If you’re handing out candy that evening, make it obvious to everyone you’re open for business. Open the blinds and turn on all the lights in front of the house and on the front porch. Make sure the walkway is well-lit and free of any tripping hazards.
Minimize scares by avoiding too-spooky decorations and costumes, and close off the pets in another room.
Make your trick-or-treaters feel good about their costumes by pretending you don’t recognize them, even if it’s obvious they’re your next-door neighbors. They’ll get a kick out of “fooling” you.
If you’re letting trick-or-treaters pick their own candy, let them know how many pieces they can take. You might say, “Please take three. I have plenty!” If you’re doling out the candy yourself, place it gently in each bag rather than tossing in the trick-or-treaters’ general direction.
When the candy runs out, close the blinds and turn off the front lights.
If you’re hitting the streets with your kids this Halloween, take a little time to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding Halloween etiquette. A few days before the big night, role play with your kids and teach them what to say and how to respond to people. Let them know that unless they are told otherwise, they should assume a one-piece limit from the candy bowl and that even if they don’t like the selection, they should take a piece anyway, smile and say “thank you.”
When planning your outing, try to keep your crowd of kids down to a manageable number. More than six can get a little raucous, so if the whole gang’s going, divide into smaller groups and give yourselves about a 90 second lag time between each group. To keep things running smoothly, tell kids to make quick decisions at the candy bowl and not to dig through in search of “the good stuff.” Instead, kids should pick from the top of the pile, say their thank yous and make room for the next batch of trick-or-treaters.
If you and your kids both are feeling confident, go ahead and stay on the sidewalk or at the end of the driveway while they approach the houses. If not, accompany him or her to the door.
If your child is too old for trick-or-treating, there still are plenty of safe, fun events planned. Southlake Parks and Recreation is holding a Spooky Saturday Nite for fourth, fifth and sixth graders Oct. 22 at Durham School. There will be a costume contest with prizes as well as a black-light hallway. Tickets are $8. Pre-register here.
Parks and Recreation also will take teens on a bus tour of the scariest haunted houses in DFW. Tickets are $25. Pre-register here.