I haven’t participated in Halloween for awhile.
I don’t have any kids and until recently I lived in a tiny second floor apartment. Needless to say, this year when I bought my first home, I was excited to participate in the holiday like I never had before. So, like I do with most unfamiliar topics, I hit up the internet for hints about what to do and how to do it. There were mountains of results talking about how to walk your costumed toddler from house to house, but no results for how to be the one inside the house when a tiny skeleton comes knocking.
While a lot of Halloween seems pretty straight forward, there’s a lot of unspoken rules and tips on how to make it fun and safe.
Each city has their own specific rules and schedules related to Halloween. In general, cities limit trick or treating time from 5pm-8pm on Halloween. The date and/or time may change due to weather or city-wide events. Certain cities have restrictions on decorations, costumes, candy, etc so make sure that you Google your city’s name, the year, Halloween, trick or treating, and times.
Trick or treating
As I said before, most cities set trick or treating times between 5pm-8pm, so make sure you are ready. If you’ve ever done Halloween as a child, you can figure this part out pretty easily: kids knock, they say “trick or treat”, you great them, and you give them candy. Make sure that if you are accepting trick-or-treaters at your home, that you have a porch light turned on and a bowl of candy and that you have a working doorbell. And if you open the door to a young child, make sure they stay on the front porch and don’t wander into your house. On the flip-side, if you have a toddler or pet or whatever that might try to wander out of your house, make sure they are secure. Keep the baby behind a baby gate, dog in a crate or the backyard- whatever is secure and comfortable.
Candy is a HUGE part of Halloween, so are there any rules? In general, stick with store bought candy. You may find it fun to make your own, but most parents are suspicious of anything from a stranger that’s not in a sealed wrapper, so many of your creations may be tossed. Also, with more and more food allergies popping up, it might be a good idea to skip any candy that involves nuts. And if you are not wanting to pass out pure sugar all night, there are also many non-candy items you can hand out instead. (In fact, if you are giving out non-candy items, think about putting a teal pumpkin out to encourage kids with allergies to come by your house) Regardless of what treat you are dispensing- when you run out, turn off the porch light. If kids still are knocking, put out a sign that says something to the effect of “all out of candy”. And if by some chance you have leftover candy at the end of the night, consider donating it to cause such as Sweets For The Troops.
Many home owners love decking out their house for Halloween. There are a couple things to keep in mind though: watch out for tripping hazards, don’t plug too many things into one power strip, don’t use anything too combustible (hay, cornstalks, leaves, candles), and have enough light so that trick-or-treaters can safely get to your front door.
Maybe you are taking this chance as a new homeowner to throw a Halloween party! Costume parties are very popular and also give you the chance to play games and give food instead of store bought candy. If you need help with party food ideas, Pinterest is definitely a great place to look. As for the party itself, I do have a couple tips. In general, the rules we gave for decorations outside or your house, also apply to inside your house. Also, make sure to greet each guest as they arrive and if they are wearing a mask, make sure you know who it is. Halloween costumes can allow people who may have bad intentions to wander into places undetected. If you didn’t invite them, don’t let them in your house. Also, as with any party, decide ahead of time if its family friendly or adults only. You don’t want drunk friends tripping over other friends’ toddlers. (And even if you don’t provide booze, if your party isn’t defined, nothing with stop a guest from bringing some)
I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!!
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