Real NJ Moms Share Their Best Trick-or-Treating Tips


We’re super excited for Halloween in my house right now because I’ve got a 3-year-old with a newfound love for candy—and dressing up in any costume at any given time. While we’re gearing up for a day of fun on the 31st, I’m also anxious: What if she accepts candy that could possibly be tampered with? Even though I’ll be with her, I worry about cars too.There’s a lot of scary stuff with a new trick-or-treater or even a seasoned one, but I know with some planning, it can be safe. Since I want to make sure my daughter has an awesome experience, I asked YOU for your best tips for making trick-or-treating not-so-scary that night (I know I’ll be doing a few!):

  • Stick With Neighbors: “My daughter just turned 1, so for trick-or-treating, we’ll be going to people’s houses that we know,” says Sarah L. from Facebook. “For now, I will carry her to friend’s doors with her cousins, so she can still experience Halloween.” 
  • Use A Light Source: Glow sticks and glow necklaces are always a hit, and an alternative to carrying a bulky flashlight. Plus, it’s a great way to keep track of your child’s trick-or-treating group, and make vehicles aware that they’re on the road. “For older kids, try glow-in-the-dark trick or treat bags,” suggests KarenLynn P. from Facebook. 
  • Start a New Tradition: For young kids who aren’t ready to trick-or-treat yet or too little to eat candy, get creative at home. “Have the ‘Great Pumpkin’ come, take all the leftover candy from your own bowl and leave a toy for your child,” adds KarenLynnP from Facebook. 
  • Make it Inclusive: For kids with a food allergy, Halloween can be a stressful time for parents. “I keep my kiddo safe by allowing him to tote his ‘Teal Pumpkin Project’ bucket–which is the universal color for raising awareness to food allergies and signifies he’d rather have a non-food treat. Once he’s home, we go through it all, switching out all his candies for safe treats instead,” advises Casey B. from Facebook.
  • Visit Public Places: While scouting out a trick-or-treating spot, Casey also suggests heading to a location that is filled with other families, too. “I take my little to trick-or-treat before dark, where there are a lot of other kids and families—like a trunk-or-treat location, the mall or a familiar neighborhood.” Many towns offer trick-or-treating on main streets during daylight, where kids visit each store.
  • Map it Out: If you live in a busy township or city, it’s important to factor in safe crosswalks and quieter areas into your trick-or-treating path. “We plan out our route so that we rarely have to cross a street,” says Lori F. from Facebook. “Down one side, up the other.” 
  • Make the Most of Sunlight: “We make sure to go trick-or-treating before it gets dark,” says Kimberlee W. from Instagram. Not only is it easier to see, but kids will be delighted to have first dibs on the full candy bowls. 
  • Donate Your Candy: Yes, you can still let your littles indulge in some sugar on Halloween. But Mariana C. from Instagram recommends doing it a little differently. “We buy our own candy, and donate the ones we get from strangers,” she says. 
  • Stick Together: This applies for everyone, from older kids trick-or-treating without adults and parents with their children. “Stay with a group,” says Vanessa P. from Instagram. “Don’t go ahead and don’t fall behind and make sure everyone is accounted for.”
  • Ask for Help: While Martha P. from Instagram agrees that avoiding strangers and being alert is important, she also stresses that it’s just as crucial that kids know they should ask for help if they need it while trick-or-treating. “Run to another mom if you get lost!” she advises.




About Author

Taylor is a parenting, food and health writer born and raised in West Milford, New Jersey — but her favorite role yet is being a mom to her sweet and sassy toddler. When she's not busy window shopping in Montclair, frequenting the Bergen County Zoo, or trying out a new mommy-and-me class at the Kinnelon Library, Taylor can be found hiking the Appalachian Trail in Vernon or relaxing at one of the local wineries where she resides in beautiful northern NJ.