Here in the desert, fall and the Halloween season are quite different from many other places in the country.

Growing up in Colorado, I had to plan my childhood costumes around my parka as Halloween seemingly always saw snow. Here, kids can trick-or-treat in tank tops, and heavier costumes might have them sweating through their suits.

Beyond costume planning, the harshest effect of the Arizona heat on Halloween may be how it wilts jack-o'-lanterns. While they're rarely month-long decorations, carved pumpkins see an especially short lifetime in the desert heat.

If you want to avoid seeing your hard work turned to mush, here are some alternative options for Halloween decoration: