Too Big to Trick-or-Treat?

If you’re like me, Halloween holds a lot of fun memories. You’ve spent loads of money on costumes and decorations and candy; you may have even created a few unique costumes of your own, and you definitely enjoyed every moment of taking your little ones around to neighbors and friends and family to gather goodies on this exciting fall evening!

But also, if you’re like me, your kids have outgrown this fun night now, and you’re not sure who misses it more… them or you?

There are so many areas of our lives where we invite our children to grow up and be more like us… and rightfully so. But, there are very few events in their young lives where we decide to allow ourselves to relax, to be a kid, to live in their world for a little bit. And Halloween is one of those!

If you’re not yet where I am, with kids too big to trick-or-treat, be thankful and set aside time to make believe with your little ones this weekend. And while you’re at it, don’t neglect to be gracious to those in-betweeners who may seem too big but who show up on your doorstep anyway because they’re just not yet ready to not be a kid.

And if you are raising teenagers who’ve finally surrendered to having surpassed the acceptable age to dress up and beg for goodies, be thankful for a new kind of fun, and look for new ways to “treat” your teens. Consider some of these ideas:

1. Throw a Halloween costume party and let them invite a bunch of friends. Make spooky fun treats, including punch with dry ice for that foggy effect, and rent or save on Netflix a line-up of good scary movies.

2. Take them with a bunch of friends to a local corn maze and treat everyone to hot apple cider and other fall treats after they find their way through the maze a time or two. Look for haunted hayrides too.

3. If you’re really brave and don’t mind the expense, take your teens with 1 or 2 of their friends to the big haunted houses downtown,  if your area has them.

4. Coordinate a neighborhood “Trunk-or-Treat” by going door-to-door a couple weeks ahead and get your neighbors commitment to have their car(s) at the end of their driveways & their trunks full of treats. Challenge everyone to a best decorated driveway contest! Winner gets a big blue ribbon to display next year and all the leftover candy from all the trunks!

5. Get involved in a church or community Trick-or-Treat event and participate as a family.

6. If you live out in a rural area, host a big bonfire, with weanie roast and s’mores. Invite everyone you know. Costumes optional, but beware of the higher flammability of cheaper, storebought costumes.

7. If you are really adventurous and don’t mind the time, expense and risk of opening your home or backyard up, create your own haunted house and invite all your teens friends and all your neighbors.

8. If your teens prefer a more family-centric, and quieter evening, have the whole family dress up, play spooky music at your doorstep and have fun watching the little ones come to you.

Whatever you do, have fun. Make memories. Dress up your pets. (They love it! Hee, hee.) And don’t forget the candy!!!

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