Halloween can be a night of dark, scary things (especially if you have teenagers in the house.)
Even if you do, there are ways to make October 31 a family affair.
The night lends itself to kids parties, as parents are chaperones for their little trick-or-treaters.
So make it festive this year with a family Halloween party, complete with party decorations such as balloons in orange and black, and paper streamers.
These family Halloween party ideas can help.
Plan a pre-trick-or-treating party for younger kids. Invite the grandparents and your child's friends and family.
An optimal number of family Halloween party guests ranges between 5 and 10 kids and associated families.
Do it up for maximum impact: Give little pre-party favors: Give each kid a plastic pumpkin for trick-or-treating.
Serve healthy fast food. Cut cookies into fun pumpkin or cat shapes for a dessert treat; make ghoulish treats - such as spider-topped deviled eggs - part of your healthy finger food offerings.
Host a Halloween costume parade. Take a photo of each child in costume. Place it in their pumpkin. Give prizes (or ribbons) for each costume.
Send the young kids out first before dark (see number one, above).
Then they can help mom (or the grandparents) answer the door and hand out candy while the older kids are out on the prowl.
After the second round of trick-or-treaters returns, meet back at the house to count noses and compare takes. Dessert for the grown-ups. Candy (natch) for the kids.