It’s that time of year again! The weather is cooler, the leaves may be turning and Halloween is just around the corner. When Halloween falls on a weekday, many parents cringe at the thought of taking their young children trick or treating. It will certainly turn into a sugar-infused late night which will impact bedtime. This can lead to your child being tired the next day and possibly being off track for a few days when it comes to sleep. Not to mention the bags of candy you will have to store and hide and try to dole out in reasonable amounts. Forget all of that! Here are a few ways you can celebrate the day with young children without trick or treating.
Halloween Hunt for Candy
It’s like an Easter egg hunt but for Halloween candy. You can use plastic eggs (the kids won’t care) or go above and beyond and buy mini pumpkin “eggs”. Hide the eggs all over your yard, or at your local park with other friends joining. The great thing about this is you don’t have to use candy. You can hide small toys, stickers, and your kids’ favorite snacks. What a great way to celebrate without trick or treating!
Spooky Scavenger Hunt
This is a perfect option for getting into the spirit and being outdoors. Make a list of Halloween decorations or things you usually see in the fall. Take a walk around the neighborhood and see how many items on the list your kids can find. Some examples of things to look for on your Halloween scavenger hunt: Pumpkin, jack-o-lantern, ghost decoration, black cat, acorns, different color leaves, Happy Halloween sign, fake spider web, real spider web, scarecrow etc. Your child can put on their costume and feel that they are celebrating Halloween, minus the trick or treating.
Host a Costume Play Date
Could there be a more perfect way to celebrate Halloween with young children without trick or treating? Invite friends over with costumes and they can celebrate on an evening or day of your choosing. You can decorate the house, bake treats and have a craft station. Another idea is to create some bedtime crafts that will help kids that get spooked out by Halloween visuals. Creating a fun photo booth and even hiring a photographer is another way to keep those memories forever. If you want to go above and beyond, you can turn one of your rooms into a mini haunted house. A costume parade around the house and goodie bags for kids to take home will make a very special Halloween.
Community Halloween Events
Google what is happening in your community the weekend before Halloween. Some cities have happenings all throughout the month. In Houston there is a Family Fun Fest all weekend which includes games, activities, face painting, a costume contest and so much more! Candy is handed out and your kids will get their fill of treats without having to go trick or treating.
You can still make Halloween fun for your young kids in nontraditional ways. If Halloween is on a weekday, you can do any of these activities on the Saturday before so there is no pressure of school or work the next day. On Halloween night, do your consistent routine and put your kids to bed at their usual time so there is no disruption in their sleep pattern. Be sure to turn your porch lights off so the doorbell will not ring at your house. Treat this as you would other sleep disruptors from special events (fireworks, thunderstorms, etc). It may be noisy outside with older kids walking around so address this challenge by turning up the noise machine, putting it closer to the window, and addressing it with your child prior to bedtime. Be relaxed, knowing you have already celebrated Halloween with your children without the challenges of trick or treating on Halloween night.
However you decide to celebrate, Happy Halloween!