Don't Worry... Here's How to Celebrate Halloween With Your Family!
Are they really canceling Halloween this year? Well, you can still celebrate a family Halloween night! If Trick-or-Treating is not in your treat bag this year, here's a way to develop a new Halloween tradition that might even be more fun!
What will your family do for this kid-favorite holiday, even though Halloween is canceled this year? Below, we at Carnival Savers have a few ideas to turn that "Halloween-is-canceled" frown upside down.
Step #1: Family Halloween Night Starts With FOOD!
Food? As in, mounds and tons and globs of sticky, sugary candy? Kind of, but not quite - by food, we are referring to your family Halloween Dinner. Begin your spooky-fun Halloween night with a ghoulishly fun dinner for yourself, the kids, and the rest of the family. We have the inside scope on planning this special dinner below.
Come up with a theme, together!
Halloween dinner is extra-fun with a theme! The theme will serve as an idea-launcher to help you come up with the food, costumes, games, and more to come. Your theme can be a family-favorite Halloween movie, or a descriptive word such as "Spooky," or "Ghoulish," or even "Crazy Halloween!" It can also be a color (such as purple, orange, or black), a type of character (think witches, ghosts, black cats, and jack o' lanterns), or anything else you can dream up. Big tip: Have your kids help! Kids are imagination machines, and they will delight in helping to pick a theme for your family's 2020 Halloween.
If you prefer a starting point, here are some ideas:
- Descriptions: Magical, Spooky, Scary, Ghoulish, Crazy/Wacky, Cute or “Kawaii”
- Colors: Green, Orange, Purple, Black
- Characters: Witch, Black Cat, Ghost, Monster, Werewolf, Vampire, Mummy, Zombie, Trick-or-Treaters
- Items: Pumpkin Spice, Jack-O-Lantern, Halloween Candy, Cauldron, Haunted Mansion Theme variations: Dr. Seuss, Classic Halloween movies, Fall Harvest, Arts N’ Crafts.
Choose a familiar dinner with this spin…
Now that you have your Halloween theme, it's time to decide what to plan for dinner this October 31st. Again, you’ll have to use your imagination and enlist your kids’ imaginations too! For example, let’s say your theme is “Witches & Black Cats.” Your Halloween Dinner will be centered around the idea of witches and black cats: perhaps you’ll make a green Witches’ Brew drink, punch, or smoothie to go with a Green Eggs & Ham entree (this could also work for a Dr. Seuss theme, of course.) Halloween Dinner dessert could then be sugar cookies in the shape of black cats and witches. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer - use your creativity!
Gourmet? No way! Keep it simple! There is no reason to stress over the perfect Halloween dinner - just have fun and enlist the kids to help, too. Dinner does not need to be expensive nor fancy. No need to break out the lobster, caviar, prime rib, champagne -- just kidding (we don't exactly know of anyone who would eat this for Halloween in the first place, either.) However, Halloween dinner will feel fancy once you've come up with a fun theme and stuck with it. Again, enlist the kids for help in cooking and baking fun, creative meals and desserts for Halloween Dinner.
Want specific Halloween food ideas? A full list is beyond the scope of the Carnival Savers blog, but here's two ideas to start you off. Sweets are abundant for Halloween, so remember you can choose some healthy foods too! These cute chocolate-chip banana ghosts and orange pumpkins shown above are sure to make the little ones smile while adding some healthy food to your night!
Also consider making these precious Mummy & Spider Pizzas (shown below)! All you'll need are miniature breads or crackers, black olives, cheese, and tomato sauce.
Step #2: Have The Whole Family Dress Up!
Keeping in mind the theme from above, have the whole family dress up for Halloween game night! You can even dress up the dog, too. (If you want to try dressing up your cat, that’s on you, and we don’t accept any responsibility for the resulting cat scratches and craziness that may result from the wacky decision to costume a cat in the first place!) Let the kiddos pick out their costumes. Your costume can be as simple or complicated as you like.
Or, you can opt for matching family Halloween costumes. Allowing your Halloween theme to guide your decisions is usually straightforward. If your theme is “Ghosts” or “Jack-O-Lanterns” then perhaps your family will look adorable all dressed as a family of ghosts or jack-o-lanterns. Allow your imagination to run wild!
Teenagers may think the idea of a family Halloween night is totally, super uncool and may come dressed to the party as themselves -- that’s okay.
Step #3: DIY Fall-Themed Games...
“Oh no, now games?” You may be thinking, “But I’ve already had to come up with the Halloween Dinner, and the costumes, but now I have to come up with games too?!” Don’t worry! We are keeping in mind busy parents such as yourself. This is all supposed to be simple, relaxing, and fun! And there’s no need to be perfect; all you’re doing is creating a fun, in-home Halloween Night for yourself and your family.
You can set up the majority of these games at home with a few minutes and a little how-to knowledge. A few require supplies from a grocery or party store, but most can be made or substituted with materials from home. Yay! (Pssst… many of these game ideas were dreamt up by our founder with her nearly 20 years of carnival experience, so you won’t find these anywhere else!)
See Halloween game ideas below and click on the links for info about setting them up:
- DIY Glowing Ghosts: Click here to check it out.
- Witches’ Brew: Click here to see this fun game.
- Jack O’ Lantern Beanbag: Click here for a game to buy.
- Ping-Pong Pumpkin: Click here to see this DIY Halloween Game.
- Monster Can Knockdown: Click here for this cute Halloween game idea
- Spooky Lollipop Tree: Click here to see how to make this yummy decoration.
Step #4: Make It All At Home! Or, Consider THIS...
Okay, now that we’ve listed the types of fall- or Halloween- themed games you can play in step 3, let’s discuss the nuts-and-bolts of playing these games!
Start by having at least 3 different games. You can have more, but starting with three games at minimum will give your Family Halloween Night a good variety of games. These games can be the Halloween-themed games listed above or can be any other games of your choice.
Save money by DIY - and it won’t take a lot of time, either! (If you don’t have the time, we totally understand: we have games you can buy here.) Your kids will win candy by playing these Halloween games.
Spoiler alert: when they work to win candy or prizes, they will get SO excited! (Also have at least 3 different types of candy or prizes available.) Kids LOVE trying to improve their skills in order to win awesome prizes! This year, instead of going door-to-door to do traditional Trick-or-Treating, have the kids win candy at home by playing your DIY games.
Keep in mind that young children & toddlers should have easier versions of games. They can play the same games, but allow them to get a little closer if it’s a throwing game. The older children will understand.
You may be wondering what happens if one child is winning all the candy or prizes, which will leave the other children left out. There’s a simple solution! Have the “winner” teach the “losers” how to play better in order to win. This is an awesome learning experience about winning graciously and helping others.
Thank you for reading the Carnival Savers blog! Please let us know if our carnival tips & tricks have helped or inspired YOU! Take just 1 minute to leave a comment on our Facebook page (we have even more free tips & tricks there!).