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Make trick-or-treating fun in rural areas

Halloween is a day for ghouls and goblins, tricks and treats. Halloween is a child's dream, and some of the more indelible images associated with this beloved holiday feature neighborhood children ringing doors all across suburbia and urban centers. But country kids celebrate Halloween, too.

Did you know that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, urban areas make up just 3 percent of the land area of the United States? Twenty percent of the population calls the countryside home. The numbers are quite similar in Canada, where Statistics Canada indicates roughly 18 percent of the population resides in rural areas.

Children who live in rural areas can still experience the magic of Halloween. They just may need to be a little more creative in their pursuit of candy.

Designate a driver

Many children in rural areas find the distances between two houses are simply too great to walk. As a result, youngsters need the help of a parent or older sibling to helm the wheel and take them around to various homes in the area. The process can be made even more festive by listening to spooky songs along the way and decorating the vehicle with some Halloween imagery.

Head to town

Another work-around to rural Halloween celebrations is to move the trick-or-treating to an area where homes are closer together. It's not uncommon for children to trick-or-treat in their friends' or relatives' neighborhoods — even if they live in urban or suburban areas. Rural kids can make plans with friends from school and traverse new neighborhoods for their candy.

Gather at shopping centers

Shopping malls, strip malls, supermarkets, and other retailers often have candy on hand for trick-or-treaters who like the safety of being in highly trafficked areas. These can be viable spots to meet up for trick-or-treating.

Organize a meeting spot

Rural residents can coordinate a Halloween mixer at a community center, school or another building with a lot of space. The gathering also may take place at a farm or corn maze. Each family can contribute a snack and/or some candy, and the children can have fun together.

Trick-or-treating can be enjoyable regardless of whether one lives in a rural area or close to a town.

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