Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. Christmas and Easter are pretty spectacular too. But, Halloween takes the cake. As I age, I realize more and more that holidays are best when we can take out all superficial gift giving and large commercial purchases. Holidays have a tendency to drain us mentally, socially, and financially. It’s a lot of pressure. And being a busy working mom with young kids I need some time management most of the time. But Halloween is different. It’s such a fun day that blends costumes, creativity and everything pumpkin. I enjoy seeing the children with the smiles on their faces as they run door-to-door trick-or-treating. I love the costume parades at school and the creepy decorations around the neighborhood.
In our San Francisco Bay Area neighborhood, Halloween is a big deal. At dusk, hundreds of children make their way into Alameda and line our streets for trick-or-treating. My children are young and love to take a lap around our neighborhood, but they are always moving quickly so they can return home to pass out the candy. That’s the part they love.
We purchase candy bags that have 1000 pieces to make it safely through the night. And, we don’t even bother to shut our front door. With the hordes of people that come in waves, we simply sit on the stairs of our porch and toss the candy into the bags of the visitors. It is a safe and happy event, and the families that stop by to trick-or-treat seem very appreciative. As we delve deeper into the night and the candy supply dwindles, we close our door and turn off the lights. I could argue that in our neighborhood there is definitely way too much candy being passed around, but the kids love it, and that is all that matters.
There are more ways to celebrate Halloween than Trick-or-Treating. Here are some other ideas:
Even if you live in quiet suburbia, there is usually a nearby community that goes all out with the decorations. Children love driving by homes to see the lawn ornaments and ghoulish decorations. There may be some local events or festivals happening in your area. Some communities put together haunted houses or corn mazes. The Kidfriendlyvenues.com app will give you lists of all the major attractions in your area as well as shops for all your Halloween purchases. Just one bit of caution: if you have a child that is easily scared, you may want to sniff out the scene before committing your child to nightmares.
Invite friends over for a movie night. If scary movies won’t be universally accepted, consider a household favorite, such as Beetlejuice. You could abandon Halloween themes altogether and pick some Disney classics. If you’re feeling creative, bring out some Halloween-themed snacks. By converting your typical snacks into witches’ fingers, meatloaf skulls, and spider cupcakes you will definitely have a fun night. Check out our kidfriendlyvenues.com app for bakeries, cinemas and video stores if you want to make this night super easy to provide.
Art with pumpkins is super easy and doesn’t require an art degree. All you need are some carving tools and the pumpkins. If you don’t want the mess of carving, you could opt for pumpkin painting. In our category of Arts, Crafts and Music on KFV app you will find venues that are advertising Halloween-themed special events.
If you or your children like to bake, you could kill an entire evening creating everything pumpkin: Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, the list goes on and on.
This is a popular way for both kids and adults to celebrate Halloween. Whether it's a gathering with a few friends or a large group, dressing up in costumes is a fun and creative way to get into the spirit of the holiday. There are endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a costume – from classic characters like witches and vampires to more modern pop culture references. The KFV app has a category entitled 'Retail' and with a search filter of 'costumes' you can find shops in your area. Some people even have themed group costumes for added fun. Have everyone vote for the best costumes and give out awards to the winners.
Who doesn’t like scavenger hunts? You can stop at the local dollar-store and pick up some small Halloween-themed trinkets to hide around your neighborhood. Candy is also fun to hide. Searching for these items with a well-written map will make everyone a winner.
For those who love solving puzzles and challenges, an escape room is the perfect Halloween activity. You can find Halloween-themed escape rooms in your area or even create your own at home with a DIY kit. It's a fun and interactive way to celebrate the holiday while getting your adrenaline pumping.
Halloween is a holiday that has something for everyone. Whether you prefer spooky thrills or creative activities, there are plenty of options to choose from. Alternative activities not only add variety to your celebrations but also provide opportunities to bond with your loved ones. So gather your friends and family, put on your best costume, and have a spooktacular time celebrating this fun and festive occasion!