6 Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Home

family in halloween costumes with pumpkins

In many places, Halloween is about costumes, haunted houses, candy, parties, and trick-or-treating. Children love dressing up as their favorite spooky characters, running from house to house with a bucket, and getting scared in between bouts of gobbling sweets. Some adults may think they've become too old for Halloween, but really, no one is ever too old. If you're looking for ways to celebrate Halloween while keeping things in-house this year, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Get the Whole Family Dressed Up

mom putting face paint on daughter in halloween costume

You can still get dressed up for Halloween, even if you aren't planning on going out. Putting together a costume is fun—everyone gets to celebrate without feeling awkward about what they look like. If everyone wants to coordinate, you can choose themes for your family Halloween costumes, including condiments, superheroes, favorite cartoon characters, or even celebrities. You can also get the pets involved by dressing them up. For instance, a dog in a glow-in-the-dark skeleton outfit might result in the scary/silly image of a mini ghost running around your garden. In addition to the fun, getting dressed up brings out personal, creative touches and strengthens the connection you share as a family.

2. Pumpkin Carving or Painting

knife cutting a pumpkin into jack o lantern

It never feels like a Halloween until you've carved your pumpkin. To turn the night into a fun family event, and host a pumpkin carving competition where everyone gets to participate. Take it easy and don't get flustered by all the goopy details—enjoy the time to talk, share, and bond as a family.

It’s never too late to decorate your pumpkins, even on Halloween nights. Painting your pumpkin with different personalities is always less messy than carving, so painting can be the best option for those inclined to tidiness.

If you do carve, though, you might want to keep the seeds and roast them up with a little salt for a healthy, tasty treat!

3. Decorate the House

interior halloween home decor

Set the mood for Halloween by decorating your house with spooky items. You can use fake gravestones, spider webs, and other creative decorations outdoors, or decorate the inside of your home to your liking. Arrange everything in such a way that it gives the feeling of a haunted house. Nothing brings a family together than fear! And everyone loves seeing fun designs on each others homes and lawns, so it's a way to connect with your neighbors without actually hanging out.

4. Read or Share Ghost Stories

Ghost stories can be made up, or read from a book, or they might be actual occurrences if someone has had their own experience. Sharing creepy tales in the dark with friends and family summons a special, eerie feeling. You can even have a campfire late at night to tell your spooky stories around. Reach deep into your performative soul to bring the spirits to life.

5. Watch Horror Movies

couple watching scary movies

Turn off the lights (or don't!), grab your popcorn, and settle on the couch for the night watching your favorite scary flicks. There are usually some Halloween-themed movies on TV, so you can opt to have a Halloween movie marathon. Choosing the right film depends on everyone's age and anxiety levels. If you have older kids and don't mind getting scared, you can reach for some really nerve wracking content.

Something about getting scared can be relaxing, almost like it wrings you out so you can finally loosen up. This is also one activity you can do alone. If you dare...

6. Plan a Halloween Hunt

halloween goodie basket

Some people call this Hallow-Easter. If you're not comfortable strolling around the neighborhood right now, or your neighbors wouldn't appreciate a surprise visit, trick or treat your kids in your backyard by hiding sweets or toys, and then send them on a scavenger hunt either during the daylight hours or by using flashlights for an after-dusk sugar quest. Kids can even wear their costumes for the search and then play for as long as they want or as little as they wish. This way, kids can safely get their candies without you being worried.

You can also try and add some activities that will help kids bring down their high sugar levels. A simple and super fun game is a mummy wrap. Divide the kids into pairs and give each team a roll of tissue. Then instruct one member of the team to wrap his partner like a mummy. Once bound, the mummy must unwrap themselves without breaking the toilet paper. Finally, award, the winning pair, then reverse the partners.

Bottom Line

Halloween is about more than trick-or-treating. It’s can also be a way to come together as a family, and a time to honor or remember people who have passed on. So as the day approaches, pump up the mood and prepare to celebrate Halloween. Add your personal touches here and there to own the night. Give yourself and your loved ones a time to remember—no matter what age you are.