There are a lot of decisions having to be made this year that are very personal decisions for a family. Having already made the big decision of full remote learning for our daughter this school year, it became an easier choice to make the smaller decision that neighborhood trick-or-treating is just not what we are doing this year. Instead, we're going to make a full day of at-home Halloween themed fun.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a ghoulishly great day! If you do decide in favor of Halloween at Home, I hope the following ideas can inspire and help you make it happen.
If you're not going out, make sure to go all in on decorations and make your home an extra decorated Halloween space. The sky's the limit when it comes to decorating. Plus, if you plan ahead, your kids could do craft projects to make decorations. Ghosts, spooky scenes, monster hands. Lots of ideas and lots of potential for fun projects to spookify your home.
DIY Decorating and Craft Ideas
- 5-Minute Crafts: 23 Easy and Cool Halloween Decor Ideas
- 70 Easy DIY Halloween You Can Make on the Cheap with Household Items
- 30+ Hauntingly Adorable DIY Halloween Decorations
- 10 DIY Halloween Handmade Decorations
- Super Easy Tissue Ghosts Garland
Helpful tip: Check out your local dollar store. In White Plains, I found not only a lot of cool decorations to up our at-home decorating game, but also a great variety of easy ready-to-go craft projects.
SNACKS AND FOOD
Since we're going for an all-day Halloween extravaganza, we're turning our snacks and food into part of the fun and activities.
Spooktacular Half-Moon Cookies
One of our activities will be taking this family recipe for half-moon cookies and making them spooktacular. We will go through the whole process of mixing and baking with our daughter, and then decorate them with ghosts, spiderwebs, moons, jack-o’-lantern faces, and more. So, rather than just “getting candy” we will have an entire family activity that leads to a sweet treat.
Some More Ideas
- Frighteningly Easy Halloween Party Snack Ideas
- Mini Jack-O’-Lantern Hand Pies
- Jack-O’-Lantern Pumpkin Pies
- Go all out with these 26 Ghoulishly Good Halloween Dinners Kids Will Love
- Little Kitchen of Horrors, available on Overdrive
- Ghoulish Goodies, available on Overdrive
- Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook, available on Overdrive
Keep the day fun-filled with activities, crafts, movies, dancing and more!
Ghost Candy Hunt
Don’t skip the trick-or-treating, just do it differently. Check out this great idea for a Ghost Candy Hunt, a fun alternative to neighborhood trick-or-treating.
Want fewer candy treats, having made some of the yummy snacks above? How about a pumpkin hunt? Get a bunch of those smaller pumpkins and hide them all over. Then, once they are all found, turn them into jack-o’-lanterns! For small pumpkins and gourds, painting is a great way to go, but for bigger pumpkins…
Make Jack-O’- Lanterns
It’s possible you already made one, but why not make more? These are tried and true fun activities for Halloween, and there are a myriad of ways to make them. The traditional way is carving, but you can also paint, use markers, stickers, or glue on items. The possibilities are endless! Need some carving tips, check out Easy Pumpkin Carving: Spooktacular Patterns, Tips & Ideas, available on Overdrive.
Then, consider making a jack-o’-lantern part of your snacking, and another activity! Roast those seeds into a delicious snack. Also, you can save some for planting next spring.
- How to Harvest Pumpkin Seeds to Eat and Roasting Instructions
- Cinnamon and Sugar Pumpkin Seeds recipe
- Olive Oil and Sea Salt Pumpkin Seeds recipe
- How to Store Pumpkin Seeds for Planting
- Read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? From the Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom series, one of my recent Peculiar Picks
Get Creepily Crafty
Here are some great ideas for Halloween crafts.
- STEAM at Home: Puking Pumpkins
- Dancing Zombie project from Trove librarian Caroline
- Pumpkin Garland project from Edge librarian Kat
- Halloween Crafts for Kids (I love the Q-tip skeleton!)
- 25 Spooktacular Halloween Crafts for Kids
- Paper Vampire Craft
- Cute Frankenstein Crafts
- Footprint Flying Witch Craft
Check out this great list of 25 Fun Halloween Games for an At Home Halloween Party from MommyPoppins. Pumpkin Bowling. Zombie Freeze Dance. So many fangtastic ideas.
Whether playing at home, or virtually over a video message app, board games are another great option. There are so many great on-theme games available.
For younger through middle school aged kids, check out “My First Castle Panic,” “Vampires of the Night,” “Ghost Story Dice,” either the Disney or Marvel version of “Villainous,” “Ghost Blitz,” “13 Dead End Drive,” “Haunt the House,” “Cauldron Quest,” “Werewords,” or “Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters.”
For teens through adults, I recommend “Betrayal at the House on the Hill,” “Gloom,” “Mysterium,” “Campy Creatures,” “One Night Ultimate Werewolf,” “Dead of Winter,” or Universal Studio Monsters’ “Horrified.”
For more information about any of these games, search the game's title on this website.
Pop some Monster Halloween Popcorn or some Halloween Party Popcorn and kick back on the couch because you can’t ever go wrong with movie night. For quite young kids, check Hoopla out for movies like Click, Clack, Boo!, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Halloween, A Very Brave Witch, and Creepy Carrots.
Older kids and up might enjoy a classic Halloween flick like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, The Witches, Hotel Transylvania, Paranorman, Goosebumps, or The Addams Family. For older kids and teens, perhaps The Monster Squad, Coraline, Beetlejuice, or Ghostbusters? (Click the links to find these titles in the library catalog.)
Spooky Dance Party
Work off some of those sweet treats! Move things aside, swirl your capes, and boogie. Need some music? I’ve got you covered with my Spooky Dance Party mix on Spotify. Or put on one of the many Halloween party music albums available with your library card on Hoopla.
While everyone is definitely getting a lot of screen time lately, there is something to be said for the ease of communication that current technology provides. Get some of your child’s friends and your family together online. Make sure everyone dresses up. The opportunity to show off a great costume is one of the biggest parts of Halloween.
Turn down the lights and tell ghost stories (like some of these family-friendly ones.)
Play some games. Try Halloween Bingo. Each household can print out a card, use candy for markers and play over video. For older kids/teens and grown-ups, check out some on-theme games like Trivia Murder Party and Monster Seeking Monster from JackBox Games or the incredibly popular Among Us.
Don’t do it all yourself.
There are also a large number of great virtual events taking place. Note: some of the events listed in these links may cost money.
- Virtual Village Halloween Costume Ball
- Hulafrog’s 100+ Virtual Halloween Events Your Little Ghosts and Goblins Will Love
- Eventbrite’s Virtual Halloween Events for All Ages
- Laurie Berkner’s Virtual Halloween Concerts