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Celebrate Halloween safely

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Don't get tricked on Halloween

In today's scary world, is sending your kids door-to-door to collect candy from strangers really a good idea? Before you lock your child away on Halloween night, consider some alternate ways to celebrate the spookiest day of the year.

Bring the treats to your kids

Instead of having your children go door-to-door, host a potluck block party for the neighbors on your street. As the host, you’ll be in personal contact with the attendees, which will give you the ability to help control the “treats” that are brought to the party as well as the opportunity to get to know your neighbors. This will make you feel much better about letting your child take candy from them in the future.

Tricks for healthier Halloween treats >>

Attend local festivities

Trick-or-treating around the neighborhood (especially if you don’t really know your neighbors) is not the only way to spend Halloween. Check out events and celebrations at local churches, farms and even malls. Many organizations offer safe alternatives to door-to-door trick-or-treating such as sponsored parties and festivals with kid zones and games and age-appropriate haunted houses. Attend these events as a family or allow your children to invite a friend or two so your kids don't feel alienated from the entire trick-or-treating crowd. And we're sure the parents of those friends will be very appreciative of your safe approach to Halloween night.

Fun fall activities for kids >>

Check out places in your area that host seasonal events that are not necessarily Halloween-centric such as a night hayride, cowboy dinner around the campfire or apple picking.

What to do when you don’t celebrate Halloween >>

Have a party

If your child insists he’s the only one who’s not allowed to go trick-or-treating, allow him to have a Halloween party. Decorate pumpkins, play silly/scary traditional Halloween games like bobbing for apples or the always gross (I mean oh-so-fun!) "guess the body part" and serve lots of Halloween treats. Don’t forget take-home goodie bags for the kids filled with candy and trinkets so they won’t miss a thing about the trick-or-treating tradition. We're betting lots of kids will prefer this alternative to trick-or-treating all night long to earn their bag of candy.

Include your family in your alternative Halloween plans

If you choose not to celebrate Halloween in your household, tell your family why you’ve made this choice. You may not be very popular with your kids at first, but you need to stand your ground — for their safety.

Invite them to help you come up with alternate ways to spend the day. Perhaps you’ll let them stay up late making autumn-inspired desserts or watching Christmas movies a little too early in the season. Whatever you decide, make sure the entire family is in on the new plan for Halloween and turn it into a yearly tradition.

More on Halloween

Celebrity-inspired Halloween costumes
Homemade Halloween decorations
Ultimate Halloween costume guide

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