The first Halloween activity that comes to mind for most people is trick-or-treating. Here's a list of other ways to celebrate!
Trick-or-treating is a lot of fun for the kids! Adults can join in too by dressing in costume and accompanying them or handing out candy. But that's far from the only thing to do on Halloween. Most areas have a wide variety of Halloween activities we can enjoy. Here are some ideas.
Visit a “haunted house.” Schools and civic groups often sponsor these delightfully scary Halloween activities. You can usually take a tour for a small donation, but be prepared to be scared out of your wits! If you prefer to do the scaring, inquire about participating next year.
See what your nearest theme park or other favourite attraction has to offer. Many have special Halloween activities during the month of October. For example, Carowinds theme park on the North Carolina/South Carolina state line has an annual Halloween event called Scarowinds that features haunted rides and other spooky attractions. If you have children, check with the park in advance to see if their programs are appropriate for their ages.
Seek out a haunted maze. These are found in many cornfields and are fun for the whole family.
Participate in a costume contest. Most are announced in the newspaper, on the radio or on television in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Many bars have contests for adults with cash prizes. For the kids, check with local schools and civic groups.
Do some crafting. Whether it's sewing costumes or making paper bats with the kids, there's nothing like creating Halloween-related stuff to get you in the holiday spirit.
Watch scary movies. Most TV networks have horror film festivals before and during Halloween, and you can catch some good scary movies in the theatre as well. Kids can watch age-appropriate spooky movies and cartoons at the theatre or on channels such as Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.
Play some good-natured pranks. Cut up some Jello and put it in a bowl, place a layer of wrapped candy over it, and offer it to guests. Spray unsuspecting souls with Silly String. Hide in the bushes and scare family members. As long as no one gets hurt and there's no property damage, it's all in good fun.
Have a party. Halloween parties give teens and adults something fun and safe to do and provide an alternative to trick-or-treating for kids. Activities could include your own costume contest or horror film festival, games and dancing.
Costumes aren't just for trick-or-treaters. Even kids who think they're too old to go door-to-door enjoy dressing up as someone or something else. And adults don't have to have an excuse to don a funny or scary costume on Halloween, either.
When choosing a costume, there are a few things to consider. First, it's important to make sure it's appropriate for the occasion. A suggestive or super-gory costume might be a hit at the Halloween bash at the local bar, but may not be appropriate for handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. And in some locations, wearing a mask out in public is against the law if you're over a certain age. Masks may also be prohibited at certain events or establishments.
Face paint is a popular component of many Halloween costumes. But some individuals may be allergic to certain types of makeup. If you have sensitive skin, do a test by placing a small amount of the makeup in an inconspicuous place and leaving it on for a few hours. If you experience an adverse reaction, try another brand or skip the face paint altogether.
Costumes are available in most sizes. But for infants, it can be difficult to find anything that fits. Safety is also an important issue. If you can't find anything for your little one, consider using fabric paint to transform a plain t-shirt or onesie into a costume.
Comfort is an important factor in choosing a costume. No matter how great you look, you're not going to have a good time if you're wearing something that's too tight, too hot, too cold or too itchy. Try your costume on ahead of time and make sure you'll be able to live with it for the amount of time you'll be wearing it. If you're making your own costume, carefully consider the fabrics you use.
For trick-or-treaters and their escorts, comfortable shoes are especially important. Unfortunately, the shoes that look the best with your costume may not be the best for walking long distances. If in doubt, bring along a comfortable pair of sneakers to change into if the shoes you're wearing hurt your feet.
Those who are hitting the streets should also wear costumes that are safe. They should be flame resistant, and should not be long enough to trip over. There should also be some element to them that is reflective, especially if you will be out after dark. Masks should be properly ventilated and have eye holes that do not obstruct vision. Also, it's not a good idea to carry accessories that are blunt or sharp, as injury could occur in the event of a fall.