Even though the economy is still recovering and consumers are still struggling celebrating Halloween is more popular than ever, in part because Halloween celebrations can really cement a community. When Trick or Treating was the most popular, during the 1950sand 60s, all the neighborhood kids would be out in costumes on Halloween night Trick or Treating with parents in tow. Neighbors would good naturedly compete to see who could create the scariest decorations. Coming together to celebrate a holiday will build a community and it will also give the people who live in the neighborhood the opportunity to meet their neighbors and to get an idea of who belongs in the neighborhood, which can be important for safety. These days with people moving in and out of neighborhoods frequently Halloween is the perfect way to get to know the neighbors, no matter where you live. Here are some fun community building activities you can do this Halloween with your neighbors to make Halloween a community event:

Set up Trick or Treating stations with neighbors – When you take your kids and go out Trick or Treating you are losing the chance to meet all the neighbors who would bring their kids to your house to Trick or Treat. A lot of single parents miss out on the social part of Trick or Treating because of this. So this year band together with some other parents in the neighborhood and set up Trick or Treat stations. Choose one home and set up tables in the driveway that will be well stocked with Halloween candy and treats. Have one person stay and meet and greet the Trick or Treaters while another person takes the kids out around the neighborhood, and switch off throughout the night so all the parents in the group get the chance to stay at the table for a little while and they also get to go out with their kids.

Have a Halloween Open Haunted House – This is a great way to meet the other families in your neighborhood. Turn your house or garage into a haunted house for the evening and invite the entire neighborhood to come see your scary handiwork and get treats. If you want to up the ante challenge a friend in the neighborhood to a “haunt off” and see who can get the most votes from the other neighbors for having the best haunted house.

Set up a Halloween Music and Light Show– When you’re decorating your house for Halloween don’t just use lights and traditional decorations. Use LED lights, computer software and music to create a real music and light show. It’s not difficult to use the software to create a professional looking Halloween music and light show and everyone in the neighborhood will come out to see your fantastic decorations. That’s the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to all your neighbors. Just make sure that if you have a HOA you check the rules for holiday decorations first.