Posted : 10/21/2008
Not everyone wants to go trick-or-treating through dark neighborhoods on Halloween. It's not always safe, and some roads are perhaps too busy to cross, even at night.
However, you don't have to sacrifice trick-or-treating! There are some interesting alternatives available.
Mall Trick or Treating
This year, the world's largest indoor event is taking place at the Mall of America and will have over 200 stores participating. They even have an allergy-free zone for those with dangerous food allergies.
Check your local malls to see if any events are coming up. This could be a fun and interesting alternative to a neighborhood experience, and is a great way of getting your children's friends all in one place to enjoy Halloween together.
Make sure you head to the mall at a decent time, and get a good parking space. If you're bringing children of varying ages, be sure that they've all got age-appropriate safety seating. This is really more of an issue if you're transporting other people's children. If you're part of a "candy caravan" with other parents, try to park close together to make meeting up and co-ordination of the night go more easily. Share cell phone numbers with other parents, and make sure you child knows your number! Have a central meeting point arranged, and show your children how to use the maps inside the mall, if they're old enough to walk alone. Make sure they know how to get back to the meeting point if everyone gets separated. It's certainly better to go to a mall that they are familiar with.
This is a fascinating and interesting alternative to the usual door-to-door activity. Instead, treats (and tricks) are packed into the trunks of cars, and given out from there instead of doors or porches. Cars can be backed up to the end of your own driveway (to help children and their parents avoid a longer walk up to your door), or for neighborhoods made up mostly of apartment buildings, a central area such as specially-designated and blocked-off parking lot at a school, church, library or community center.
Children and families can move between cars, picking up candy and treats, and in fact, this can turn into something more like a tailgating party! It's completely okay to cook out, and offer healthier treats too. (We'd probably suggest holding back on the beer, though, or at least wait until the kids have gone home!).
Round up the leftovers
If your family is lucky enough to gather more candy than you need or want, make sure to set aside a bag for kids who get none. Many elementary schools organize a post-Halloween candy drop-off for sharing with schools where kids don't trick-or-treat on the streets. If you can't find a place to donate your extras, take a bag of extra treats to work or even to a local senior center.
Do you have any comments or questions? Please let us know!
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