children in costume trick or treating in neighborhood with a dog

To Trick or Treat?

Most normal years, people have strong feelings one way or the other about Halloween and trick or treating. This year, while the option may still be available in most communities, extra considerations and precautions must be incorporated. Below are four ideas to keep in mind to make sure you feel like you’ve been treated instead of tricked this year!

What to Hand Out

Maybe now more than ever, when it comes to Halloween treats, safety is of the utmost concern. Sure, most kids will still be looking for candy as their primary score, but other alternatives include non-edibles like glow bracelets, sticker sheets, rubber stamps, temporary tattoos, pencils, erasers, or even small containers of silly putty or play dough. The general rule of thumb whether you lean sweet or creative is to ensure that each item is individually secured in its own packaging. Parents this year will be alert and more cautious of safety and protection.

Ways to Enjoy Halloween 

Trick or treating and handing out candy in the neighborhood isn’t the only way to enjoy Halloween. Many churches offer fall festivals or “Trunk or Treat” events that are free to their communities. If you don’t want to venture too far from home, consider picking a different night than the local trick or treating and set up a scary movie in the driveway. Also, consider an outdoor bonfire with hotdogs, smores, and scary ghost stories. Don’t want to wait until it’s dark out? Consider celebrating fun fall elements at a pumpkin or apple picking farm, an autumn festival, or other daytime events. No kids? No problem! Get a group of your friends together and go visit a local haunted house or corn maze.

Neighborhood Safety 

In addition to making sure the treats you hand out are safe and sanitary, there are other precautions to keep in mind. Be sure to bring along a flashlight to help light your footpath. Reflective clothing for adults or kids in costumes is also a great safety measure to take. If your neighborhood has sidewalks, use them. Observe crosswalks, street signs and signals, and while it’s true pedestrians do have the right of way, always be extra cautious on nights like Halloween when there is more foot traffic than usual as well as the potential for unfamiliar vehicle traffic coming and going. Finally, as you have your phone out to take pictures of those adorable costumes and post them to social media, do remember to stay off your phone when you are walking around with your eyes and ears fully focused on your surroundings. 

Hosting a Gathering

There may be no better holiday than Halloween to get into the “spirit” of the event! There are many options if you like a theme. From invitations to party decor to special food items, everyone is sure to have a ghoulishly good time. While all of these festive ideas can be a lot of fun, don’t let the overwhelm of the perfect party stop you from something more simple or low-key. Fall is the perfect opportunity to put on some of your favorite soups and invite friends over for a porch hangout or chatting around the fireplace with a chill playlist. Serve some adult beverages like a make-your-own pumpkin spice coffee bar or spectacularly spooky cocktail station. 

Whether you prefer to celebrate Halloween in style and go all out or keep things quiet and easy-going, remember this can be a perfect opportunity to connect with family, friends, and neighbors in a light-hearted, hauntingly happy way.