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How to Tell Your Kids They’re Spending Halloween Watching the Astros

”Good news, kids! The Astros have the chance to win the World Series tonight. Oh, and you’re not going trick-or-treating.”

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A young fan looks on before game four of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Photograph by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Forget the ghost stories and elaborate decorations—there’s nothing scarier to kids than the prospect of a candy-free Halloween. Unfortunately, Halloween 2017’s prime trick-or-treating time overlaps with an event even more exceptional than parents allowing their children to accept candy from strangers: The chance for the Astros to win the World Series. If the ‘Stros win in LA on All Hallows’ Eve, they’ll take the Commissioner’s Trophy back to Houston for the first time in franchise history.

So Texas parents with young children are facing a conundrum: What’s the best way to break it to costumed children that they’ll be watching baseball instead of trick-or-treating on Tuesday? Fear not, devoted parents and Astros fans. We’ve got a few tips on how to give your kids a Halloween experience they’ll never forget—without making you miss the game.

The buddy system

To satisfy the yung’uns’ itch to beg door-to-door, do a quick scout of the neighborhood and identify safe places . . . for Astros fans. Listen for Joe Buck’s voice at full blast, and look for Astros hats on top of skeletons. Rather than cooing over your child’s costume, the fine residents of these homes will deliver candy expediently and get back to the game—just like you want to do. You might even get a score update.

Costume contest

After the kids are shepherded inside and you’re settled in front of the game, keep them busy with the most classic of Halloween activities: a costume contest—but with a twist. Send them around the house to look for things to recreate their favorite beards of the World Series. Washable markers could work, but offer bonus points for creativity (still, we’d double-check the materials used for anybody who picks Dallas Keuchel).

Game interaction

Of course, Astros fans will still want to share this special moment in history with their kids. Get them to root for the home team by allowing them to binge candy during the time it takes an Astros hitter to round the bases on a home run. Alternatively, if things get slow, teach them about the fickle nature of pitch consistency with “pin the ball in the strike-zone.” Even with blindfolds on, they might still be better at it than Ken Giles!

Seventh-inning stretch

For a ghoulish recreation of the big-screen games played at the park between innings, put a fake eyeball under an upside-down Solo cup and get the kids to keep track as it’s shuffled around. In true Minute Maid Park fashion, whoever can keep their eye on the (eye)ball wins a can of Goya beans! OK, and maybe some candy too.

Spooky walk-up

At the commercial break, each kid gets to pick one scary song and perform their dramatic walk up to home plate, where they strike the scariest zombie and vampire poses they can think of. The best part? To win top marks, they have to hold the pose until the next commercial break, so they don’t bug you during the game. Watch your kids perform “Thriller” and “Time Warp,” and then be perfectly still little monsters through a whole inning.

Tales from the diamond

During commercial breaks, hit the lights, grab a flashlight, and gather everyone around for a short, bone-chilling story: “Let me tell you about the 2005 World Series . . . ”

 

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  • St. Anger

    My kids, 9 and 12, have both independently decided that this is the first year they go out without parents.

    Perfect timing.

  • Amy Brown

    Genius!

  • Dana Hill

    Weird as it sounds, there are people out there who do not care about the Astros. Have your kids join their kids!!