If you love Halloween, you probably want to give your neighborhood kids an experience as fun and exciting as you remember. Whether you have your own trick-or-treater or your kids have outgrown it, you can still enjoy this childhood tradition. Hopefully, you live in a place where you know your neighbors and everyone feels safe and happy together. Here’s how to make your home the “it” destination for little trick-or-treaters and their parents.
Create the Atmosphere
Decorating is only the beginning, but it’s the aspect many people think about first when it comes to holidays. Decorate in a way that creates your ideal Halloween atmosphere. You can go scary or whimsical. Remember, some older children might enjoy things that make them scream, while younger kids may end up in tears. Use your best judgment. Craft or buy the traditional trappings, like headstones, giant spider webs, and skeletons. Check out these suggestions from HGTV. Or make it your own with a pop culture theme you especially like. Add lighting and music or sound effects for the full experience.
Get into the Spirit and Out of the House
Don’t wait for a knock on the door. Make each trick-or-treater feel welcome by greeting them outside. Set up a treat station in your front yard or driveway. Wear a costume, and invite other adults or teens in your family to join you. You could even dress up your dog. When you’re outside, you get to interact with the visitors, meeting the parents of your kids’ friends and enjoying all the amazing costumes. Other families will remember you as a friendly, outgoing neighbor.
Make it a Party
Consider turning your house into a pitstop on the way around the neighborhood. This is a great idea if you live in a far-flung cul-de-sac that people walk a long way to reach. Let them stop and relax a while. Put out patio chairs and if you want, serve hot drinks like cider or hot chocolate. (Just don’t offer any open food or drink to a child who doesn’t have an adult present, in case of food restrictions or allergies.) Play music and turn your driveway into a dancefloor. Another option is to tell age-appropriate scary stories. Trick-or-treaters can continue on their way rejuvenated and energized.
Set up a Craft Station
This one takes some effort, so you might team up with a few neighbors. Not every child can enjoy Halloween candy, thanks to allergies or other issues. So give them a chance to make something cool they can take home. Set up a table, with lighting for after dark, and let visitors get creative. Young kids trick-or-treating with parents should especially enjoy this. Browse Pinterest or similar sites for simple ideas. Choose craft projects that use inexpensive supplies like construction paper, pipe cleaners, markers or crayons. Also, make it something quick, so they can get back to trick-or-treating!
Any way that you choose to celebrate Halloween, use it as a chance to get to know your neighbors better, and keep it fun. Use your creativity to make a memorable experience for kids of all ages.