Here in Des Moines, trick-or-treating is done the day before Halloween on Beggar's Night. Kids go around, tell jokes, and get candy on the 30th! When we moved here last year, we did Beggar's Night and then looked for something to do on Halloween night. We read about a free event in Sherman Hill called "Halloween on the Hill."
Sherman Hill is the oldest neighborhood in Des Moines. People who live in the neighborhood opt to decorate their houses for this event, and some really go all out! There are also people dressed up as monsters who wander the streets.
You start out near Smokey Row at 19th & Crocker/Cottage Grove. They collect canned goods out front of the "Kathedral," or the international church, and, in exchange, they give drivers and walkers a map that marks the decorated houses, the monsters, and the Thriller dance that takes place every 15 minutes.
Here are the kids looking out at the "cemetery" where the zombies do the Thriller dance:
I took a video of some of it, but it's pretty dark. They did an amazing job, though! Oliver started dancing along as he watched.
We had a great time! We saw Frankenstein and his monster again this year. Last year, we got out of the car and got "scared" by Frankenstein. This year, we drove by slowly in the car with the windows rolled down, and he reached in at Oliver. It was so much fun! He was just a little scared, but later he said it was the best part. He's already making plans for his own Frankenstein costume to wear next year.
Here are a few other photos of the decorated houses:
We really love this event. I love that the neighbors put it on themselves and that it's free for us to enjoy. I think we'll be going for many years to come!