Halloween isn't cancelled!
Although trick or treating and Halloween parties aren't on the cards this year thanks to Covid, there's still plenty of spooky fun to be had. With safety in mind and social distancing in place, here are a few ideas for family celebrations this Halloween...
1. A Spooky Movie Night
My kids are HUGE fans of "movie night" and love to snuggle up on the sofa with a good film and some popcorn. It's super easy to add a Halloween spin to this. Make scary witches' warts by coating popcorn with green icing sugar (blend the sugar with green liquid food colouring) and baking in the oven. Serve with "potion" (apple juice with a little cinnamon mixed in - add a straw and my kids think it's a cocktail!)
For the film, I'd go with Hocus Pocus (available on Disney + or DVD) but we'll be doing this more than once to fit in a few favourites and hide away from the rainy weather. You can see more of my Halloween film recommendations here.
2. Decorate the House
Who cares if no-one else will be around to see it, we will get to enjoy the fruits of our labour and I LOVE Halloween décor! The twins are SO excited to join in with this, especially since I got the decorations down from the attic. We're going full on spook-tastic this year and doing it Christmas style in that we're having the decorations up for at least 2 weeks, not just one day (far too much effort involved for so little time IMHO). I've pinned LOADS of ideas on Pinterest.
3. Make a Halloween Tree
I've done a Halloween tree for a few years now, I use a black glittery one like this which we decorate with spooky pumpkin decorations from Home Sense. You can also get cute little black or orange baubles or make your own!
4. Bake & Decorate Halloween Biscuits
We'll be doing this at the weekend, I'm thinking ghosts and maybe Jack Skellington! Simple but effective, you can find more inspiration on Pinterest.
5. Have a Halloween Feast
Get the family dressed up for dinner and lay the table with a Spooky Halloween spread.
There are so many creative ways to dress up the table too and create deliciously devilish foods. Below are some of my favourites I've made before, all of which you can find the inspiration for and recipes on my Halloween Pinterest board.
Intoxicated Worms (vodka jelly, leave out the vodka for kids)
Fresh Bloody Brain (pink blancmange with raspberry coulis)
Pumpkin Pies (not real pumpkin pies but mince pies which look like pumpkins because who doesn't love mince pies?!)
Witches' Eyeballs (Babybel cheese & olive slices)
Caramelised Rat Brains (salted caramel popcorn)
Cured Epidermis (baked prosciutto)
Jellied Zombie Brain (jelly made in the brain mould)
Witch's brew with shrunken heads (hot spiced cider with carved apples - non-alcoholic for the kids)
6. Organise a Glowing Halloween Hunt
Since trick or treating is off the cards, why not take some inspiration from Easter and throw a Halloween Treat Hunt?
Pop mini glow sticks in to toilet roll tubes with spooky eyes cut out and hide treats inside before hiding around the garden. You can add some extra spookiness by decorating the garden for Halloween with inflatable eyeballs hidden in hedges and even a full grown skeleton (ours is called Henry and was a Costco bargain many years ago)!
7. Pumpkin picking & Pumpkin Carving
There are lots of local Pumpkin farms offering PYO options these days in the UK. We've been to Tulleys Farm twice now - this year they've made a much bigger thing out of it and are charging £3-£5 entry with food vans and lots of photo opportunities set up. You can read more about our afternoon here.
We've also had a good time at Sharnfold Farm before and might head there for some more Pumpkin fun this weekend!
For the carving, go simple and traditional or something more complicated or different. I've pinned around 50 ideas to my Halloween Pumpkins Pinterest board to help inspire you!
And don't stop there, get the kids involved in roasting the pumpkin seeds for a yummy snack and roast some pumpkin to make a healthy delicious soup!
8. Play Halloween Games
For the twins' 3rd birthday I organised a Halloween party and made some themed games for them to play which I'll be bringing down from the attic again. They're so simple to set up but are loads of fun, easily giving a couple of hours of entertainment for the whole family!
Witches Hat Hoopla, Ghost Skittles, Throw the Ball in the Pumpkins' Mouths and a good old Piñata (which I saved to rebuild after its battering!)
9. S'mores & Spooky Stories
This time of year is a wonderful time to be out of doors and spend some family time together. So wait for dusk then head to the garden to light a firepit and toast marshmallows. Want to make it spooky? Tell the kids a spooky story, I guarantee they will remember this forever!
has some great spooky story ideas to get you started.
Here is a simple recipe for S'mores:
400g digestive biscuits
400g milk chocolate (I plan to use Flakes)
For each s’more, take two digestive biscuits and lay pieces of chocolate on top of one
Toast a marshmallow (or two) to gooey perfection on the campfire or barbecue
Place the melted marshmallow(s) on top of the chocolate, before squishing the second digestive biscuit on top to form a deliciously gooey sandwich
10. A Fancy Dress Halloween Walk
Throw on your Halloween costumes and go for a countryside or seaside walk or better yet, a walk in the spooky woods!
11. A Costume Party on Zoom
Invite your friends and family to an online Halloween Party. Wear fancy dress and hang out on Zoom. A quiz is fun for the kids, they could win a treat for a right answer or a "trick" (forfeit) for a wrong one.
12. Go Apple Picking. Followed by Apple Bobbing
A wonderful autumn tradition, we love crisp fresh apples and it doesn't get fresher than picking your own off the tree! Stick to some of those fun Halloween traditions in your family bubbles with apple bobbing for some laughs afterwards too. We'll be heading to our neighbours at Oast Farm in Buxted, hopefully they'll have their amazing homemade apple cake and/or gingerbread tiffin to warm us up in the café afterwards too!
13. Face Painting
Either DIY or hire an amazing make-up artists to come and do your faces, I know they can still currently work using Covid safety measures and they can certainly do a better job than I! I'm collaborating with Emese Csoma of My Beloved Make-up again this year for an outdoor shoot with the twins so watch this space! Here are a few photos of the last time we collaborated with a Day of the Dead theme...
We're doing lots of these over the next couple of weeks so watch this space for new photos with more Halloween inspiration!
So you can definitely have an amazing, memorable and safe Halloween. Go and get your spooky on and why not book in some professional photos of the fun and make those memories last?
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