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Waiting for Nightfall on Halloween Day: The Longest Day for Children

Updated on August 12, 2015

Plus some safety gear below.

Waiting to go trick or treating on Halloween day always seemed to take forever when I was little, and I can tell that my children feel the same way.

The day seemed to drag on and on. Christmas, at least once you fall asleep it goes by quickly. The waiting is handled for you while you are having visions of sugarplums dance in your head.

Halloween day for a child is spending all day waiting for nightfall. Most of the time, children wait for daybreak to watch cartoons, video games, to go out and play, or go to school. The wait time is really very short. On Halloween, kids are awake and the wait is all day long. The hype has been going on for weeks.

Halloween is a very important event for most children. It's one of the few times you can stay up really late, get free candy, and if lucky, watch a scary movie or two.

Picture by: Joe Thomissen

School Bus
School Bus

Why does it seem to take so long?

School is in session

I was lucky enough to go to a school that celebrated holidays, especially Halloween, and I fondly remember the costume contests, even winning "Scariest Costume" one year, when I went as the "Midnight Marauder."

My children aren't as fortunate. Most schools have ceased Halloween festivities.

Have you ever seen a child on Halloween day? Nothing gets done in school, all the kids are hyped up for trick or treating. I think the schools should harness that excitement and use it for learning.

Photo by: Gregg Jerdingen

The waiting...

...and waiting, and waiting, and waiting

Finally, once school is out, you get home and...have to wait longer. Parents to get home, dinner to eat, costumes to get ready. Meanwhile, your mind is racing 100 miles per hour.

What route to take? How long can we stay out? Will my parents drive me to a nice neighborhood for the good candy?

Important stuff for a kid.

Buzz and Woody in costume
Buzz and Woody in costume

Getting Ready for Halloween

Finally, the parents are home, dinner has been eaten and it's time to get ready. Costumes are donned, accessories are lost (and found again), and an impromptu laser/gun fight ensues. Finally, it is time to go Trick or Treating.

Mom, of course, wants to take pictures before you go out.

"Closer to your brother Buzz" she says, "and a real smile. Hold still"


of course Woody is now looking away. Too late...

With that the kids are off. Nightfall has finally arrived, and there is candy to be had.

Photo: My two oldest sons.

Halloween Safety

As it turns out, the belief that candy can contain dangerous things like pins, razors, and poison, is mostly a myth, see Snopes. Snopes is a great site for checking facts, myths, and urban legends.

Children being hit by vehicles are a real problem, and about twice as many child fatalities occur per Halloween, compared to every other day.

Which holiday wait seems longest to you?

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Christmas holiday wait seems longest to me. I never miss to enjoy it. Thanks for the lens.

    • MariePalmer LM profile image

      MariePalmer LM 

      4 years ago

      Christmas is the longest for me. I love it.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I agree. For a child that day is the longest wait. Great lens.

    • SamuraiMarine profile image

      Samuel Wright 

      4 years ago from Bakersfield, Ca.

      While I was never thrilled about participating in Halloween as a child, as far as dressing up, I did and still do enjoy the day.

      Any more, for me, it is like getting to peek into the minds of the people that are dressing up. With children, you see the shows that they like to watch or the stories that they either have read or have had read to them, or in some cases, you see their dreams. With Adults, You sometimes see the darker, or malicious side of them. Maybe even the naughty side.

      I think it is pretty interesting, in all.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      I think if I was a young child, it would take a very long time for Halloween to come around.

    • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

      Devin Gustus 

      5 years ago

      @violetanarusevi: Actually, I appreciate the link!

    • violetanarusevi profile image

      Violeta Naruseviciute 

      5 years ago from Bristol, England


      A very useful lens. I hope you do not mind for me including a link to it at my blog post here:

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Cool Ideas!

    • KathyZ1 profile image


      5 years ago

      Congs on your LOTD. I love Christmas too.

    • NatureFan LM profile image

      NatureFan LM 

      5 years ago

      Definitely Christmas, but Halloween is a very close second. It's tied with Thanksgiving where we get up early to watch the parade and the visiting family seem to never want to leave by the end of the night! :)

    • Grifts profile imageAUTHOR

      Devin Gustus 

      5 years ago

      @merfzel: Thanks!

    • merfzel profile image


      5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Christmas! Love the lens... cute pic of kids :)

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 

      5 years ago from Czech Republic

      Christmas! Absolutely! :)

    • Meganhere profile image


      5 years ago

      All of them.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens, saw it featured on IMMINENT! The âNightfallâ Highlight Reel

      I can still remember (and that was a long time ago LOL) the day of school on Halloween, it just wouldn't end, all we could think of was trick-or-treating that night LOL


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