Mission: Halloween

We love Halloween and we love how much our kids love Halloween. That's why we don't want to sound like the fun police, but we do want to make some sense of the sugar excess and we definitely want to make sure they're safe when they're out trick-or-treating. Here are our seven best tips for making sure their Halloween is as safe and savvy as it is fun.
Here are our 10 ways to prep for the big night.

10. Disguise Yourself

No one’s going anywhere without a costume on October 31 so make sure everyone’s got one they’re happy with and that will accommodate warm clothes underneath. Consider dressing up yourself this year (be lean and green by skipping the non-renewable resource-based costumes at the store and recycling some old clothes for a homemade costume).

9. Set the Mood
There’s no need to overdecorate for Halloween but if you’ve got some (fake) skeletons in the closet or spider webs to put up, get that done early in the week. Download some spooky sounds onto your iPod for dramatic effect.

8. Get a Gang (Together)
Sunday means it’s a chance to make a group celebration of Halloween—invite family and friends to join you for a spooky afternoon, early dinner and trick or treating.

7. Put on a Pot
Once you’ve got the friends booked, plan a menu that’s easy to keep warm on the stove and requires little effort to serve up. Our Pumpkin Chili, some of our Witches’ Fingers, and some warm apple cider (or something stronger for the adults) make a great pre-outing meal.

6. Carve It Out
Don’t forget about the great pumpkin. This year, you’ll have lots of time on Saturday to carve it. Try a carving template for more ambitious designs (DLTK Crafts for Kids and www.carvingpumpkins.com have lots to choose from). For some virtual carving practice, the whole family will like this online game. If you carve Jack in advance, don’t leave him outside overnight as animals tend to find jack-o-lanterns a yummy treat. Roast the seeds and enjoy them for an afternoon snack—here’s how.

5. Capture the Moment
Make sure all your cameras are charged and ready to capture smiling faces of the little goblins and ghouls (once those costumes are on, it’s hard to restrain everyone from rushing out the door).

4. Stay Safe
To keep the inbound kids safe, take a minute to ensure your walkways are free of any tripping hazards (flowerpots, branches, skateboards…) and make sure your front path is well lit. For your outbound gang, make sure everyone has a flashlight.

3. Map It
No mission goes off without a plan and this one shouldn’t either. Together with the kids (if they are old enough), plan your route ahead of time and stick to it. This helps to manage expectations and allows others to find you if needed.

2. Plan the Candy
Kids everywhere are dreaming of the bags of candy they’ll be bringing home on the big night. To avoid them losing their teeth and you losing your cool, you need to agree in advance on just how much candy can be eaten and when. Read our “candy management” guide for ideas and come up with a plan that works for your family.

1. Have a Back Up
The shuttle has a back-up engine in case of technical failure. You should have a back-up candy bag on board your mission because there’s no worse disaster than a broken candy bag.

Blast off! Let Mission Candy begin.


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