Three Ways To Celebrate Halloween At Home. No Trick!
My 7-year-old’s costume bin is filled with possibilities. In the morning, my son can attend a fancy dress party in Neverland as Peter Pan and then in the afternoon fly off to the desert for sandcastle building as Aladdin. Playing dress-up has always been a fun way for my little guy to express his creativity, and every year his kiddie-cosplay excitement spills over into Halloween.
Right after the Easter Bunny drops off his basket, my kid begins planning his Halloween costume. His ideas are discussed and discarded and finally, his outfit choice is stated with a grand proclamation: “Mom and Dad, for Halloween I’ve decided I don’t want to dress up as Buzz Lightyear, or a ghost, or Donald O’Connor. I want to be…Indiana Jones.”
My kid takes this holiday very seriously. This year, however, this family is serious about bringing Halloween indoors. Our social distancing practices are making our usual door-to-door trick-or-treating adventures look a whole lot different. The change is seriously disappointing my little guy, so we’ve come up with some solutions to keep the spooky spirit of Halloween alive with all the treats and none of the tricks. Here are some boo-tiful activities we’ve come up with so far.
1. Make a neighborhood scavenger hunt: Get ready for a fun family trip around the neighborhood! Make a checklist (or find a free printable one available online) and look for fake spider webs, spooky decorations, ghostly lights, a scary skeleton, or anything else that your imagination can devise! This is a great way for you and your family to treat yourself to some quality bonding time and a fun way to build up the excitement of Halloween. Hunting for haunting holiday-themed items is also an activity you can use in place of trick-or-treating if you’re staying close to home.
2. Create an in-house candy treasure hunt with clues: “Treasure hunts on rainy days are grand, especially when it leads you to where the umbrellas stand.” With the riddle solved, I see a flash of a kid running to our umbrella stand. My son cheers when he finds another hidden clue. This pattern continues until he solves the very last question that leads him to a waiting treasure. My kid loves a classic treasure hunt, and Halloween is the perfect backdrop to bust out a mysterious hunt for ghostly treasure. To create your own quest at home, start with a clue that leads to a location or another item. Then, have a question waiting in that spot. Continue with these fun riddle-like hints until the very end where a large treasure trove of Halloween candy is waiting to be discovered and devoured!
3. Trick-or-treat in your own home: This one is for the little ones — or the big ones who want more candy. Have a parent (or older sibling) stand behind doors in your home ready to give out candy, stickers, or even blow bubbles. Children can practice knocking and saying their “trick-or-treating” line as many times as they’d like. You can set a spooky mood with music and decorations or keep the ambiance light and happy, depending on what works best for your family.
Halloween is at the top of my little guy’s list for all-time favorite holidays. For one special night, he’s allowed to show the outside world his own inner world and express his individuality while on the greatest of sugar-highs. I’m trying to keep the fun alive with one-of-a-kind activities so my son’s disappointment won’t haunt us for years to come.