This year, Halloween falls on a Sunday – meaning that if you’re up for it, you could have a whole weekend of spooky festivities if it’s something your kids really love!
Here, we’ve got a few tips to help you think about some of the things you could get up to over the weekend, from scary but tasty snacks, to simple but effective decorations, games, outfits and, of course, how to trick or treat like a boss (if you want to do it!).
What to wear
Whether you’re planning to go trick or treating with the kids, fancy a get-together at home, or just a themed day with the family, how wild you go with the costumes is totally up to you.
There are, of course, the classic Halloween looks – witches, mummies, ghosts – but in more recent years the Halloween dress up is more about being any character you want, and you can definitely go more fun and sweet if you prefer (which you might want to, especially if you have younger kids).
Our Halloween Shop includes everything from ghostly plain white dresses to policeman and pilot outfits, as well as accessories including Spider-Man beanies and sequin cat earmuffs if you’re looking for something simple.
Spooky but tasty snacks are a great addition to any Halloween celebrations, and you’ll find some great ideas on YouTube to get you started. We love this compilation of recipe ideas from Well Loved, which includes spooky baked hands, olive eyeballs and graveyard cake.
Add some Halloween vibes around the house with a few simple decorations. Pumpkins are the classic adornment, and there are loads of videos on YouTube to help you do it right (check out this one from BBC Good Food).
In addition, you can make paper chains from black and orange paper for a Halloween feel, and ask the kids to help with spooky ghouls by cutting basic ghost shapes from plain white paper, getting them to draw spooky faces on them and hanging them up around the house.
The classic Halloween game is apple bobbing: find a big bowl, fill it with water and put lots of apples in, then get the kids to try and pick one out with their teeth. (Do make sure you supervise really little ones.)
You can give lots of regular party games a Halloween twist, too. For example, you could play musical statues and play “monster” themed tunes (eg Monster Mash) and get the kids to pose as zombie or monster statues when the music stops.
Play pin the spooky mouth on the ghost (instead of pin the tail on the donkey), and creepy-up pass the parcel by putting fake spiders or eyeballs in between each layer of wrapping!
There’s nothing like a scary (though not too scary!) movie on Halloween weekend! If you have older kids, they might already have some ideas of what they’d like to watch.
Some of our favourites are The Witches, Hocus Pocus, Ghostbusters, Coraline, The Addams Family and Nightmare Before Christmas. For younger kids, try Hotel Transylvania, Casper or Monsters Inc.
Trick or treating
We know that, in light of the pandemic, not everyone will be comfortable with taking part in trick or treating. But if the kids are keen, here are a few things to think about:
~ Make sure you’ve got a good outfit for them! If it’s a chilly night they might be wrapped up in a coat, in which case, a festive beanie or headband could work as this might be the only bit that will actually show! ~
~ Have a good basket/bag to collect treats in. ~
~ Decide how long you’re going to go out for and stick to it so they’re not too tired the next day, especially as this year the next morning will be a Monday! Remember it will take them a while to wind down after an exciting evening out! ~
~ Check the treats your child is given before they eat any, especially if they have any allergies. You’ll probably want to let them have a few on the evening and save the rest to give them over the next few days/weeks. Or, if you’d prefer them not to have anything that’s given to them, make a swap for something you’ve bought them. ~
~ As a rule of thumb, only approach houses that have a pumpkin outside: this means they’re happy to be involved in trick or treating and probably have treats on the door! Otherwise, it’s best to move on. ~
All in all, it’s up to you how big you go on Halloween, but with a little planning it can be a really fun themed event the whole family can enjoy. In the words of L. M Montgomery: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”