Halloween is going to be looking a little different this year, and like many other parents, I’ve been trying to come up with some good family-friendly activities to enjoy with the kids as an alternative to trick-or-treating. After some brainstorming, and of course a deep-dive into the craft boards of Pinterest, I found 5 awesome Halloween activities that won’t elicit eyerolls and sighs from kids or parents!
What Can You Do For Halloween Indoors?
Since a horror movie marathon isn’t exactly the most family-friendly activity, we gotta think of fun ways to entertain the kids that won’t lead to nightmares, or a lifelong fear of murderous clowns. We’re aiming for mild spookiness, not a full-on gore fest. Try some of these out with the fam this year””who knows, you might end up having even more fun this way, as opposed to trekking 20 blocks with a heavy pillowcase full of candy!
Haunted Gingerbread House
Okay, so like a Christmas gingerbread house, but spooky! Grab some Halloween candy, make some sheets of gingerbread, rice krispie treat, or even just some graham crackers, and whip up a batch of royal icing! As a base, wrap some tin foil around a piece of cardboard and secure it with tape. Try dyeing the royal icing different colours like orange, black, or green to look like creepy slime, or red to look like dripping blood. I definitely recommend having enough materials for each one of your kids to decorate their own house, just to avoid any bickering over creative differences!
Haunted House Treat Hunt
I took a page from the Easter Bunny’s playbook for this idea, but with a spooky twist to stay on-theme! While the kids are out of the house, decorate by hanging streamers in doorways and putting creepy dolls and other props in corners and under tables. Hide candy throughout the house, shut off all the lights, and then get your kids to search for the candy with flashlights! Put some glow sticks along staircases to provide a bit of visibility, to prevent anyone from missing a step and taking a tumble. Don’t forget the creepy music!
Now, while this is pretty much a classic October activity any given year, why not take things to the next level this year and carve the most decked-out pumpkins ever? Pick up some quality tools, do a little research on carving techniques to make your pumpkins look super professional, and scour the internet for inspiration pics to get some ideas. Don’t forget to save the seeds””you’ll need them for the next activity on this list!
If you’ve got young kids that aren’t quite old enough to be wielding knives and other carving tools, you can paint your pumpkins instead! Put down a bunch of sheets of newspaper on the kitchen floor, grab some acrylic paints and brushes, put the kids in some grubby clothes that you don’t mind getting stained, and crank up a spooky playlist!
Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Once I realized how easy it was to roast pumpkin seeds, I totally regretted all those years of tossing out the jack o’lantern guts after carving! Seriously, all you have to do is wash all the gunk off, pat them dry, toss them in melted butter or oil, coat them in the seasoning of your choice, and roast them at 350 °F for 45 minutes. Here are a few seasoning ideas you can try out:
- Ranch seasoning: 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp parsley, 1/4 tsp onion powder,1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp dill. 1/8 tsp dry mustard, 1/8 tsp black pepper, 1/8 tsp celery seed, 1/8 tsp paprika
- Pizza seasoning: 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp parmesan (or nutritional yeast as a vegan alternative)
- Dill Pickle: 1 tsp white vinegar, 1 tsp dill, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Hot n’ Honey: 1 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp black pepper
Let the roasted seeds cool down before eating, or else they’ll still be chewy. If they’re a bit undercooked and not quite crispy enough, toss them back in the oven at 300 °F for 5-10 minutes.
Make DIY Scarecrows
Head outside to make a family of scarecrows! For each one you build, grab a jumbo bag of straw, a burlap sack, acrylic paints, a wooden stake, a sewing kit, a straw hat or toques, and an old flannel shirt with jeans or denim overalls. Make a round head by stuffing the burlap and tying it together at the base, and paint on a face. You can either go traditional, or try painting the face of your favorite character (honestly, I’m torn between Spiderman, Gene Simmons, and Darth Maul).
Stuff the shirt and pants, tie up the arms and legs so the straw doesn’t spill out, and use a sewing needle with a big enough eye to string through some thick, sturdy twine, so you can stitch all the pieces together securely without it taking hours. Attach it to the stake and set it up in the garden! Feel free to get creative with additional props, like cool sunglasses or a fake electric guitar.
Want to do some last-minute fall decorating before the weather takes a turn? Visit Salisbury and pick up some autumn planters, or grab some plants to make your own custom potted arrangement! We’ve got curbside pickup and home delivery still available if you’d like. Just call in your order, or order online at our GrowStore. Hope your holiday is nothing short of spooktacular!