It’s official: the Season of Scare and Spookiness is upon us and all across the country parents are snatching up the latest and greatest in children’s Halloween costumes. From demons, grim reapers and vampires to ballerinas, superheroes and fairy princesses, there have always been a wide variety of themes to choose from.
But suppose your family has chosen not to observe Halloween? Whether it is for a religious conviction or that you simply can’t bring yourself to purchase enough candy to satisfy all of those annoying trick-or-treaters who will surely come prancing down the streets of your neighborhood, there are many alternatives for families during this fall time of fright called Halloween.
Church Activities: Fall Festivals & Pumpkin Patches
If you attend or live near a local church, look into any activities they may have planned for youth, children and families during Halloween. Many churches hold outdoor fall festival events known for featuring pumpkin patches, hayrides, animal petting farms, game booths with prizes for winners, face-painting clowns, live singers and musicians and just about anything else you can imagine. Events and activities are often diverse enough to provide fun for the whole family no matter the age. The majority of these types of carnivals and church-managed festivals typically begin in the evening and offer a relaxing and enjoyable night away from the hustle and bustle of Halloween hubbub.
Host a Fall and/or Halloween Costume Party in your Own Home
If you’re one of those moms who has grown tired of worrying about their child wandering the streets on Halloween night knocking on strangers’ doors for candy, why not reverse the scenario? Plan and host your own fall or Halloween costume party and hold it in your home. As a parent, you have more say and control over what happens on your turf.
1. Costume Party
These are fun. A week or two before Halloween help your children shop for and select their desired Halloween costumes. Next, help them assemble an invitation list of their closest friends and make the phone calls. Inform parents of your event, including time and the address of your home, and have their children come over dressed in their Halloween costumes.
Be sure to remind guests and kids to bring their favorite candy or a sweet snack for the party. No sense in celebrating Halloween without loads of sugar or caffeine, right? Plan some games or a kids movie and make it a fun, enjoyable and safe evening for everyone.
2. Fall Party
If a party totally devoid of any Halloween imagery is what you’re going for, then a Fall Party is for you. You may want to invite a few families from your church or workplace and prepare a nice meal. Be sure to include some pumpkin pie for dessert. As far as home decorations go, be creative. Check out your local Dollar Store, Hobby Lobby or Michael’s Arts & Crafts Stores for fall season-themed décor. A few ideas include: hanging a fall-leaved wreath on your front door, placing some pumpkin topiary floral arrangements inside your home or placing a decorative cornucopia in the center of your dining room table.
If your home has an outdoor deck, you might considering decorating it with pumpkins (minus the carved out faces), floral arrangements and/or a few friendly-looking, stuffed fall scarecrows. If your party will consist mainly of adults and a fine meal, you may want to invest in some pumpkin spice-scented candles and dim the lights in your home ever so slightly.
Plan an Alternative Family Event
As a last resort, in your attempts to escape the Halloween-ness of Halloween, you can always go out as a family. Go bowling, to see a movie, out to a local restaurant, etc. Find something you can all enjoy doing together as a family and bond with one another for a night out on the town. You may wind up having more fun than you think.
Be safe, creative and have fun in your attempts to escape Halloween this year!