Every year, Halloween seems to grow in popularity. It’s easy to see why activities like trick or treating are appealing to kids, who can enjoy getting dressed up, have their faces painted and venture out for a spooky evening on the streets and then gorge on sweets afterwards.
But trick or treating is not everyone’s cup of tea. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways that you – and your family – can get in the Halloween spirit this year. Here are some fun activities to try…
Kids or no kids, anyone can indulge in a bit of Halloween-inspired baking. There are tonnes of recipes online, and some are complete with spooky decorations.
For example, this Halloween cake with spooky mummies’ eyes peering out from behind their bandages is the perfect treat for adults and children alike.
Or for something a little more grown up, how about this gory blood splatter cake?
Halloween movie marathon
Halloween is a great time to catch up on some horror movies and scare yourself senseless - if that’s your thing.
So, why not enjoy your own monster movie marathon, or get the whole family involved with some kid-friendly flicks like ET or Ghostbusters, depending on how old your kids are.
It’s quite tricky to find a spooky film that will genuinely appeal to lots of different ages, including littles ones, but you could try Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit for some cross-generational chuckles and mild peril. Coraline is also another popular animated one to try and of course, you can’t beat The Addams Family – which is now also an animated film.
Visit a pumpkin patch
As Halloween has become increasingly popular in the UK over recent years, so has the trend for people to go and pick their own pumpkins. Plenty of farms have planted pumpkin patches you can visit. Some even combine pumpkin picking with other Halloween activities, like spooky trails for kids. Another great way to get the family out of the house.
So, find out what’s happening locally to you. If you have a farm that does pick-your-own nearby, then they may well have started planting pumpkins too.
Pumpkin carving alternatives
Who says pumpkins get to have all the fun? There’s nothing to stop you carving a fun face or design into other fruit and veg. You could try a pineapple, avocado, other varieties of squash or an orange!
Or you could stick to a traditional pumpkin, but instead of carving it, paint it or write a message or seasonal joke on it (What do you get when you drop a pumpkin? Squash.)
As well as avoiding the messiness of de-seeding a pumpkin, this sort of activity can be a little more inclusive, as kids can take part - rather than just watching, while the grown-up carves up a pumpkin. Although they could always get involved with scooping out the insides which can be the best bit!
Make your own Halloween decorations
Whether you’re having a party or simply want to create some eerie vibes, there are many cheap, fun and easy ways to turn your home into a house of horror this Halloween.
The handmade eyeballs in this YouTube video - which you can make using ping pong balls - are a great start.
Strange-looking pickled objects in jars can look the part too. If you have old unused jars lying around the house, put unusual objects inside them, fill them with water and some food colouring. Or go a step further and have a go at a (very elaborate) head in a jar prank, like this man did.
You could even cheat and simply drape white sheets over your furniture and dim the lights to give it that creepy look of a long-abandoned room.
With a bit of imagination, there are plenty of ways to get in the Halloween spirit this year.