trick o treat Maui dad

Halloween for dads – Halloween is coming. You’re a father now. The days of running around throwing toilet paper in the trees of your neighborhood are (mostly) gone, but Halloween can still be a ton of fun through the eyes of your child.

First things first, beware of tricks. When I was a child the fear over razor blades in apples and poison in candy was literally insane. Truth is there has only been one recorded case of Halloween candy poisoning (via cyanide, sadly having been done by a child’s own father). Another death involved a child finding and consuming an Uncle’s drug stash, whereby it was blamed on Halloween candy. Don’t believe everything you hear in the media – there are no known cases of children sliced by a razor apple or killed by candy from trick or treating.

Next thing is take your pumpkin carving seriously. If you haven’t lived here for over a year, you need to know that a Maui pumpkin will start to grow mold and decompose in less than 24 hours post carve…so saving it for the night before or even the afternoon of Halloween is advised. And a fun place to pick out your pumpkin is up in Kula at Kula Country Farms on lower Kula Road opposite Rice Park.

Cut the top out of your gourd and let your kid go nuts playing with guts. Draw your pumpkin face in pencil first, then sharpie, then cut it. The more pumpkins you get, the more practice you’ll have. You can even get your child to help draw the face and watch in delight when their face lights up like their Jack O’ lanterns.

And don’t forget to use the pumpkin seeds, another great job the kids will enjoy. Use two bowls of water, one for the guts and one for the seeds that have been picked out. Or you could rinse the guts and separate the seeds in a strainer. When you are finished with the separation process, pat the seeds dry and lay them on a cookie sheet with a small amount of oil and salt and bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes/until brown, flipping halfway through with a spatula. You could also sprinkle some cinnamon on top before serving.

Last thing is get a costume, even a lame one. Disco-guy, Athlete, Cowboy, Pirate, something. Your child will really appreciate your taking the time to dress up. Get into it. Work on some moves, a couple of stock character lines,etc. Or if you’re feeling inspired you can step up your dress up or co-ordinate a tandem costume with your child and really impress.

What ever you do – have fun. Halloween is a great holiday that we fathers can really get involved in and have a lot of fun with our kids.

Image Credit: Rebecca Moses

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Joseph Stafford grew up in Pennsylvania, went to college and moved to Hawaii for a job as a DOE School Psychologist and met Kristen. They married and have two wonderful kids, Emily and Sam. You can contact him at