Photo gallery: Reverse trick-or-treating at Children’s Hospital

MU Children’s Hospital employees were all treats, no tricks, as they showered patients with goodies this Halloween.

Nov. 1, 2021
Contact: Deidra Ashley,

Spending Halloween in the hospital is not most kids’ idea of fun, but employees at MU Children’s Hospital understood the assignment. Instead of kids dressing up and going out, employees donned their best costumes and brought goodies to patients and their families in a reverse trick-or-treat. Check out photos from the celebration.

a group photo of employees dressed as toy story characters. the therapy dog is in the center, dressed as jessie

The Child Life team dressed as characters from Toy Story. Link, the facility dog, completed the set with his Jessie costume.

photo of a woman holding a baby. a woman dressed as minerva mcgonagall from harry potter is in the foreground

Reverse trick-or-treating at Children’s Hospital is a favorite tradition among hospital employees. The event started more than 20 years ago.

photo of a woman dressed as bo peep from toy story. she's kneeling down to talk to a baby dressed as red riding hood

To help ensure patients’ safety during COVID, only Women’s and Children’s Hospital employees were allowed to walk the halls this year. Dozens of MU Health Care employees donated candy and other treats to be passed out.

photo of a woman dressed as harry potter, walking down the hallway of mu children's hospital

Courage and determination are not only traits of our youngest patients — they’re also the foundation of the Gryffindor house, featured in occupational therapist Katie Graznak’s costume. "The reaction on the kids’ faces when a costume is done well and recognized is priceless,” Graznak said. “Even better when the child believes you are the actual character and you can bring a little magic to their hospital stay.”

photo of two women dressed as butterflies. they're posing with a young girl dressed as a bee inside children's hospital

Pollinators unite! Social worker Lacey Prater and nurse practitioner Sheila Zawieja found a fellow flying pollinator along the way.

group photo of people wearing black shirts with emojis printed on them inside children's hospital

Emoji you happy to see me? Members of the social workers team made a special visit to the pediatric intensive care unit to spread some cheer (and candy … lots of candy).

photo of a woman holding a baby dressed as spiderman

“The best parts of reverse trick-or-treating is the staff involvement and the excitement from patients, families and staff,” said child life specialist Brittany Riley. “It's a really special hour when everyone is celebrating, smiling and bringing the magic of getting to dress up to the hospital.”

a young patient dressed as luigi sits on his mom's lap and interacts with an employee dressed as hamm from toy story

Michael Valladares plays with child life specialist Erica Kahle, who was dressed as Hamm from Toy Story. "He really enjoyed playing with the pig,” said his mother, Heydy Vallareres. “He loves animals, so it made him happy to see the pig, penguin and dinosaur.”

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