You Needn’t Wait Until October 31
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s hard to ignore the displays of spooky decor, candy and costumes lining the aisles in stores everywhere. Halloween is one of the most decorated holidays of the season and offers people of all ages a variety of fun ways to celebrate. The festivities begin long before Oct. 31, so if you’re looking to get into the spirit, here are a few fun ways to celebrate Halloween this year:
“Boo” Family, Friends and Neighbors
Have you ever been “Boo-ed” before? It’s a wonderful way to spread Halloween fun and excitement. Basically, you assemble a package filled with Halloween-themed treats and/or activities (think inexpensive). Place a note or tag in the package letting the receiver know that they’ve been “Boo-ed” with instructions on what to do next (a quick Pinterest search will produce hundreds of free printables for this). Then drop the package off on the doorstep of an unsuspecting family member, friend or neighbor. The object of the game is to remain anonymous while engaging in some Halloween-spirited fun. The receiver of the package places the enclosed sign saying they’ve been “Boo-ed” on their door and creates their own package for the next “victim.”
Pumpkin Picking and Decorating
One of the oldest and most adored traditions for this holiday is pumpkin picking and decorating. It’s a fun activity that both children and adults enjoy. Get creative this year and use glow-in-the-dark glue or paint to decorate your pumpkin. It’s such a great way to channel your creativity and get into the Halloween spirit. (TIP: Challenge your neighbors to a pumpkin decorating contest, and invite trick or treaters to vote for the winner on Halloween night!)
Halloween-themed games are perfect for getting the kiddos excited about the coming holiday. Something as simple as a spider race, using straws and plastic spiders on a smooth surface, can produce a few laughs and lots of fun. Some of my favorite games are Pumpkin Ring Toss, Poke a Pumpkin and Make a Mummy. (TIP: Don’t forget to bring some Halloween-themed games to a Trick or Treat party. More on that below.)
Serve up a Spooky Meal
You can turn a normal weekday meal into a Halloween feast with only a few tweaks. Having pasta tonight? Why not purchase the green veggie pasta and cut some pieces of mozzarella into eyeball or ghost shapes? Use black olives for irises and/or ghost eyes, and don’t forget to add some blood-red pasta sauce.
Halloween-Themed Movie Nights
Start a new tradition or keep up an old one by pulling out your Halloween movies for the month. This is a great way to spend time together as a family and prepare for the festivities. Whether it’s Hocus Pocus or Toy Story of Terror, the kids will appreciate a Halloween-themed movie, and for added effect you can serve the popcorn out of a cauldron.
Trunk or Treat
For Moms with little ones, Trunk or Treat events are one of the easiest ways to have fun without having to do much or go far. Find or organize a Trunk or Treat event in your neighborhood and have fun decorating your trunk, along with your neighbors.
Fish out that black and orange construction paper and get to making some great decor and keepsakes. From easy construction paper pumpkins to cheesecloth ghosts, children love to create holiday crafts. You can use what you already have around the house and make things more interesting by creating the challenge to do so. Reuse plastic bottles for ghosts and give them personality with painted faces, or cut out large spider webs from garbage bags. The possibilities are endless, inexpensive and fun for everyone.
Visit an Amusement Park
Who says you can only wear your costume on Halloween? Make good use of your spooky (or fun) getup, and head over to an amusement park. Both Sea World and Fiesta Texas celebrate Halloween throughout the fall, making scheduling a breeze. Take a look online or call ahead of time to see which events are age-appropriate for your children, then suit up and have fun!
Host a Haunted House (or visit one!)
Haunted houses are one of the most beloved Halloween traditions. If your kiddos are old enough to enjoy it, visiting a good haunted house is likely to make some great memories. If you’re up to the challenge, creating your own haunted house can also be a lot of fun and will score you lots of points with the neighborhood kids! What better way to celebrate than to have the fun come to you? It doesn’t have to be too complicated, and there are plenty of great ideas on the internet just ready to be put to good use. Don’t be afraid to be scary.
Trick or Treat Party
With Halloween falling on a weekday this year, it’s a little more difficult for busy families to celebrate. Between the after-work commute, dinner preparation and tending to regular weekday activities, there’s not much time left before bedtime. However, throwing or attending a Trick or Treat Party is a great way to celebrate. It allows friends to eat, trick or treat and celebrate together. This not only saves loads of time for working parents, but is safer and more fun. Find out what your friends are doing, and have a get-together this Halloween!
By Pamela V. Miller