A blue balloon on the letterbox means zombies and vampires are welcome to knock on the door at Hobsonville Point.

It's Halloween and hundreds of children, dressed hooded capes, witches and little devils have been out trick or treating.

A community event at the Hobsonville RSA saw the neighbours at the West Auckland suburb gather for a Halloween Spooky Sunday.

Parent Dean Purcell said he was happy that the event provided a "safe environment" for kids to enjoy Halloween.

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The event also saw the Massey Community Patrol in attendance, free sausage sizzle and Mr Whippy.

"Participants who wanted to be part of the event stuck a blue balloon outside their door, so kids knew where to go to get treats," he said.

"The balloons are a really good idea because it gives people a chance also to say 'hey I don't want anything to do with Halloween'."

Purcell said about a quarter of the homes in the suburb had balloons out.

His son, Caleb, 7, dressed as a military man, bagged half a bucket of lollies, which included marshmallows, chocolates and lollipops.

"Yes, trick or treating is my favourite part of Halloween," Caleb said.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
30 Oct, 2016 11:51am
time to read clock icon 3 minutes to read

Halloween is big in America and is becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand.

The festival has pagan roots and old Celtic beliefs that ghosts and spirits of the dead return to Earth at this time of the year.

Today, the night is mainly about kids dressing in costume on October 31 and knocking on doors for treats and sweets.

HALLOWEEN TIPS:

• Stock up: Make sure you have lollies ready.

• Put up a sign: A balloon, Halloween decorations or a sign 'trick or treaters welcome' will give kids a steer in the right direction.

• Safety first: Stay with your kids, don't enter homes and avoid dark costumes to help drivers see you better.

• Have a BBQ: Get your neighbours and their kids to a park as an alternative to wandering the streets.

• Treat not trick: Halloween is about having fun, focus on the treat rather than the trick part, especially when there are young families or elderly neighbours.