I remember back in the day when my dad would take my cousins and I trick-or-treating in the rich neighborhoods, armed with empty pillowcases and disguised in homemade Halloween costumes. He would tell us to run as fast as we could so we could cover as much ground as possible during the two-hour window when we were allowed to bang on strangers’ doors and demand they give us free candy. By the end of the night, we’d be exhausted and would usually fall asleep while our candy was checked for tampering.

Those were the days.

Now that I have kids, Halloween is a bit different. First of all, the world has changed and taking candy from strangers is even scarier than it used to be. While I don’t want my kids to feel left out, I also know that it’s my responsibility to keep them safe.

So, what’s a mom to do?

I’ve found that church events are an awesome alternative to trick-or-treating. Every year, my kids dress up in their costumes of choice (as long as they’re not evil) and we head to church for lots of games, prizes, food, and a bag full of candy. And I don’t have to inspect every little piece of candy to make sure it didn’t come from some psycho.

Shop CostumeKingdom.com

Plus, let’s be real… I was never too thrilled about the idea of running around at night, in the cold, trying to keep up with my costumed kids among a stampede of other costumed kids, while pretending that I’m not afraid of all the creepy decorations and people jumping out of the bushes at me.

But if you’re the Halloween type and you decide to take your kiddos out for a scare, here a few tips from SafeKids.org

  • Tell your kids to put electronic devices down and keep their heads up.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

And, in true ALM fashion, here’s a coupon for ya…

Receive 20% Off Any One Item at Spirit Halloween! Use code: 20OFF2014. Shop the best selection of Co

Have a safe and happy Halloween!