My friend, Lynn Cory, author of Neighborhood Initiative and the Love of God, has this to say about Halloween:
“Halloween is the only day of the year when many of our neighbors come to our homes. Don’t miss this great opportunity to be at home when they stop by. Let’s be hospitable!”
Here are some of his helpful suggestions…
Prior to Halloween:
Invite neighbor kids over with their parents for a pumpkin carving night.
Before Halloween, have a make-your-own trick-or-treat bag craft time. Set up a table with plain grocery bags, markers, glue sticks, stickers, and paints.
Have a neighborhood pumpkin-picking outing event. Check the phone book for local pick-your-own pumpkin patches. Make it a neighborhood tradition!
Organize a Halloween costume parade and contest in your neighborhood. Send out flyers to all the neighbors letting them know when and where the parade will be. Have everyone gather before you all go off to trick-or-treat. Serve donuts and cider.
Water giveaway on warm evenings.
Hot chocolate, cider, or hot coffee, giveaway on cooler evenings.
Set up an outdoor picture-taking event for kids in costumes. (Use a digital or Polaroid camera so children have their photos right away.)
Harvest games (ex. beanbag toss in wooden jack-o’-lantern.)
Halloween Bounce House – One church rented 30 bounce houses for those in their congregation to put up in their front yards on Halloween.
Barbeque hamburgers and/or hot dogs in the front yard and include waters.
Put out chairs in the front yard, so neighbors can sit down for a while and rest and drink something. One pastor moved his living room furniture, including lamps, out on the front lawn and made his place very inviting.
Decorate your front yard with bales of hay that kids can sit on or can be used for taking pictures. One pastor has a “Dachshund Coral.” He puts out bales of hay in his fenced in front yard with a couple of Dachshunds and the fun begins. Hundreds of kids show up to have their pictures taken.
Take treats to elderly neighbors who would appreciate the attention.
Join together with other neighbors from the neighborhood for Halloween. This allows you an evening to spend time talking with other neighbors.
Be creative, what idea do you have?