Trick-or-treating is a staple, but there are other things you can do to foster community spirit on Oct 31.
For kids (and some adults), Halloween offers an opportunity to dress up, eat candy and meet neighbors.
For apartment operators, it offers all of that and something else—a chance to build community with residents (and even prospects).
“Having fun events that bring residents out and create a sense of community is key,” Toni French, Vice President of People Services at Village Green. “We will also bring prospects into the mix.”
Melissa Smith, Chief Administrative Officer at Fogelman, agrees. “The end goal is to create a sense of community for residents and celebrate the festivities and drive interest for prospects,” she says.
Here are five ways these companies are creating community and celebrating Halloween this year:
Going to The Movies
Village Green’s The Modern in Scottsdale is doing movies by the pool. “Because we are in different geographic areas, what our communities do for Halloween varies,” French says. “It is still 90 degrees in some areas, so watching movies outside is a great Halloween activity.”
Fogelman’s Spyglass Seaside in Charleston, SC, hosts movies by the park every Wednesday night and for Halloween it is hosting a “Howl-o-ween” with the smores. That’s not the only Halloween movie activity in the company’s portfolio.
“Tennessee Brewery [in Memphis] is hosting a ‘Courtyard of Magic’ and projecting the movie, “Hocus Pocus,” in the courtyard with a popcorn bar, signature drink and snacks,” Smith says. “There will be time prior to the showing for resident and prospect mingling. Costumes are encouraged.”
Cirrus Apartments, a WinnCompanies'-managed community in Ashland, Mass.) is hosting its second annual Halloween Movie Night on October 30th. The festivities begin with face painting and a seasonal wine and beer tasting. Then the community will show Hocus Pocus, which was chosen by residents.
Like many communities, Spyglass is hosting a pumpkin carving contest. Village Green’s Pendleton Park in New Hudson, Mich., is putting a different twist on a time-tested favorite Halloween activity. “We have one group doing BYOP—bring your own pumpkin,” French says. “They’re doing a pumpkin carving contest. The goal is to create the funniest Jack O’ Lantern.”
Village Green also has something for the kids. “At many communities, we have the kids decorate their own candy bag,” French says. “They can also paint their own small pumpkin.”
Don’t Forget the Dogs
Pet costume contests are a big thing at Village Green communities. The Village Green of Troy community in Troy, Mich., is also having a pet parade.
Fogelman adds a social media component to pet costumes.
“We have contests where residents enter by posting a photo of their pet in costume on Facebook or Instagram, tag our community and be entered in a drawing for a prize for the winning pet,” Smith says.
WinnCompanies' Boott Mills community in Lowell, Mass., is creating an outdoor Halloween-themed photo booth where residents can take pictures of themselves and/or pets. Site staff will mingle with the residents, take pictures to post on site website and serve warm apple cider.
Activate the Staff and Charitable Endeavors
On Halloween, staff at many Fogelman communities dress up and have candy at the office for anyone who comes in.
At Village Green’s Pendleton Park community, the staff adds a charitable twist to the costumes.
“On Halloween itself, the staff at Pendleton Park does a blood drive,” French says. “Everyone on the team will dress as vampires.”
Dressing in costumes goes beyond the site level. At Village Green’s Midwest Regional office, it holds a big costume contest and a parade. “We go up and down through two floors and march around in our crazy costumes,” French says. “We have judges who rate us on who has got the most creative costume and whose is the scariest.”
Trick or Treat
What’s Halloween without trick or treating? “There is lots of trick or treating at our communities,” French says. “There is a lot for families to do.”
At Village Green high-rise properties, residents who want to receive trick or treaters put pumpkin magnets on the doors. Village Green residents at the Arbors of Anderson garden community in Cincinnati can participate in a “trunk-or-treat,” where trick or treaters can go from car to car to get candy.
Fogelman communities are doing truck-or-treat with a food truck and adding other twists on the concept. “At the Ace, our trunk-or treat will have an Alice in Wonderland theme at The City of Round Rock and then a Costume Ball for the residents,” Smith says.
One Fogelman community is providing candy bags to kids when they get off the school bus on Halloween and staff members will dress in 80’s-themed costumes.
At WinnCompanies' Heritage House, a senior community in Newburyport, Mass.) the staff is working with local elementary school to bring in young children to celebrate Halloween with the senior citizens. The children dress up as someone famous from the past and the seniors try to guess who they are.
Show your Halloween spirit by participating in NAA's Halloween Contest. The best community decoration, pet costume, and resident Halloween costume will win a gift card! Share your photos on social media by using #NAATrickOrTreat