As we move into fall, we look forward to cooler days, beautiful foliage, and football games. Another fun autumn event, no matter your age, is Halloween night. If you’re loading up on candy in preparation to be the most popular house on the block, there are several things you need to do in advance to prepare your home for trick-or-treaters.
Light Your Front Yard
You want people to know you’re open for some candy business, which they won’t unless your house is lit up. Install new bulbs in your porch lights a few days before the big day to avoid them going dark in the middle of the evening. Use some exterior lighting to brighten your walkways and steps so little Elsa doesn’t trip and fall. If you have time, string some Halloween lights or hang battery-powered lanterns around your porch’s railing or around your door to create a creepy vibe.
Clear the Paths
Sweep your driveway, walkways, and steps and remove anything setting around that trick-or-treaters could fall over. A few wayward pebbles or an errant flowerpot could cause a spill that brings the night’s festivities to a screeching halt.
Make Your Door Welcoming
Many of us enter our home through the garage or another side door, so our front door might be neglected most of the year. Open the front door and clean it thoroughly before Halloween. Wipe any fingerprints off your storm door. Hang a welcome sign, add a doormat, and make sure the doorbell works. If you’re more creative, go wild by decorating your door to impress and entice your trick-or-treaters.
Stamp Out Hazards
We talked about tripping hazards above, but there are other ways to make sure the night is safe and fun. First rule is to avoid real candles. While they add an eerie ambiance and can bring a jack-o-lantern to life, they can also catch Batman’s cape on fire and, within seconds, cause severe burns. In addition, check your railings and porch steps and repair any that are wobbly or unstable. Finally, ditch any candy that has peanuts because of the widespread allergy issues.
Thwart Mischief Makers
Some take the “trick” part of the evening as an invitation to cause trouble. If you’re concentrated on your front door, lock all other entrances. Secure your vehicles and lock up your kids’ expensive outdoor toys.
Protect Your Pets
Halloween is a night that isn’t for animals, no matter how cute your dog looks in his bumblebee costume. With the door opening so often throughout the night, pets can quickly run out of the house and get lost. If your pets are known for bolting, keep them in their kennels or in a secure part of the house while you give out candy. Speaking of, chocolate and other human treats are bad for animals. Keep your treat bowl well out of their reach to avoid an emergency vet visit.
Pick the Perfect Spot
Your front door might not be the best place to hand out candy. If your house sits on top of a hill or you have a long flight of narrow steps to the porch, you might opt to participate in the night’s festivities at the bottom of your steps or the end of your driveway. Take a couple of chairs and a plastic jack-o-lantern full of candy and welcome your trick-or-treaters away from your house.
Pipe Out Some Music
A loop of fun Halloween music is priceless if you’re creating a spooky atmosphere. Plus, people can hear it from the street, and it makes them want to stop in. Download a song list, bring some speakers out, and play your Halloween tunes to add to your house’s theme.
Why should the children have all the fun? Think up your own costume. Choose your wig, outfit, paint on some makeup, and join the kids while you’re giving out candy. If you can talk your spouse into joining you, pick a pair of costumes that complement each other, like Elvis and Priscilla, Fred and Wilma, or a couple of zombies.
Stock Up On Candy
This may be the most obvious tip, but nothing puts a damper on a good night of candy giving like the candy running out. Buy several bags of candy — suckers, fun-sized candy bars, gum, and Tootsie Rolls are all popular choices. If it’s early in the night and you’re starting to run low, decrease the amount you’re giving your visitors. Want to be known for having the best candy in your neighborhood? Take our fun quiz to learn all about Halloween candy and the history of the holiday.
Handing out candy lets you participate in your neighborhood fun, and you may even get to know people a bit better. A little advance planning and cleanup can help to create a safe and fun environment for your trick-or-treaters. Enjoy the evening and don’t forget to save a few pieces of candy for yourself!