I don’t think Halloween is any scarier than when I was a kid, but I know I certainly stress more now that I’m a mom! But now, moreso than when I grew up, there are community alternatives to traditional trick or treat. And even if your neighborhood doesn’t participate in one of the cool alternatives, borrow one of these and make it your own!
Trunk or Treat
These are popping up all over the place in this area! I see quite a few Church groups and community organizations opening up their parking lots to parishioners to come and hand out trick or treats from the trunks of their cars! The theory here is that you are usually with people you know from your church or neighborhood community group, so you know who your kids get candy from. Some folks go all out with car decorations, but others just stand there with a bucket of candy to hand out. It’s great fun – and especially for little ones, who don’t want to walk up and down steps, it’s an easier method of trick or treating.
This seems like a no-brainer, but t
ry convincing kids who have visions of sacks full of Hershey bars and Skittles that they should stay inside for Halloween. The best way to do this is to ask each family that brings a kid to bring a bag of candy. You can set up trick or treat stations around your house and in your yard with a game of some kind at each station. For each game completed, the kids get a piece of candy. Alternatively, set up a night of watching scary movies and games, and while the kids are watching movies, make up treat bags to hand out as they leave using the candy the everyone brought!
Treat the Elderly
Check nursing homes or assisted living facilities in your area – or even senior citizen apartment complexes. For many of these grandmas and grandpas, it’s a huge treat to see the little ones dressed in costumes! Many nursing homes permit trick or treating in common areas, and the residents are happy to hand out candy and comment on how cute the kids are!
Theme Parks – Not Just for Summer Anymore
You don’t have to live in Orlando or be traveling to Walt Disney World for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party to check out theme park Halloween festivities. Many theme parks – even those that close when the weather gets cold – have some Halloween festivities. Many have trick or treat stations set up for the kids to gather goodies, plus you may find Halloween themed shows or characters. In my area, there are Halloween events at Six Flags Great Adventure; Hershey Park; Dorney Park; and even down the shore!
You could even organize a street fair for your neighborhood; a party at your kids’ school (complete with Halloween parade); or pitch in with a bunch of family and rent out a community center for a big family Halloween bash. Just remember to have lots of treats, lots of games, and lots of fun!