One of the biggest challenges that I, as a mother, face this time of year is finding activities for my children to participate in for Halloween. Going door-to-door trick or treating is just not a good choice for my family. With Dad working in the evenings, and 2 small children, it's just not a safe or smart choice for me to make. Still, I want my boys to have the fun & excitement of picking out that perfect superhero costume and letting their imagination soar with their friends. So..I search for alternative ideas that be fun for the boys, and, less stressful for Mom & Dad.
One great option is the Fall Festival at church. Many churches in Central Illinois offer some type of event in the week leading up to, or the evening of Halloween. You will usually find food, candy, crafts & tons of fun, all in one safe place. Another bonus...you only have to get out of the car once! If you have ever hauled costumed children in & out of car seats multiple times...you recognize what a bonus this is for you :) If your in or around the Montgomery County area, please join us at Hillsboro Free Methodist Church on Monday, October 31st from 5-7pm for Indoor Trick or Treating!
Another choice is hitting up your local pumpkin patch. One of our favorite trips is to our local Orchard (Broom's Orchard in Carlinville, IL), for their annual apple & pumpkin festival. Picking your own pumpkin is so fun for the kids, and, you get great pictures while your at it, Mom! Most festivals include food, hayrides, games, petting zoo's, even pony rides. These are great, low cost, family outings. Plus..your supporting your local growers! Your just intime for Broom's annual Pumpkin Fest this weekend. If you don't have plans, head on over to Carlinville.
While I love to see the children dressed up as Tinkerbell & Spiderman, I do not love the idea of opening my front door every 10 minutes, unsure of what may be on the otherside. For a safer option for both you & the trick or treaters - why not grab a few neighbors & set up a "Trunk or Treat" in your local parking lot. Most retailers would gladly offer their parking lot for a safe option for children. Park your cars, fill the trunks with candy, even set up a few fun games for the kids. Parents will appreciate the effort to keep everyone safe.
An important part of our preparation for Halloween, includes talking to my children about the good & bad parts of this day. It's important for them to understand that there are people who take advantage of children & adults, and emphasize the demonic origins of this day. We, as Christians are responsible for educating our children. My family personally does not dress up as ghosts, goblins, devils or monsters - they are scary to my children. We utilize this time to encourage our children's imagination, but, also keep them grounded enough to recognize there is evil in this world.
I would love to hear how you work to creative alternative for your family!