It’s officially October, which means I can start my month-long countdown to Halloween! Halloween is one of those holidays that becomes twice as fun when you have a kid. But, as I found out when my daughter was born, it can also get twice as complicated to plan your Halloween fun when you have a baby or toddler in tow. To help you get the most out of your spooky celebrations this year, here is our guide to Halloween in Houston with your little!
The Best Costumes for Tiny Houstonians
With so many adorable choices for baby costumes, it can be hard to know what to choose. After much costume experimentation with my 2-year-old, here is my Halloween mantra: Not too heavy, not too uncomfortable, not too long.
On Lana’s first Halloween, several little friends were dressed in adorable, full-body animal costumes. There were bears, lions, and elephants. Unfortunately, it was nearly ninety degrees outside, and the poor babies were sweltering. Before long, the costumes came off. Chances are, it’ll still be hot in October, so think twice before buying costumes that will envelop your little in heavy fabrics.
The other frequent error of first-time costume buyers? Assuming your kid will wear that uncomfortable-but-adorable top, mask, or hat. I’m guilty of this one – I bought Lana a super-cool witch costume last year, and, of course, she refused to wear the hat. So instead of a witch, she was a toddler in a cute orange-and-black dress. In my experience, most littles will put up a fight against headgear, wings, and most other accessories. Clothing that itches is also a no-no.
And finally, if you have a walker, make sure the costume is not so long that he or she will be tripping over it! Costume sizes can be different from sizes in regular clothing brands, and a toppling toddler could put a real wrench in your trick-or-treating plans!
If you’re still looking for your baby’s costume, check out the funny, spooky, and simply adorable choices here!
Trick or Treating, Baby Style
Speaking of trick-or-treating, here’s how to make your first outing with baby a success.
First, know where you’re going. Don’t just assume that a neighborhood is going to be a great spot for candy – check with more experienced parents. On Lana’s first Halloween, we made the mistake of assuming that our apartment building, which has a fair number of families, would be a nice, compact spot for trick-or-treating. Alas, it was dead on Halloween night.
In addition to choosing the right neighborhood, make sure you ask veteran parents what specific streets are best (have sidewalks, good lighting, lots of houses participate, etc). And find out when the fun usually starts. On our second Halloween, we checked out the Heights, known for great trick-or-treating. But, we came too early and started on the wrong streets. It was only after we met up with a friend who lives in the area and waited for it to get dark that we found the great trick-or-treating streets that everyone talks about.
Once you’ve found a great spot, your little superheroes and zoo animals will probably not last very long walking from house to house. A wagon, stroller, push car, or whatever mode of transportation they prefer is essential for keeping them happy and getting to more than 2 or 3 houses over the course of an evening.
Finally, if you’re not from Houston, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of the “Trunk or Treat” tradition. Coming from the Northeast, this was totally new to us. Here’s how it works: a bunch of people park their cars next to each other (often at a church), and each offers candy from the car’s trunk. It’s a much more compact version of traditional trick-or-treating. We checked one out, thinking that short distances sounded perfect for a toddler. And, indeed, Lana enjoyed going from car to car and getting candy. The biggest downside? It was over in 10 minutes! So, if a trunk-or-treat is on your schedule, be aware that this is not all-night entertainment.