One of my favorite things during the Halloween season to participate in is my church’s Halloween Fest / Trunk-or-Treat. Everyone rolls into the parking lot with their cars, pops open their trunks, then proceeds to decorate the back of their cars in crazy themes. The kids come through in their costumes and trick-or-treat at the cars. It’s a great way for spread out communities to come together for a celebration! And where mad science trunk or treat ideas fit perfectly.
***And in a pretty exciting update, this Mad Science trunk or treat trunk was featured in Rachel Ray Magazine in Oct. 2017! ***
So in this spirit of bringing a small little part of our party community together, today we’re doing a Halloween Trunk-or-Treat blog up with some party friends to bring you some trunk-or-treat ideas for this year. Many thanks to Tikkido, Cupcake Wishes, and Everyday Party Magazine for posting up some inspiration!
This year, we’re going all out with a Mad Science Lab Trunk-or-Treat theme. If your Trunk-or-Treat gives out awards for best trunk, be sure to add a costume to match your trunk…it will always help you go for the win! Especially if your trunk attendants have a flair for the dramatic like my minions tend to.
As I was standing in my garage perusing the full-sized coffin, glitter skulls and murder of crows that hang around for Halloween, I saw a myriad of apothecary jars that were collecting dust up on the shelves. Most of these jars are just too big for candy (they take about 5 lbs of sweets to fill them up) so I hardly ever use them. But they are so perfect for putting creepy things in to display.
One of my goals when putting together my trunk is usually to keep it on a REALLY small budget. Because hey, more money to buy candy. I went and raided the dollar store for black plastic table cloths to line the back of my trunk and lots of creepy Halloween type stuff to put in the jars. I don’t do bloody gross Halloween, so I stuck with spiders, bones and ping pong eyeballs.
The real beauty of this trunk is the light show…I put blinky plastic rings in all the jars so they flashed like lightning when it was darker outside–a super cool effect for evening Trunk-or-Treats. I put up a few lights on the inside of my trunk along with some color changing lanterns purchased at the dollar store. You get bonus style points for good lighting, trust!
Kids (and adults) love looking at the trunks, but really, most of them are there for the candy. I made up these overflowing potion buckets (see how to make them here) to put our treats in, and they just scream mad science. The rat is there as our guard…er…rat.
For smaller trunk or treats, you can hand out really specialized treats, like these jelly been experiment test tubes. I show you how to make those, too, click here for the tutorial and free printables!
The small stage that the display is set on – the trunk of your car – really lends itself to being a fantastic backdrop for photos. We turned a few of the kids we know into mad scientists with a borrowed lab coat, black gloves and a pair of goggles. Perfect photo-op if they aren’t already in costume!
props for the mad science trunk or treat
If you aren’t one for shopping around, here is a list of where I got the items I used in all these mad science trunk or treat ideas. Feel free to shop from the comfort of your computer with these affiliate links (costs you nothing, but helps pay for throwing these parties and displays!)
- Steampunk goggles
- Lab coat
- test tubes
- blinky plastic rings
- Plastic beakers
- Apothecary jars
- Plastic spiders
- Eyeball ping pong balls
- Caution tape
If you want to make your trunk a little more interactive, you can set up a quick experiment for the kids to do, like making oobleck, or a creepy sensory experience like the classic putting your hand into a box of something labeled “brains” to touch stuff that you can’t see.