Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tips to Help You Have a Happy Halloween

"Trick or treat!" You hear the kids screaming from the porch. You swing open the door to see a Captain America, a Chewbacca, a Dora the Explorer and a lady bug. The kids costumes are all so cute and the Halloween masks are so creepy this year, but something is missing.

It may feel as though you've lost the spirit of Halloween and that deep down, you're just not so excited about this day anymore. Often times, adults forget to do something for themselves and instead look toward Thanksgiving for gratification. Here are some sure-fire ideas that'll have you shouting "happy Halloween" in no time.

It's a lot of work, but if you want to have a really great Halloween costume party, then plan months in advance! Perhaps you'll choose a theme to get started, such as a masquerade, Renaissance vampires, pirates, monsters, 1920s gangsters or any other decorating and costume theme. If it's your first time, then you might want to host a simple dinner of ghoulish delights, followed by a movie.

If you're looking for something outrageous, then just throw some Halloween drinking games or board games into the mix and watch the party explode with laughter. Murder mystery parties come in a box that provide suggestions for food, decorations and costume accessories, as well as providing invitations, character booklets, scripts and a CD/DVD with the compelling conclusion for your "whodunnit" mystery. Check out the Bepuzzled brand for the best selection of murder mystery kits.

To make this a particularly happy Halloween, why not plan a special family vacation to see a special Halloween attraction? At Universal Studios and Disney each October, there are a number of spectacular displays. Universal's "Fangoria Weekends of Horror" will give you intense haunted house displays galore and it was rated one of the best theme park destinations for Halloween, along with Knotts Berry Farm and Tampa Busch Gardens.

Greenwich Village in New York City has an annual Halloween parade and street festival beginning at 7pm Halloween night. On Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, you'll see an impressive annual Halloween Carnival extravaganza. Salem and Philadelphia have special historical haunted ghost tours if you dare. At "Hauntworld" you can find a list of some of the best Halloween attractions around America. If you'd rather stay local, then check for haunted hayrides, haunted houses, corn mazes or walks for ghost hunters in your area.

Perhaps your happy Halloween is diminished by fear after all. You're worried about the kids on their trick or treat mission in the dark. You worry that you'll run out of cupcakes at the party. You fear vandals will trash your house with eggs and toilet paper. Take a deep breath and realize that Halloween is statistically no more dangerous than any other night. Be sure your kids carry flashlights, stick together, wear reflective tape and cross together at crosswalks.

Share with them the very real traffic concern and let them know they'll have to take the adults with them if they can't follow your rules. When planning a party, understand that not everything will be perfect and you can't guarantee that everyone will partake in the Halloween fun. Keep realistic expectations and relax with some witches brew!

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