Trick or Treating on Halloween can be a very stressful time for parents. We've all been there: It's been a long day already, you've endured school Halloween parties, and somehow managed to keep the kids in their costumes... Now comes Trick or Treating. Throw coats on, load 'em in the car, and find yourself more and more frustrated as the evening goes on. It happens to the best of us.

Here are 10 tips to make the whole night go a lot smoother.

  1. No kid wants to put a coat on over their costume that they're proud of. Captain America does not wear a jacket, mom. This year, get their costume a little bigger and let them wear layers beneath. I recommend thermal undergarments.
  2. Make sure your kids have flashlights and reflectors on their costumes, but don't overburden them. Remember, if you have little kids you'll end up carrying their flashlights and bags anyway. And don't put reflectors in the middle of their costumes.
  3. Take your time. Don't rush the kids when they're Trick or Treating. That makes them unhappy, and makes you unhappy by proxy. Let them have fun on a holiday that's solely for them.
  4. Plan out your Trick or Treat route in advance. Whether you're walking or driving, know where you're going ahead of time. Don't just drive around haphazardly looking for places to stop. Set a beginning and end to your adventure and set the kids' expectations.
  5. If you're taking the kids to relative's or friend's houses, don't plan on spending a lot of time chit chatting. Your kids want to be out Trick or Treating! They don't want to stand around for an hour while you take photos and swap recipes.
  6. At the end of the night, dump all candy sacks on the dining room table and split the candy up evenly. Everyone gets some of everything. That way you can safely check the kids' candy while your divvying it up.
  7. Even if it's a school night, let the kids enjoy Halloween. Let them stay up and help give out candy, watch Halloween shows, and just enjoy the night.
  8. Let them eat some of their candy. It's why they put on the costumes and went out. Don't let them go crazy... but let them enjoy their spoils.
  9. Don't take down Halloween decorations on Halloween. Or at least wait until the kids go to bed.
  10. Have fun! Remember, if you're having fun, your kids will have fun too!

Halloween is truly a holiday for our kids. They get to dress up and have fun. Let's make sure that they're having fun, but being safe as well.

If you're looking for the ultimate safe and fun way to Trick or Treat this year, why not take your kids to Trick or Treat on Bish's Street? Admission is free!