1. Go with Your Neighbours
This is certainly not a rule but trick or treating always seems to be more fun in a group. Invite some neighbor friends to go along with you. If you don’t know your neighbours, Halloween can be a great ice breaker to introduce yourself.
2. Start When it is Getting Dark
Peak trick or treating tends to be around 7 and begins just as it’s getting dark – around 6pm. If you have really little kids you may want start a bit earlier but if you do be prepared for people to not be ready or not be home.
3. Be Visible
Walking around your neighbourhood in the dark is part of the fun of Halloween but make sure that you and your kids can be seen by cars. If your costume or clothing is dark consider adding some white tape or reflectors. Glow sticks are another great option. You can get them inexpensively at Michael’s or Dollarama to make bracelets or necklaces.
4. Pay Attention To the Weather
Halloween can be pretty cold in Calgary so make sure your kids are dressed in layers to help keep warm. After the sun sets it will feel even colder so be prepared with toques and mittens.
If it is really cold try going block by block with your house being the start and end of a loop. This will give you a chance to warm up, drop off younger siblings or trade adults before you head back out.
5. Look for Halloween Decorations and Porch Lights
When you are going door to door skip the houses where it looks like no one is home. Signs that people are ready for trick or treaters include Halloween decorations and a lit porch light.
After about 8, skip any house with the front light off – even if they were handing out candy earlier they are probably done for the night.
6. Keep Your Little Ones From Tiring Out Too Quickly
If you have small kids give them a small bag and carry a bigger bag yourself to transfer the loot to along the way. It doesn’t take much candy for little kids to get really weighed down. If you have a little kid and a bigger kid you may want to consider a stroller, carrier or wagon too so your little one can ride part of the way.
7. Leave the Camera at Home
Take a few pictures before you leave or on another day. It’s is challenging to get photos of kids running around in the dark and the camera is just another thing to carry around.
8. What to Do at Your House if No One Will be Home While You Are Out Trick or Treating
You have two options. One is to make sure it’s clear that no one is home. Turn off your porch light and bring in your pumpkin or other decorations.
The other option is to leave treats on your step that kids can help themselves to. Chips work well for this as they come in a box and people tend to just take one. Otherwise use a big plastic bowl. We weren’t sure how this would go the first time we did it but it seemed to work pretty well and made me feel like we were still doing our part and our whole family got to go out trick or treating together.
If your child has food allergies – watch for teal pumpkins. The goal of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make Halloween as inclusive as possible. Houses with a teal pumpkin displayed with have non food treats available (like small toys or books) so kids with allergies don’t have to worry. You may find painted pumpkins, blue plastic pumpkins or a piece of paper with a teal pumpkin displayed in the window or the door. Make sure your kids ask for the teal pumpkin treats when they are at the door as some houses will give out candy and non-candy treats.
This program is gaining popularity but is still not really widespread. If your child is safe to collect treats but can’t eat them all, be prepared by having another kind of treat at home that you can use to switch them with afterwards.