Don't get caught off guard on Halloween night. Adults and kids alike need to be safe and equipped for tricks and treats that may come their way, so head out prepared. If you do nothing else:
1. Know your trick-or-treat route
Laurene Livesey Park, an author, professional organizer and speaker, says the best way to prepare for a night out like Halloween is to set clear rules ahead of time. How long will you go trick-or-treating and where will you limit your journey? Whose party are you visiting and who is driving home?
2. Trial-run your costume beforehand
Similarly, Livesey Park suggests everyone go through a costume trial run. "Try on absolutely everything," she says. "That includes makeup. You don't want to find out on Oct. 31 that you're missing a colour you need." Or, (horrors!) maybe you just can't pull off the look you envisioned. Check that costumes fit properly, are clean, complete and don't need any repairs. Livesey Park also recommends making sure a winter coat can fit underneath kids' costumes, depending on the weather.
3. Make arrangements for pets
It's also important to know where everyone will be on Halloween night, including your pets. Make arrangements for them if you don't want to take them trick-or-treating; they may become agitated or frightened at home with constant visitors at the door.
Must-haves for Halloween trick-or-treating with kids
As for packing, "you want to carry as little as possible," says Livesey Park, but there are a few essentials you'll want to have on hand. Here's what you need for kids:
- Smartphone: Tuck away your phone to share the night with friends and family before the kids are in bed. Livesey Park recommends taking the high-tech pics before you go out to leave bulky photography gear at home.
- LED flashlight: Dropped candy, untied shoelaces, missing fake teeth -- you name it -- you'll need a flashlight to find them once the sun goes down. Livesey Park suggests using a headlamp (even tied around your arm) to free up your hands. This also makes it easy for your kids to find you.
- Fold-up sack: Kids usually want to collect as much candy as they can, but that doesn't mean they can lug it around the whole neighbourhood. Tuck a compact carryall in your pocket so they can off-load their surplus goods when they need to (for your snacking pleasure, of course).
- Adhesive bandages: Scraped knees are a common occurence on Halloween once the sugar starts flowing.
- Hand wipes and tissues: Clean up runny noses and sticky fingers on the go.