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Safe and fun Halloween for kids in Chicago: Progressive Trick or Treat

AP Photo /Larry Crowe

Trick-or-treating might be less fun for parents who are concerned with all the risks of taking the kids out to unfamiliar houses, especially at night.  A great way to create a safer and more comfortable environment, for both parents and kids, is to plan your own "Progressive Trick-or-Treat."

The idea has been used for years for adult dinner and cocktail parties, but it is easily adapted to Halloween.  The first step is to enlist other parents who are interested in maximizing Halloween fun.  (Your friends or your child's friends are a great place to start.  Other school or playgroup families would be great additions as well.)  Ideally, you'll want to include about a dozen houses.  But, if you are planning more elaborate activities at each stop, you can plan for as few as six.  Or if you're looking for a more traditional trick-or-treat experience, you can get plan for a couple dozen houses, as long as the homes are a reasonable walking distance for little legs.

The beauty of the Progressive Party is that you don't have to stick to store bought candy!  Each host has the freedom to offer trick-or-treaters wonderful options.  You could:

Because you are among friends, you can feel more comfortable to get creative and make Halloween unforgettable.  You can even make the celebration last longer than usual by having all the families meet at the last home for some apple cider or a festive Halloween treat or just to watch a movie that fits the theme, like Haunted Mansion or Nightmare Before Christmas.

If you have friends who may not be a walkable distance from your home, they aren't automatically excluded.  (Inviting families from outside your neighborhood could even open up new possibilities, like creating a trick-or-treat treasure map of stops.)  You can even add locations such as local parks as their trick-or-treat stop, if they want to participate, or put them in charge of a special treat (or trick) at the final stop.

And just because your house is part of the progressive doesn't mean you have to ignore regular trick-or-treaters.  You can still keep a bowl of store bought candy by the dooor for other kids in the neighborhood.

Happy Haunting!


  • Kim 5 years ago

    Owl cookies are my favorite!

  • Cheri 5 years ago

    Great idea for a safe - and warm (I'm not big on the treat or treat in the cold thing) Halloween! I've made the "Mummy Dogs", they are a great halloween treat, even for adults!

  • sher 5 years ago

    A new and interesting alternative to the usual trick-or-treating.

  • Marge 5 years ago

    Sounds like a fun & safe Halloween to me! Don't forget to stop at Grandma's house!