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 naturally lends itself to a family Halloween party, as parents are chaperones for their little trick-or-treaters, and everyone is in a festive mood.
These family Halloween party tips can help ensure all have a ghoulishly good time.
Plan a pre-trick-or-treating party for younger kids. Invite the grandparents and your child's friends and family.
An optimal number of party guests ranges between five 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 trick-or-treating 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.