Halloween is such a wonderful time of year for young and old alike. Children love dressing up and showing off their costumes while going from house to house trick or treating. In fact, trick or treating has been a fun tradition for years. However, there is also the worry of going house to house, especially to people that you don't know not to mention concerns over traffic. And while you may feel safe taking your younger children trick or treating you may be worried about your older kids who wish to gain some independance and go with their friends. You may worry that your children will get caught up in the excitement and wont use good judgment when out with their friends.

Luckily, there are many communities that have recognized the concerns that many parents have over trick or treating. In fact, some communities don't allow trick or treating at all, opting to have Halloween parties for the community instead. Other activities you may find include trick or treating from store to store at your local mall, Halloween parades and Halloween contests. Check your local newspaper, library or other community boards for activities in your area.

Other alternatives are Halloween activites sponsored by local churches. Growing up our local church had a Halloween party every year complete with a hay ride. In recent years they have also started a tradition with church members handing out candy in the church parking lot. Some churches offer this for just their members while others are open to the whole community.

Last but no least, how about hosting your own Halloween open house. You don't need to limit it to just the kids; invite family and friends for a fun night of games, scary music and good food. That way you can encourage anyone to stop by before, during or after trick or treating. If there will be different age groups there try to plan different activities depending on the age of the children. You can also enlist in friends and family to help by having everyone bring a dish to pass as well as treats to help fill Halloween bags. Have the older kids decorate and help plan fun Halloween activities for the little ones.

Halloween really is a fun time for anyone. Even without trick or treating in the traditional way your kids will have fun playing games and showing off their new costumes. You can think back to all the fun you had as a child and help your kids to build fun memories of their own!