Target wants to help trick-or-treaters find 'must-visit' houses this Halloween

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In the old days of trick-or-treating, it took a lot of trial and error (and raisin boxes) to find out which houses handed out the best candy – like, for instance, full-sized chocolate bars.

Now there's an app that makes it easier than ever to go straight for the "cool" houses – and it's thanks to, of all things, Target.

The Minneapolis-based retail giant announced the new app, "Treatster," as part of a "First-of-its-Kind" Halloween social media campaign, in a Monday blog update.

The company calls it the "best. tool. ever. for mapping out a special night of trick-or-treating," and says it's the first "social network" of its kind.

According to the blog, it's "designed exclusively to help parents map out the 'must-visit' houses on each block for their trick-or-treaters."

What qualifies as a "must-have" house? More than just the best candy; Target says it could also be the ones with "the spookiest decorations" and "funkiest costumes," among other things.

How it works

Using crowdsourced information from parents who can "up-vote the best areas by tagging their locations as a 'Treat,'" Treatster allows users of the mobile app to see the hot spots on a map – marked by a spooky, smiling pumpkin.

"The more 'Treats' a location has, the larger its pumpkin will appear," Target says.

Target's social media campaign also includes “The House on Hallow Hill,” an interactive YouTube video that lets users walk through a creepy mansion, where they can click on the fun objects that interest them and learn more about them on the retailer's site (where they're for sale, naturally).

Which neighborhoods do it best?

If apps aren't really your thing, you can always turn to an old-fashioned Internet "best of" list to find the coolest places to knock on doors and beg for candy.

WCCO has just such a list, and it names what the station says are the six best cities and neighborhoods in the Twin Cities to trick-or-treat in.

Rogers tops the list due to its large population of children – more than any other in the metro, in fact; the Minneapolis neighborhood of Fulton provides "more candy, least walking and greater safety" thanks in part to its sidewalks; and the Cedar Isles Dean neighborhood, also in Minneapolis, is known for parents who tote wineglasses along with their trick-or-treating kids, WCCO says.

And actually, life is pretty sweet if you're a trick-or-treater in Minneapolis, which Forbes has named one of the 20 best cities in the U.S. for costumed candy-seekers (it's no. 11).

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