One week until Halloween! If you haven’t prepared or thought about it yet, now is the time to start. Depending on the age of your child you will have to figure out if you can stay home and give candy or do you need to walk with the kids. If you have to go out with the kids, have your child invite a friend because it’s always more fun to go with a companion other than mom or dad. If your children have been invited then you (or you and your spouse) can stay home and interact with the neighborhood children and their parents.
Make sure everyone is layered properly with thermals underneath their costume. It’s always good to have solid color thermals for this occasion. Kids get distracted by the event and they don’t pay attention to how cold it gets, you don’t want to trick or treat on Monday and miss school during the rest of the week. Sometimes you can find a neighborhood or mall that has trick or treating earlier in the day over the weekend. If you want to avoid walking around in the cold when it is dark out for two hours, you may want to find one of those events or neighborhoods.
If you stay home the convenience of sitting outside instead of answering the door all night is recommended. If you have a mask you can wear a hooded sweatshirt and stay very still as the older kids walk up. When they reach for a candy, move quickly and the kids will have a little scare making your house a memorable house and one they look forward to coming back to every year. If you are a double parent household you can have your spouse hide or lay in a make shift coffin made out of cardboard (wardrobe box is good) and open his eyes just when then kids least expect it. If you want to get really scary you can buy a cheap glow-in-the-dark plastic Jason mask and knife and that makes the kids nervous without your husband even moving. Remember this is only good for nine and up, so if you see a toddler turn off the theatrics.
Another option if you don’t feel like “acting” Monday evening, is invite your neighbor to drink hot caramel apple cider or wine in the driveway between your houses. This way you can converse and socialize while handing out candy in lawn chairs. Sitting at the tip of the driveway helps if you have dogs. If your animals are really nervous, this might be the one day of the year that you have to put them in the basement or in a kennel. The cat(s) can join you outside and greet or avoid the trick or treaters as an added prop.
If you have you decorations and lights on expect cars to stop in front of your house and unload a bunch of kids at your doorstep. Once you have run out of candy make sure you turn everything off because people will still be knocking on your door at 9:30 if they see the lights on. It’s a school night so definitely don’t feel guilty about turning the lights off at 8:00pm. The strongest flow of traffic will happen between 5:30-7:30pm, so even shutting it down at 7:30 is fine.
Depending on how accessible your neighborhood is and it’s geographic location is how you determine how much candy you will need. For instance if you live across the street from an elementary school you might want to purchase a couple hundred pieces of candy. A suggestion is not to get full or fun size chocolate bars but the minis. That includes lollipops. There is no need for blow pops when you can buy a bag of Dum Dum’s lollipops instead. Kids don’t need huge pieces of candy with children’s obesity and cavities running rampant. If you want to splurge you can also go with healthy snacks like small halloween bags of pretzels. Utz sells these festive bags during the Halloween season.
If your child gets tired after 45 minutes of trick or treating that’s fine, go home and have them help you hand out candy. If you don’t want your child to keep all the candy have them pick their absolute favorites and distribute the rest to the other trick or treaters. Your children will be getting a lot of exercise in the nippy temperatures this evening so don’t be surprised after your child has sorted their candy that they sack out (even after having probably consumed several pieces on route). Most importantly have fun, this is the one holiday where you can really behave like a kid and enjoy the festivities and costumes of the “neighborhood” kids coming to your house.