3 reasons we wish every day could be more like Halloween

Parents these days love to reminisce about what things were like when they were kids—when the streets were safe and everyone played outside until the streetlights came on. 

That night still comes once a year – on Halloween.

Every October 31, I clap eyes on every single child I know in the entire neighbourhood on one night (some more recognizable than others in their fairy/firefighter/mummy get-ups). Everyone is out, walking in groups, interacting with each other, having fun, seeing and meeting their neighbours—and because of this, everyone turns their porch lights on, cars slow down and kids are given leeway to roam around without someone’s hand on their shoulder at all times.  It’s downright walkable neighbourhood utopia!

Ok, so the copious amounts of candy aren’t the healthiest thing on the agenda, but it’s amazing how many blocks a child will trek with a heavy bag in tow when there is a great incentive. From a physical activity perspective, it’s really what I’d love to see more of. 

I think there’s something liberating about Halloween for kids—you get to do all the things that you’re not normally allowed to do: wear weird clothes, talk to strangers, eat huge amounts of candy, walk the sidewalks after dark and see all your friends outside on the block. It reinforces many of the good things we know about living in a healthy community. Here are some great things that are reinforced on Halloween that I’d love to hold onto year round:

1. There is safety in numbers

When children are in groups, or traveling in packs with a parent as supervisor, they are more noticeable to cars, they are less likely to get lost and they have someone nearby to help them if needed, which makes the outdoors a safer place.   

2. Outside is more fun when everyone else is outside, too

The reason playing outside was THE BEST when I was a kid was that all my friends were out there, too. That’s when we made up games, played hide-and-seek and created our own imaginary worlds.

3. Walking is one of the best ways to get places

Many people jump into a car without even thinking about it. Not only is walking fast, efficient and good for your body, it lets you interact with your neighbours as you pass by, notice things in your environment and appreciate the weather, the bugs, the leaves and the natural pace at which your children operate (warning – it’s never as fast as their busy parents would like. And I think that’s the point.)

Turns out I’m officially an adult. I like the facepaint and the Coffee Crisps. But I love the healthy, active, fun-loving community spirit that comes out of the woodwork on Halloween even more.