Tips and tricks for a stress-free Halloween, from NPN staff

tips and tricks for a safe halloween

As parents of kids ranging from 2 months to twentysomethings, the NPN staff has survived a couple of decades of Halloweens in the city. Here’s our best advice.

“One year I bought LED fiber optic hair extension clips for my daughters’ butterfly costumes, and loved that it made them so easy to spot in the dark on a crowded sidewalk! Now we do those or something else that lights up every year.”— Elizabeth Knutson, NPN Executive Director

“For costume-shy toddlers, try at least one practice run before the big night. Last year, my daughter had zero interest in wearing her costume to her preschool party or the neighborhood parade. But by Halloween eve, she was ready and into it.”— Lauren Viera, Parent to Parent Managing Editor

“After a call to Poison Control, I can tell you that the liquid inside glow bracelets is non-toxic. However, that liquid is surrounded by a very thin glass cylinder. If your child walks up to you with a glow-in-the-dark mouth, don’t worry about the glowing, but do a check to make sure they don’t have any glass in their mouth.”— Amy Johnson, NPN Director of Partnerships and Programs

“When my kids were older and out trick-or-treating with friends, I would put reflective tape or paint on their shoes and candy container, so they would be seen by passing cars. I figured even if they managed to lose their shoes (happened more than I imagined), they would never misplace their Halloween candy.”— Jana Kline, NPN Advertising Operations Manager

Lauren Viera on keeping squirrels out of your jack-o-lantern:

For anyone—kid or grown-up—who takes pride in a well-carved pumpkin, there’s nothing more annoying than discovering that a menacing squirrel has been eating your masterpiece alive. While coexisting with urban squirrels is part of living in the city, we’ve read a few tips for keeping your pumpkin perky for the holiday:

  • Rub strong peppers or spray pepper-infused water over the pumpkin’s surface, repeating every few days.
  • Surround your pumpkin (don’t cover the surface) with distilled vinegar. You can place the pumpkin on a vinegar-dipped plate, or simply pour a ring around it.
  • Place your pumpkin on a throne of pet hair. Even when no pet is present, the hair alone will emit a territorial scent.
  • Spray your pumpkin with peppermint or garlic spray — both of which are incredibly strong to sensitive squirrel noses.
  • Sit an intimidating owl statue directly above your pumpkin to ward off pests and add to your spooky vibe.

Related articles:

The best neighborhoods in Chicago for trick-or-treating

For kids with allergies, teal is the new orange on Halloween

Make Halloween healthier without being a killjoy


Posted on September 18, 2019 at 1:25 PM