Halloween trick or treat survival tips
Halloween is huge in the United States and has grown increasingly popular in New Zealand over the last couple of decades or so.
The night is loosely linked to old Celtic beliefs around ghosts and their return to earth at a certain time of the year.
There have been numerous variations on the theme over the centuries but today it’s more about kids dressing in costume on October 31 and hitting up the neighbours for sweet treats.
It’s not necessarily popular with everyone – but here are a few tips for those who do want to participate, as well as a couple for those who don’t:
Make sure you’ve stocked up on lollies and other sweet treats if you know your area is a Halloween hub. Give the kids in your neighbourhood a steer in the right direction by decking your house out with cobwebs and bats and sticking a ‘‘trick or treaters welcome here’’ sign on your front door or letterbox. Alternatively, display a ‘‘Halloween-free zone’’ sign in an easy-to-spy spot if it’s not your cup of tea and if you’d rather be left alone.
SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT
Never let your children wander the streets unattended, especially in the dark. Always make sure there’s enough adult supervision and set a curfew of 8pm. Don’t enter homes – just stick to the doorstep. And remember – dark costumes can make it trickier for drivers to see little ghosts and ghouls.
TRICK OR TREAT
Avoid disgruntled neighbours by encouraging your kids to focus on the ‘‘treat’’ part of Halloween rather than the ‘‘trick’’ – particularly when young families or elderly people live nearby. Halloween is supposed to be spooky but no one should feel frightened.
ORGANISE AN EVENT
October 31 falls on a Saturday this year so think about organising a picnic lunch or barbecue dinner for the whole family at your local park or at the end of a quiet culde-sac. Ask key members of your community to help, set up an event on Neighbourly.co.nz, and invite the families in your neighbourhood to spend the afternoon getting to know each other better.
If you’re not so keen on the dark side of Halloween, organise a light party instead. These are safe events put on for school-aged kids that focus on having fun rather than being scared by monsters. A light party lets kids dress up as their favourite characters like Elsa or Spiderman (as opposed to witches and ghosts) then enjoy fun games like bobbing for apples, and of course pigging out on lollies together.
STICK TO YOUR OWN NEIGHBOURHOOD
Remember that Halloween is about having fun, so be considerate when deciding where your your children can go trick or treating. Focus on developing stronger relationships with your neighbours and community by creating a fun atmosphere for everyone to enjoy the evening around your neck of the woods.
Hordes of kids will soon hit the streets dressed as ghosts and ghouls in search of treats.