Tips for Preparing for Halloween Night

Halloween: fun for kids…fun for parents?

In the weeks leading up to Halloween (or in our households, the 12 months leading up to Halloween!), excitement builds in children of all ages. Some parents, however, may suffer from mild panic attacks. How is Tinkerbell going to stay warm on a chilly night? What’s the best time to go trick-or-treating? When do we fit in dinner? When is bedtime? (And how do you get candy-hyped children into bed?!)

Read on for ideas on how to prepare for Halloween and trick-or-treating.

Staying warm on Halloween night

If you live anywhere but a few sunny southern states, staying warm while trick-or-treating is important. Unless your child dresses up as a polar bear, Halloween’s date - and inevitable chilly night - is most unfortunate when it comes to showing off a costume and keeping warm.  So how do you prepare for Halloween and find costumes for the cold weather? 

  • Wear tights or pants under robes and other thin fabrics. If your child’s costume has bare legs, we recommend color-coordinated tights or pants. This is easy for black costumes, as most of us have black pants in our wardrobes. If you need bright orange or neon green pants, frequent your local thrift stores for several weeks beforehand. Post on your neighborhood pages and your child’s class e-mail lists – these items are often sitting in the back of closets never to be used again and can easily be re-purposed for a new costume.

  •  Coats will take care of bare arms and, let’s be real - they won’t care about their costume being covered up – candy retrieval is the real goal of trick-or-treating and running around will keep everyone warm. So slap a coat on your kiddo and fill your mug with some hot tea or mulled wine.

  • Thin gloves can come in handy as you can use your hands without taking them on and off. Lastly, check the forecast and wear rain boots if rain is called for – soggy socks and sneakers are no fun!

 A little bit of planning ahead can help ensure that you are prepared for Halloween’s weather.

Halloween Traffic

Plan wisely. Halloween traffic is notoriously bad. Stay in your neighborhood, or if meeting friends in another neighborhood, leave early if possible so sneak out of work a little early on Halloween so you can get an early start. It’s best to avoid driving in neighborhoods between 5 pm and 8 pm when trick-or-treating foot traffic is the heaviest.

And be sure your kiddos have bright colors or reflective material on their costumes.  Here in the PNW it can be rainy and dark on Halloween night so plan accordingly.

Dinner on Halloween Night

Trick-or-treating hours are generally right in the middle of dinner time and everyone will need some extra energy, so plan an easy, protein-rich, reasonably healthy dinner for early evening before everyone heads out trick-or-treating. Spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, pizza with a mixed greens salad, or even something simple like oatmeal with some fruit will hit the spot. Better yet, make it easy on yourself and pick up some prepared food like a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  With a little bit of preparation you can have a healthy, easy and fun Halloween night dinner. 

 Halloween Candy - and bedtime

How much candy should my kid have? How late into the evening should I let my kid consume candy? My kid normally goes to bed at 8pm. Are they going to be a wreck the next day?

 Bedtimes vary by family, child and age, so there are no hard and fast rules here. You know your child best. What’s most important is to discuss and set expectations with your child ahead of time so there are no tears on (according to many kids) the best holiday of the year!

What to do with all that Halloween candy?

Most of us don’t want (or need!) ten pounds of candy in our house. Many dentists will buy back candy for $1/lb on November 1st, so negotiate with your child ahead of time how many pieces he will keep and let them ‘sell’ the rest. Many kids will jump at the opportunity to ‘earn’ some money!

Ask for help!

Sure this is all great advice, but I don’t have time to do it all!

You don’t have to be Super(wo)man. Ask the people in your life – your spouse, older child, grandparents, friends, your personal assistant – for help.  Let others use their creativity to make costumes, plan menus, create trick-or-treating routes and set up decorations. Halloween is a community event, so use your village!

Happy trick-or-treating!

Thrive on!

Danna Redmond