied apples though. :-)

  • Molly

    Sam’s Club offers boxes of mini bags of Halloween decorated microwave popcorn this time of year. I’ve handed them out a few times and they always seem to be a hit with the kids. Plus you get the deliciousness of salty popcorn with your sweets!

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