Complete Guide to Trick-or-Treating This Halloween

October 31st is so close, we can almost taste it!

Halloween is right around the corner which means trick-or-treating is too! Sure there's pumpkin carving and DIY costume making, but do those spooky season activities allow for mad dashes from house to house in an attempt to reach the ultimate sugar high? No!

In an effort to collect the most — and make the most — of your Halloween this year, there are a handful of guidelines you'll want to follow in preparation for the big event. (And don't forget about your Halloween costume! That's just as important.)

Between the time trick-or-treating begins and the safety measures to keep in mind, here's everything to know about the highlight of the holiday.

What day does trick-or-treating fall on this Halloween

Halloween, aka Oct. 31, falls on a Monday this year, so be sure to plan accordingly.

What time does trick-or-treating start this Halloween

Typically, the time trick-or-treating begins depends on the age of the trick-or-treaters. The younger kids tend to get at an earlier start before sundown, while older children often go later in the night when it starts to get dark outside.

Some towns, though, have issued an official start time for trick-or-treating depending on which state you live in. Be sure to check with your city's local news outlet for specifics.

Is there a trick-or-treating curfew this Halloween?

Whether you run out of candy to give out, you can't fit any more treats in your bag, or your legs are simply too tired from trekking around your neighborhood, trick-or-treating — unfortunately — must come to an end at some point.

For most cities and towns in years past, trick-or-treating has wrapped up around 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. — but similar to the trick-or-treating start times, be sure to check with your local news outlet to be aware of any curfews put into place on Halloween this year.

What health and safety measures should be taken while trick-or-treating this Halloween?

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gary Kirkilas, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, offered a set of easy do's and don'ts for keeping you and your kids safe on Halloween with PEOPLE.

"In general, I tell parents that outdoor activities are always best. So if you're doing outdoor trick-or-treating, that's a perfect way to enjoy the season," Kirkilas told PEOPLE ahead of Halloween in 2021.

As for the ideal number of people in your trick-or-treating pack, Kirkland said it depends on the group's age and their vaccination status.

"If you were vaccinated, there's really no issue," he explained. "And of course, that implies the child is 12 and up, and eligible for vaccine, and that they did get the vaccine. If you're 12 and up, I don't think it should really matter how many are in your group."

"(But) If you're unvaccinated, or the child is under the age of 12, I would recommend single households only trick-or-treating together," Kirkland added.

When is the best time to buy candy to give out to trick-or-treaters this Halloween?

Let's be real, is there ever really a wrong time to buy candy? While the short answer is "no," the long answer is "yes" — and here's why. Amid supply chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, candy companies are struggling to meet consumer demand.

According to Hershey CEO Michele Buck, Reuters reported that the company is facing a shortage of essential ingredients such as cocoa and edible oil. In order to source the ingredients it needs, Hershey is now having to locate other suppliers, which is both costly and time-consuming.

Despite the confection catastrophe, there are a ton of new candies hitting the shelves this year. So before Halloween night rolls around, go taste-test them in preparation for the sweetest holiday of the year!

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