Prepping for Halloween is a tradition my family really gets into. Not to brag, but our outdoor decor is so spooktacular, that even the garbage men have stopped their truck to comment. Aside from decorating, we plan the perfect costumes, buy bags and bags of candy for the big night, and gather with neighbors to eat chili before heading out for the door-to-door action. But each year, the same subject always comes up in our neighborhood: what time should kids trick-or-treat? Because there are different factors that influence the answer. Each year can be a little different, so it's a good idea to revisit this question each Halloween.
One of the main factors influencing start time for trick-or-treating is sundown. Most little ghouls and goblins feel a little more mischievous collecting candy once daylight has faded. To determine when dusk will roll across your county, visit the website Sunrise Sunset, where you can enter your city and state to see what time the sun will go down on Halloween. For little pumpkins who need to climb into bed earlier, you may want to begin your trick-or-treating trek about 30 minutes before the sun is completely down, so they have a little time to run around in the dark, but don't stay up too late.
Since older kids are able to stay up a little later (especially on nights of a special occasion), you have a little more wiggle room on what time to get started. The big kid crew may want to wait until it's good and dark before they set off into the night to ring door bells and score candy.
Another plus to waiting to trick-or-treat instead of hitting the streets early, is that it gives families some down time together after kids come home from school and parents come home from work, as International Business Times pointed out.
If you want to make sure you have best for trick-or-treating, turn to the trusty powers of Google to help you discover if there is a suggested timeframe for your area. I searched for start times in Nashville, where I live, and a website for a local television station had a detailed breakout by area for trick-or-treat times. Try searching your area for start times so you don't miss out on any fun this Halloween.