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8 Things to Do to Celebrate Halloween at Home

Halloween, much like every holiday since March, is going to look a lot different this year. However, that doesn't mean that you and your family (or whoever you're quarantined with) can't have a fun and spooky Halloween at home! Here are eight things that you can do without interacting with anyone you don't have to this Halloween.

1. Throw a Theme Party For Your Family

Although throwing a normal Halloween party is not safe right now, that doesn't mean that your family can't have a Halloween party together. You can take a page out of Neil Patrick Harris' book and have your entire family dress up in a group costume. And why stop there when you can theme an entire party around your costumes? You can have different activities, games, and snacks that match your family's costumes. You don't have to worry about having any guests that show up out of theme because you will know that everyone already has the costume they need.

No matter how your family wants to dress up, there are a few activities that you can include to keep adults and kids alike entertained:

  • A Pinata. There is nothing quite like the delayed gratification of getting candy out of a pinata. Instead of just giving your family candy, make them work for it by using a bat to destroy a paper mache creation that matches the theme of your party. Just make sure that if you're using a bat you only use a shaved wooden bat if it's above 65 degrees -- shaved bats don't do well in cold temperatures.
  • Themed Snacks. If your family is dressing up as characters from Hocus Pocus for example, you can have drinks in bottles labeled as "potions" and take cheese sticks and place an almond slice on one side to make it look like "dead man's toe."
  • Take Fun Pictures. What's the point of wearing fun costumes if Instagram doesn't see them? Show off your fun and matching costumes with a little photo shoot at your theme party.
  • Use Themed Colors. Most movies or TV shows that you could base your costumes off of have some colors associated with the theme, like red and black for The Incredibles. Color can make brands 80% more recognizable, so even if you don't buy specifically branded decoration, buying or making decor in the right colors can help your theme be more recognizable.

2. Walk Around Your Neighborhood

A lot of people still decorated for Halloween this year even though there won't be trick or treating in most areas. The week before Halloween is a great time to walk around your neighborhood and look for the most fun houses. You can make it into an imagination game by having your kids come up with fun names and backstories for the spookiest looking houses that you walk by.

3. Carve or Paint Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins is a classic part of preparing for Halloween, but it can get time-consuming and messy very quickly if you're not careful. It can still be very fun to carve pumpkins, but make sure that you are prepared for the messy consequences and have the proper equipment. Around this time of year, most grocery stores will have pumpkin carving kits, so make sure to pick one up to ensure you have all the equipment you need.

If you don't want to go through the trouble of carving a pumpkin, you can still decorate with them by painting a pumpkin. Painting is appropriate for all ages and skill levels, so even if someone in your household is part of the 10% of the world's population that has a disability, everyone can participate in some way.

4. Make Halloween Crafts

There are tons of fun and easy Halloween crafts out there. If your kids are into slime projects, here is a witch slime recipe and a pumpkin slime recipe. For something less slimy, you can paint rocks to look like different spooky creatures, like zombies, vampires, or mummies. You can always check Pinterest for fun Halloween crafts that are perfect for whatever your kids' ages are.

5. Make Halloween Treats

There are tons of recipes out there for cookies, cakes, and savory treats that fit a Halloween theme. If you have any allergies or intolerances in your family, there are still going to be many recipes out there for you to enjoy.

One simple and fun treat that is also an activity the whole family can enjoy is decorating sugar cookies. After baking your favorite sugar cookie recipe, put different colored frostings into piping bags (or just use plastic baggies with a bottom corner cut open) and start decorating! You can try to make matching cookies by creating a set of things like ghosts or jack-o-lanterns, or you can just have fun and make whatever design you want to.

When it comes to drinks, you can make any old drink more spooky by making "spider ice." All you have to do is add plastic spiders to the water in an ice cube tray and voila, you have some fun and spooky ice. If you're making a big batch of any drink, you can make some handy ice by filling a disposable glove with water, tying it off, and placing it in the freezer. When it is frozen, cut off the glove and you'll have a fun ice shape that'll make anyone who sees it look twice.

6. Make Halloween Goody Bags For Friends and Family

Even though you can't safely celebrate Halloween with friends and family this year, you can still spread some Halloween spirit to your loved ones! Fill goody bags with crafts, homemade cookies, plastic rings and spiders, fun pens or pencils, and candy to drop on friends and family's porches. Write a note on some fun Halloween paper, punch a hole in it, and attach it to the goody bag with the ribbon holding it closed. Drive around to your friends and family's homes and have your kids bring up the goody bag, ring their doorbell, and run back to the car before they can open the door. Not only is this a fun activity, but your kids will also get tired out from the sugar rush they're sure to be on after eating their Halloween candy.

7. Listen to a Halloween playlist

Spotify and Apple Music have different spooky playlists that they make every Halloween, and if you can't find a playlist that you want to listen to you can always make your own! There are tons of classic Halloween songs out there, like "The Monster Mash" by Bobby "Borris" Picket, and some more recent spooky songs, like "Bury a Friend" by Billie Eilish, to choose from. A good playlist can definitely help you get in the mood to celebrate Halloween!

8. Watch Spooky Movies

The last way to celebrate on our list is a classic. Even if we could celebrate Halloween traditionally, watching fun Halloween movies would still be a great way to get in the spooky spirit of October 31st. There are tons of lists out there of the best Halloween movies, from kid-friendly ones to classic horror, so no matter what you taste is there is a movie out there for you.

How are you celebrating Halloween this year? Are you going to try out any of the ideas from this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com