The rules regarding trick or treating in Iowa vary among the towns and cities; some, like Waterloo, have designated times and areas for trick-or-treaters while others, such as Farley and Readlyn, have city-wide trick-or-treating within a set time limit. Farley sets a trick-or-treating time of 5:30 to 7 p.m. while Readlyn has a trick-or-treating time of 4 to 6 p.m. In addition to having times for treat gathering, some cities hold trick or treating on specific nights, such as weekends.
Some cities in Iowa have trick-or-treating times for certain segments of the population. Cedar Rapids, for instance, does not have a restriction on times for trick-or-treaters, but it hosts a special needs trick-or-treating event several days before Halloween. Dubuque hosts trick-or-treating for young children at specified locations, such as the city's aquarium. Waterloo also holds a youth trick-or-treating event. For a set fee, children can safely trick-or-treat at the city's pavilion for several hours. Other locations, like Cedar Rapids and Decorah, do not have time limits.
In locations without curfews, parents can take several measures to keep their children safe while collecting candy. The Cedar Rapids police department's website has a list of tips for parents when sending children out on Halloween. The department encourages parents to check the registered list of sex offenders to ensure children do not visit unsafe homes. Children can also wear face paint instead of masks, trick-or-treat with older siblings or adults, carry a flashlight or wear reflective materials, and only visit homes in their neighborhoods.