Updated: Jan 3
It’s fall, and that means a few spooky holidays are right around the corner. With the boo-tiful autumn colors and fun-filled holidays at the helm, we want to help you celebrate. From the thrilling to the magical, here are a few ways to make these days frightfully enjoyable.
HOW TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN AT HOME
Why do we celebrate Halloween?
Halloween Day: October 31
Halloween History: Celebrating Halloween goes back to Celtic times with a festival called Samhain. To ward off ghosts, people would dress up and gather around bonfires. These traditions eventually evolved into what it is today. We still dress in Halloween costumes and light campfires, but we also have the fun of making jack-o-lanterns and going trick-or-treating each year.
Just because it’s a scary holiday doesn’t mean that all of your activities have to be eerie. Gear these ideas up or down depending on your children’s age, and if you’re all adults, feel free to make them as Halloween-centric as you’d like.
5 Fun Ideas for Celebrating Halloween
1. Do a drive-by pumpkining.
Folks may need a bit of a pick me up as daylight gets shorter and there’s a chill in the air. Gather pumpkins, and carve them into jack-o-lanterns. Drive by and drop off the decorated pumpkins by the front doors of your loved ones. Either add a candle (don’t light it) or turn on a battery-powered candle and leave it inside. Imagine their surprise when they find a fun, seasonal goodie on their porch!
2. Bake and decorate frightful cookies.
Christmas is a busy time of year. Therefore why not do your baking and decorating for Halloween this year instead? Purchase cookie cutters in spooky shapes such as a cat, witch, pumpkin, and ghost. Decorate baked sugar cookies with icing, sprinkles, and colored sugars. Host a contest and declare a winner.
If your family lives in different locations, mail a cookie kit to each home. Have everyone bake their treats ahead of time and decorate them together over Zoom. You can still have a contest and email the winner a gift certificate to their favorite coffee shop.
3. Have a home-bound Halloween haunt.
Are you missing trick-or-treating this year? Take cues from another beloved holiday—Easter. Skip out on the filled plastic eggs, and have a Halloween candy hunt instead. If weather permits, use your backyard or hide sweets around the house if it’s too cold or rainy.
As for those Halloween costumes, have the kids dress up! Children may be home-bound, but have them dress up in their cutest, scariest, and best costumes they can muster. They can even be ingenious and construct their outfits out of things that you already have at home. Get the adults involved, too, and give an award to the most creative getup.
4. Trunk or treat.
If going house to house isn’t your style, or circumstances prevent it, get together differently. Organize a trunk or treat event with family, friends, or the neighborhood. Designate a location, such as a streetside or parking lot, and children can trick or treat from car to car.
Have folks put individually wrapped bags of candy in their open trunks. People can sit in their cars as families with costumed kids walk by and get their treats. It’s a fun take on trick-or-treating while keeping everyone safe. What a memorable time!
5. Spook-ify your food.
Give any meals you serve throughout the day an eerie twist. Put a ghost in the coffee, place googly eyes on their waffles, and serve orange themed desserts. Anything you can do to coordinate your food with Halloween colors, fall flavors, and scary themes will make the day extra exciting! Food Network has you covered for a whole host of ideas, such as spider eggs and bone breadsticks.
6. Have a scary movie marathon.
Consider the age of your kids with this idea, but there are plenty of Halloween movies around. From the downright horrifying—think classics like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street—to kid-friendly films, such as Hotel Transylvania and Coraline, there is a whole host of themed movies to watch together. Serve spooky treats and gooey popcorn to make the evening extra enjoyable. Be sure to turn the lights out, too!
HOW TO CELEBRATE DAY OF THE DEAD AT HOME
What is Day of the Dead?
Dates for Day of the Dead: October 31-November 2
History of Day of the Dead: Otherwise known as el Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead is when Mexican families celebrate and reunite with relatives who have passed. November 2 is a day of joy, which includes festivals, food, and drink.
From October 31 through November 2, the three-day event is a blend of European, Spanish, American, and Mexican culture. Halloween, All Saints Day (November 1), and Day of the Dead (November 2) are all causes for tradition and celebration.
4 Ideas for Celebrating Day of the Dead
1. Practice a sugar skull makeup look.
The makeup styles for the Day of the Dead are stunning! Faces are used as a canvas to resemble non-scary skulls, and the results are colorful and gorgeous. Buy a white base, and keep a black eyeliner pencil on hand. Use lots of colors and try to recreate the distinctive sugar skull look. Don’t worry about being perfect, and there are plenty of YouTube videos to help you get it right.
2. Paint pumpkins.
Fall is filled with pumpkins and gourds, so use this to your advantage. Either buy paint or use up leftover crafting paint to create a reminiscent design of the holiday. In fact, you can have your paintings coordinate with Day of the Dead and Halloween. Have a contest or leave your Mexican-holiday inspired pumpkin on your front porch with your jack-o-lanterns as a decorative piece.
3. Learn about Mexican heritage.
Did you know the history behind the Day of the Dead? It’s always interesting and educational to learn about other cultures. Take cues from the holiday to dive deep into its meaning and traditions. Helping your kids understand that the scary-sounding holiday is a beautiful depiction of remembrance can segue into talking about your own family history.
4. Make traditional Day of the Dead foods.
For the adventurous palate, try your hand at making flavorful foods served during the festivities. Dishes—such as Tamales, Sopa Azteca, and Pan de Muertos—can be cause for finding a new favorite recipe. You can even make beautiful sugar skulls, which serve as gorgeous decorations. There are tried and true recipes all over the web.
Capture Your Family Memories
With all of the activities the fall season affords, you’ll undoubtedly want to have memories of your festivities. Have the smartphone ready, and try to capture the best images of your celebrations. Use natural light, and try to keep the phone as still as possible—have a tripod on hand, if necessary.
After your celebration, gather the family and pick out your favorite images. You can upload your favorites straight to the SimplePrints App on your phone. A photo album or wall print would be a fabulous way to remember times when you used a bit of extra creativity to create unforgettable memories.
GUEST BLOGGER: JENNIFER PRINCE
Jennifer Prince lives in VA with her husband, kids, and kitties. Beyond writing, she enjoys vintage things, exploring her hometown, and finding content for her travel blog.