Trolling the neighborhood begging for treats is so last year. Give your kids other fun options this Halloween.
Instead of sending your kids door-to-door to collect candy, host a Halloween bash complete with fun games and activities and, of course — lots of tempting treats. Serve up "spooky" foods like mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped loosely in thin strips of phyllo or biscuit dough) or ghoul-shaped pizza.
Many amusement parks take advantage of the Halloween "season" to host special theme parties starting as early as September. If you and your family are really into Halloween, take a special trip to a major amusement park like Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm or Busch Gardens for a frightfully fun Halloween weekend filled with special events. Even if you can't get out of town for the Halloween hullabaloo, you're sure to be able to scare up some fun by checking out the local Halloween events and parties available at neighborhood shopping malls or farms.
Corral your neighbors for a good old-fashioned costume parade. A few weeks before the main event, contact your neighbors and invite their kids to take part in the costume parade around the block. End the parade with a block party potluck, and ask each of your neighbors to supply a Halloween-themed dish or dessert.
For older kids and teens, visiting a haunted house on Halloween is just the thrill they seek. Accompany kids who may end up getting super-spooked. If your teens are old enough to go on their own, make sure they stay with a group and have their phones handy at all times.
You don't have to love scary movies to host a movie marathon on Oct. 31. Halloween-themed movies are available for all ages. Download or rent Max and Ruby's Halloween and Spooky Buddies for little ones, the silly Scary Movie series for older kids or classics like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street for the true horror-flick lovers in your family.
Instead of stressing over making Halloween a huge ordeal, hunker down and do some fun and simple things. Try carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds, making popcorn balls and enjoying passing out treats and admiring the costumes of trick or treaters that come to your door. Before the big night, prepare some age-appropriate crafts and activities and stock your fridge and pantry with supplies to make some Halloween treats.
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