Did you know Halloween is on a weeknight this year? Monday to be exact. And that changes things a bit. When I was a kid, I don’t really remember the difference between weeknight and weekend trick or treating, however, I’m sure my parents do. Unfortunately, a Monday night Halloween has no bearing on school or work the next day. Hello 6:30 AM Tuesday morning.
As a working mom of a 5-year-old kindergartner and a 3-year-old preschooler, my ultimate goals for Halloween night are:
Eat something for dinner other than candy.
Somehow avoid the late night “punch drunk” melt down. Ain’t nobody got time for late night pre-bed meltdown on a school night!
So in order to prevent the go to bed blues or candy-induced all night dance-a-thon on a Monday night, here are a few ideas for celebrating the holiday a little early and still keep your sanity while doing it!
Enjoy free fall events all month long.
Halloween memories are not exclusive to trick or treating! We are very lucky to live in an amazing community with tons of fun for kids of all ages. A couple of my personal (and local Collin County) faves are the Stonebridge Ranch Spooktacular and Scare on the Square in Downtown McKinney. Plus, many local churches and organizations host fall festivals and trunk or treat events that are fun, free, and of course, costume friendly! For a more comprehensive list of events, check out our Guide to Fall Fun.)
Take advantage of the weekend prior to Halloween.
Celebrate with a pumpkin carving party or backyard weenie roast with your besties on Saturday night. Kids get to wear costumes? Check! Parents have fun too? Check!
And on Halloween night. . .here are a few tips for making that a success too!
Set expectations in advance with your kiddos about the entire day.
If they are school age, walk them through the “plan” for the evening. First homework, dinner, trick or treating, check candy, eat 2 pieces, brush teeth, bath and bed (maybe or maybe not in that exact order).
Get an early start!
If you or your spouse works, plan on calling it an early day. The last thing you want is to hold off on trick or treating while one parent is stuck on 75 or the tollway trying to get home on Halloween.
Dinner BEFORE trick or treating.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but take it from someone who made the mistake of putting it off until after trick or treating. Let’s just say that after collecting a mountain of candy, there’s not a kid around that will dive into a “balanced” meal.
Map your plan of attack.
If your street has two inner circles like mine, maybe consider doing the inner loop. Remember, when you’re on foot and you go too far, you’re faced with the reality of the trip back!
Take a cue from your kid(s).
If you get home and their eyes are glazed over because they are so tired, then don’t pass go, don’t collect $50 – just get them to bed. As we all know, sometimes bath time can be stimulating. I don’t think any of us want the re-creation of poltergeist in our living room, even if it is Halloween and all.