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Grand Poobah
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Discussion Starter #1
This question comes up every year, so I will ask it again... ;-)

How do those of you with younger kids balance running your haunt and getting them out Trick or Treating? I was a serious Haunter pre-kids, but it has slowed a little every year since then. We now have 3 kids 6 and under.

We set up a little bit, and my boys LOVE helping me scare kids. However, some of my fondest memories are from Trick or Treating... for a few years, my wife took them out and then they joined me. I went with them to a few houses last year and came home. Just doesn't feel right either way.

We tried the honor system "bowl" on the porch a couple years ago... haha...yeah, there is no honor when it comes to kids and candy.
 

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Seer of All
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As a parent of two grown children all I can say is this: you have a very short amount of time to enjoy things like trick or treating with your kids. Don't give it up for ANYTHING! There will always be neighborhood kids to scare. Right now is the time to focus on your own children and see Halloween through their eyes. Trust me - it will fly by.
One option I can think of to get a bit of both worlds is to host a neighborhood haunt the weekend before Halloween. Get your kids in on the action and then still be able to trick or treat on the big night.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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I don't see what the big deal is with trick or treating with your kids that both parents need to go. Do you need the validation someone else gives when they say your kids look cute?

My thoughts are that if you are going door to door asking for candy, then someone should be at your house if possible handing out candy. I understand that that's not feasible if you're a single parent or one has to work.
 

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Monster Collector
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My wife takes the girls around and I stay at the house. My son is older now and he helps haunt. The girls are never out the full length so when they get home sometimes they will also stay out and try to scare. We have always done this. Even when our oldest was young.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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I'll probably sound like an old grouch, but, here goes...
TOT with the kids is severely overrated.
I last took my first two kids out until our son was 8, our daughter 7. Oh, yeah, it was fun, don't get me wrong. But nothing "Special", no indelible Kodak Moments, no precious memories. In fact, it was pretty lame. We started haunting in earnest the next year, and within three years, the kids didn't even want to leave the house on Hallowe'en! Our place was where it's at, why would you go elsewhere? Anyway, the first two grew up, left for College, and I found myself with a new wife, and we now have two girls together. I've NEVER taken them out for Trick or Treat. We do the obligatory Commercial Haunts, cruise other peoples' haunts on the nights leading up to it, and they go out and do the TOT thing. But Papa's got some serious scaring to do at home on that night...

But everybody's different, wilbret, you choose for yourself, buddy. And don't let anyone criticize that choice.
 

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I've always passed out the candy, and my husband took the kids out. Even when we didn't have big numbers, I've enjoyed passing the candy and visiting with the toters. Talking about their costumes and the holliday. And My husband enjoyed the time he spent with the kids taking the out. Usually I was always involved with anything to do with the kids, and toting was just their time. He was sad when they where to old to tot anymore. One year he was deployed, and my son and a few of his friends passed out candy while I took my daughter and her friends out around the neighborhood. But we cut it short that year so he and his friends could go out too. I feel for single parents who have to juggle it. It can't be easy. The kids are in their late 20's now, but still come over to help out. I'm glad for their help now.
 

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Grand Poobah
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. We have a group of 20 or so kids in our little circle that go out at once, and it is pretty memorable and kodak-moment worthy. I like seeing other people's setups as much as I like for them to see mine... some of my fondest memories were from TOTing and the houses we saw.

Will find a happy medium ground somehow. I wonder if there is a secondary event we could have this year as somone mentioned above.

We don't do a full-fledged haunt like in the past, but we do focus heavily on lighting and projection so it draws attention with minimal setup/takedown time.
 

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We'll be facing this dilemma in the coming years. Right now our daughter is 3 and our son will be 11 months at Halloween. Last year we thought we'd take our daughter to a few neighbor's houses but we never got around to it. I think we're a little lucky because besides doing a yard haunt, we have a sort of open-house on Halloween where friends & family come to hang out, eat, sit by our fire pit in the driveway and have a drink. So my husband and I could both take the kids to a few houses on the street and someone would be available at our house to give out candy while we were gone. I think as the kids get older, we can either take turns walking them around, we could both go out for a little while & then someone heads back home, we could ask other local family members to walk around with our kids, or we could let them walk around with friends when they are older. But, I also think that our kids may want to be at our house too. I could be wrong but I would be surprised if our kids want to TOT all night rather than being involved in some way with our haunt. We have the bonus of visiting family members & friends, so I think they'll want to be here.

Any chance you could invite a family member or friend over, maybe someone who doesn't get many TOT'ers at their house? They could sit at your house for an hour or something while you go out with your kids. Just feed them some pizza & candy and that's a great deal!
:D
 

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Seer of All
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Wilbret, you sound like a great dad. Enjoy those Kodak moments while they last! :)
 

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My 11-year-old is mentally delayed. I would never in a million years allow him to go out ToTing with out at least one of us. And definitely not just him and my youngest, age eight. They are innocent and sweet and would talk to anybody, and probably go with anybody. Or rush across the street and get hit by a car.

Scatter, not validation - actually, believe it or not, some people love to do things as a family. :eek: The hell you say...? No, really.

That said, what we do is, either the grandparents come to hand out candy while my husband and I are taking our sons around, or just one of us goes with the kids while the other stays home to hand out candy - we alternate years.

Madame Leota said it best, IMO: this time doesn't last forever. You're going to turn around and it's gone.
 

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As a parent of two grown children all I can say is this: you have a very short amount of time to enjoy things like trick or treating with your kids. Don't give it up for ANYTHING! There will always be neighborhood kids to scare. Right now is the time to focus on your own children and see Halloween through their eyes. Trust me - it will fly by.
One option I can think of to get a bit of both worlds is to host a neighborhood haunt the weekend before Halloween. Get your kids in on the action and then still be able to trick or treat on the big night.
Wholeheartedly agree!
 

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Grand Poobah
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Discussion Starter #13
I had a thought... we have some neighbors that moved to the country. I am going to propose that they come to our house for Halloween. The wives can take the kids, while the dads drink beer and hand out candy LOL.
 
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