Pumpkins, costumes, and magic, oh my! With a lot of things happening on this holiday it’s hard to navigate the tricks and the treats, so read up on some of our recommendations to be prepared.


Planning Ahead


If possible, go out before dark with your little ones. They are likely to get scared or sleepy by the time the festivities start. You can check your local newspaper or recreation center for local activities offered earlier in the day.

Also! Younger kids might feel overwhelmed with Halloween, and it’s important to know your limits before you head out.

Have Older Kids? If you’re practicing free-range parenting and your older children want to go alone at night, plan and review a route you both can agree on. Decide on when they should return, and if possible, provide a cell phone in case of emergencies. Be sure you feel comfortable with the plan before agreeing!


Costumes- Staying Safe

Dramatic play can be different at home or school, so be sure to talk about your costumes before you leave the house.

  • Make sure the costume fits. Big costumes can cause unexpected falls while out and about.
  • Everyone should be visible if going out in the dark. Wear glow-sticks, reflective tape, or flashlights. 
  • All wigs, fabrics, and accessories should be fire resistant. Make sure to check, especially if you buy your costumes second-hand. Retailers are obligated to follow these rules, but old clothes can slip under the radar.
  • Be ready for it to get cold when the sun goes down, especially if your child has an awesome costume they don’t want to cover up. We don’t know what the ‘right’ answer is here, just be sure to talk about it with your little one.
  • Masks keep children from seeing, well,  pretty much everything. Since visibility is important, we recommend face painting too keep everyone aware of their surroundings.

Walk Safely

Going out at night can be stressful for grown-ups and kids alike, especially if you’re in a group. Plan ahead, and make sure everyone is on the same page before heading out, no matter your group size.


  • Tell your team the plan, and let them know what to expect for the backup plan. 
  • Everyone stays with the group. Review what everyone is wearing for recognition in the wild.
  • Watch out for turning cars, or cars backing up. If needed, point out which lights flash so kids will know what to look for.
  • Don’t run in the street or between parked cars! Some cars might be stopped, but the ones in the street can’t see you.
  • Crossing the Street: Follow your group rules and stay together. We recommend waving to cars to make sure they see you before you cross. 

Drive Safely

If you’re driving this Halloween, keep these key points in mind as you navigate the roads.


  • Trick-or-treating is usually between 5:30 and 9:30 pm, don’t get spooked!
  • Keep inexperienced drivers off the road. Accidents rise by 43% on Halloween, and pedestrians are in the most danger. 
  • Turn on your headlights, even before dark. This will keep everyone visible.
  • Give extra travel time, especially if you’re traveling through a neighborhood. There will be mayhem.
  • Halloween can be cold, making roads and sidewalks unpredictable to travelers. 
  • Eliminate extra distractions inside your car to keep focus!

Most Important: Stay Alert


There’s going to be a lot going on, so expect everyone to be distracted. Being an active observer will be the best thing you can do for your group as you’re out and about.


  • Put away your phone. Unless it’s an emergency those photos can wait.
  • Walk on the sidewalks and paths. Roads aren’t closed on Halloween, and drivers will be distracted.
  • Watch out for unrestrained pets. Different neighbors have different standards, and you might encounter a loose animal as you walk from house to house.
  • How are your kids doing? High or low energy levels might be a sign that its time to head home, so be let your plan be flexible to the needs of your group.


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