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5 Not-Too-Scary Activities for the Whole Family this Halloween

I’m ‘that house’ on the block. Sometimes it’s not even October 1 yet and my house is decked out in all the best decorations the Dollar Store can buy (when is the ‘acceptable’ time to start decorating for Halloween, anyways?). Combine the beauty of fall with the creative opportunities of Halloween and you’re left with a lot to do in a (very) short period of time. Anyone else feel like you cram a whole lotta fun into about one month?

Throughout my life, I’ve celebrated Halloween to the fullest. That means I’ve also come up with (and participated in) some fun activities over the years. Here, I’ve compiled my top five activities surrounding the month of October! I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.

1. Make your own Halloween costume (or jazz up a simple one you bought in-store). I’m creative, but I’m not artistic. This means I’m limited to utilizing cut-outs and adding designs to things created by talented artists. One of my favorite things to do is craft Halloween costumes! The Dollar Store has everything you need to create perfect costumes for you and your family - glue some glitter and googly eyes to a mask, glue figurines to a hat (in my case, little artificial birds and a bird’s nest to a scarecrow hat), and even sew burlap and patches onto a dress to make a great one-of-a-kind Halloween costume!

2. Construct an eerie papier Mache family. Remember papier Mache? Building papier Mache Halloween creatures is a good multi-day activity that is lightweight, you can personalize your creation, and can be reused year after year. The possibilities to create your family are endless, from pumpkins and ghosts to a whole haunted cemetery. Inspired by Stephen King? Make it a pet cemetery! Add glow-in-the-dark glue or paint to the finished product to make your creation stand out like a sore thumb (or make a papier Mache sore thumb, if you’re artsy enough!).

3. Create a Halloween music playlist. Plan a whole afternoon and dance or monster mash your way through the most popular (and sometimes terrible) Halloween songs. No lie, my son’s favorite song for about two years was the theme song for Ghostbusters. There’s another fun side activity as well surrounding Halloween music, and that is debating whether it’s classified as a Halloween song: Is the Ghostbusters theme song considered Halloween music? ‘Who you gonna call’ to end the debate?!

4. Play ‘mission impossible’ with a Halloween twist. While the classic bobbing for apples and Pin the Tail on the Donkey games are a good time, get those creative gears turning and create a fun, spooky activity for the whole family. One game that I highly recommend is a mission impossible ‘web’ game. Tie yarn all over the room in different angles and race to make it to the other side without touching the yarn. My family makes it spooky by lighting the room in black light with white yarn (or using a different colored light bulb in the room) and playing the best (worst) spooky music.

5. Haunted obstacle course. Depending on the age of your kids, and whether you like getting spooked (I do not), having an age-appropriate haunted obstacle course is a ton of fun! As I mentioned, I do not like being scared (I consider Scary Movie a scary movie), so my family’s version of this activity involves turning the house into a Halloween obstacle course with welcoming pumpkins, shutting the lights off, and racing through the course in the evening with glow sticks. This activity could also be recreated outdoors, such as in a park, your backyard, or a nearby forest - if you dare!

There’s so much fun to be had surrounding Halloween. Rain or shine (or snow), I hope you embrace the whole fall season for all its beauty. Get outdoors and decorate your house or take some of these activities outside (outdoor crafts are cleaner, anyways). Things are obviously a little complicated with the uncertainties of COVID-19, but one thing’s for sure… family activities are sure to help with getting through any mid-week slump!

Carrie balances motherhood with her job as a marketing professional and her outdoor photography endeavours. Her and her family are avid outdoor enthusiasts and can be found on Instagram or at thatoutdoorsyfamily.com.

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