They're here — or at least coming soon today, Oct. 31 — throughout the Greater Brandon area and beyond as the time for holding off tricks in lieu of treats is set to begin.
This Brandon Patch Halloween Guide gives you news you can use to keep the holiday safe and to give you a good rule-of-thumb for the best time to trick-or-treat. Looking to trick-or-treat in a large-group setting? We've got that covered as well and, as always, welcome your suggestions in the comment box below.
Don't forget, too, that Patch's Best Halloween Contest in America is under way and it's a great chance to win $250 (if you're a state finalist) or $5,000, if you're the grand winner. (Click the link for contest details and rules and to upload your pictures to enter.)
Best (and Safest) Time To Trick-or-Treat
That would be between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m., when it's still light outside and you've given people a chance to get home and settled in before answering your call for treats, according to Debbie Carter, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
"We try to encourage people to go out when it's light outside," she said. "[But] you've got to get people a chance to get home and finished with dinner."
Use this link for safety tips provided by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The information is provided in useful chart form, ideal for printing and posting on a visible location in your home.
"As a big safety advocate, I really enjoyed your piece covering Halloween safety," noted Matthew Pelletier, spokesperson for Compliance and Safety LLC, in an email response to the Brandon Patch post above. "The safety tips were great but I feel like a link to a more comprehensive list of safety tips would be an excellent addition to the article."
His suggestion is from his company and it is, indeed, a comprehensive list of , safety tips, under the heading, A Night for Treats, Not Tragedies. The post includes tips for costume safety, food safety, pet safety, protecting your children, tips for motorists and general precautions.
Offsite Trick-or-Treat Options
Law enforcement officials and others always suggest that you trick-or-treat close to home, in a neighborhood you know. But sometimes you just want to "get out of the house," so to speak.
Here's some options for residents living in the Greater Brandon area and beyond (we welcome, as well, your suggestions in the comment box below).
Wesfield Brandon Set for Costumed Trick-or-Treaters
The Westfield Brandon shopping mall is opening its doors to trick-or-treat visitors for a "Spooktacular" good time on Oct. 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. Children ages 12 and under are invited to visit the mall dressed in costume to trick-or-treat for goodies from participating retailers. (Attendees are asked not to carry toy weapons and no masks are allowed.)
Children ages 3 to 12 and dressed in costumes can enter Dinosaur World free of charge on Halloween, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The attraction is in Plant City, at 5145 Harvey Tew Road. Call: 813-717-9865.
Dinosaur World recently underwent an expansion, which means "12 new acres of everything dinosaur," according to the attraction's Web site, which notes as well:
- The new animatronic dinosaur scene, featuring the Brachiosaurus, Triceratops, Pterodactyl, Stegosaurus and T-Rex.
- The new museum, featuring authentic fossils, from "real dinosaur eggs to raptor claws and even mammoth teeth."
- Two new playgrounds, including one designed for children under age 7.
- A new site for the popular Fossil Dig.
- A new gift shop, with more than "5,000 square feet of dinosaur fun, including an education section."
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