Carving pumpkins is a favored pastime of Halloween celebrators but did you know you can customize the design of your pumpkins intensely?
Thanks to user-friendly programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, you can create entirely customized stencils for your pumpkins. Check out Michael's guide how to create your own pumpkin stencil for an in-depth look into how you can create entirely customized carved pumpkins.
Carving pumpkins with friends—safely!
- This works best if you have a large open area available to you, like a yard or a driveway, where people can safely spread out to minimize contact.
- Create pumpkin carving stations that are safely distanced apart and mark the areas with old sheets. This is where your friends can carve their pumpkins, and you can still hang out and interact with them!
Never underestimate the power of a good speaker system. Pipe your pumpkin carving party full of Halloween music and enjoy yourselves.
A fun and easy activity that will keep the kids engaged and excited for Halloween is making spooky masks that also double as a protective face shield if you want to brave the streets for trick-or-treating.
Not only is this a good option if your kids are back in school, where they're likely wearing masks to begin with, but it's a fun way to dress up a less-than-fun addition to your child's day-to-day life.
They can wear their Halloween themed masks to class!
Some Ideas for DIY Masks
- Stock up on paint, glitter, and glue and go to town with decorating masks together. Remember to use your glue sparingly as your mask still needs to let air in.
- Use a marker to draw whiskers on the surface for a cat or a dog costume.
- Let your kid's imagination run wild with all of the possibilities. Encourage them to make their mask their own! If you use fabric masks, fabric markers are great for decorating masks.
- Check out these spooky 3D printed masks if you happen to have a 3D printer!
Don't rely just on Halloween masks for facial protection.
Who says hunting for candy is only an easter practice? Thankfully, there are many ways to hide candy, especially if you have a yard. Stock up on a few of their favorites (or yours, let's be honest) and stash them around the yard for them to find.
Great for kids if you're not trick-or-treating!
How to make the scavenger hunt creepy
- Add plenty of Halloween decorations to make their scavenger hunt experience all the scarier. Thankfully, you can find some decent decorations from the local discount store. Decorations like plastic tombstones, cobwebs, and pumpkin lights can all help to add a spooky effect for your scavengers.
- Remember music!
- Have your scavenger hunt just before dark so they have a chance to run around in the dark.
Remember to note all of the places where you stashed candy. The last thing you want is forgotten candy rotting in the hidden places of your yard.
Do you enjoy drive-ins? Who doesn't right? While the classic movie-watching medium is steadily making its returns across the country, movie nights on the lawn can be a great way to combine the comfort of home with the excitement of a movie under the stars!
How to set up your backyard
- The first thing you'll need is a projector, which can be expensive, ranging from $100 and up. You can find some that come with screens like this one but the screen is the easy part.
- Once you have your projector, you'll need a screen. A screen can either be a sheet pinned to the exterior of your house or a smooth wall. It needs to be smooth so the projected movie will be easily seen.
- Some projectors have speakers built into them. Check your projector ahead of time to see if you have speakers that are strong enough to handle your movie night.
- The next thing you need to do is make your yard comfortable! Spread your spare sheets over the lawn and break out your throw pillows.
- Finally, stock up on your favorite snacks.
- Don't forget the Jack-o-Lanterns for ambiance.
A great way to involve your neighbors in the festive fun is through a Halloween porch decoration face-off. Contact your neighbors and planning a decorating contest for the week leading up to Halloween.
Different awards to give
- The scariest
- The most original
- The most classic (check out the one above!)
- Most likely to become a Tim Burton film
- The most cinematic
- The cutest
The possibilities are endless when it comes to thinking of different awards to give, so have fun! Feel free to collaborate with your neighbors who are participating in the contest. Maybe have everyone create and design an award.
Judging the porches
When it comes to judging porches, there are several ways you could do this. You could all join a Zoom meeting, you could send out an email poll, or you could just drive by each other's homes and honk your appreciation, bringing everyone together despite social distancing.
Social distancing doesn't necessarily mean you have to skip out on trick-or-treating for the kids. If you have kids who are itching to trick-or-treat or if you want to maintain the porch-sitting tradition of handing out candy, there are ways to do it safely.
Below are 5 trick-or-treat hacks for you!
If you know the kids in your neighborhood will be trick-or-treating door-to-door and you want to hand out candy from a distance, you're in luck - especially if you have a front porch with railings. Railings are the perfect platform to craft a candy chute,, or a tunnel that allows you to safely transport candy from your porch to trick-or-treaters at the bottom.
You can make your candy chute out of PVC pipe!
- Simply measure the distance from the top of your railing to the bottom. That's the length that you want your chute to be.
- Carefully cut your PVC pipe to its desired length. PVC cutting tools like this one can be found on Amazon for $15!
- Your cut PVC edges can be rough so make sure you cover them up with something like masking tape to protect unsuspecting children's hands.
Make sure you decorate your candy chute.
The world (chute?) is your oyster here. Break out the spray paint and don't be afraid to have a little fun.
With a candy chute, you get to see the costumes and enjoy a moderately normal Halloween! For added safety, wear gloves as you send candy down your chute and post a sign at the edge of your property so the kids know not to rush up the stairs to grab their treats.
Going hand-in-hand with the candy scavenger hunt, this activity involves using the unique shapes and colors of Halloween candy to create a fun (and tasty!) graveyard in your front yard.
Remember those inexpensive Halloween decorations we mentioned you can find at the discount store? You can combine those with your candy to create a fun serve-yourself trick-or-treating experience. Here's how it works!
Ideas for transforming your graveyard
- Buy a bag of bones from the store and scatter them around the yard. Use Halloween candy to create the outline of the bodies.
- Create little candy piles beside the tombstones.
- If you don't mind tiny holes in the ground, you can use suckers to line a path for the children so they don't run amok through your decorations.
- Have small bags of wrapped candy for kids who don't want to take candy from the decorations.
Remember to post a sign encouraging parents to only let one household through the graveyard at a time.
Another way to safely trick-or-treat for this complex holiday is trunk-or-treat, which takes all of the spooky charms of trick-or-treating and repurposes it in a smaller, more condensed version that operates out of your car.
Participants often decorate their trunks or truck beds and children visit each car to receive their candy. These events can be safe, spread out, and are often organized through local churches and schools, which could mean that all you have to worry about is decorating your car and buying candy!
Check for local events. You might be able to sign up for a trunk-or-treat nearby you today!
Trunk-or-treats are already held outside and it's easy to space cars apart to comply with the 6ft rule. There might also be a general theme that everyone is expected to comply with so if you're too busy to come up with your own themes, be sure to ask ahead before you start decorating.
If you have a wall of hedges, bushes, or even a fence surrounding your property, you already have the perfect platform for a serve yourself candy wall.
A serve yourself candy wall functions by you clipping candy to your hedges, bushes, or fence and letting kids grab what they want as they walk by.
This is the easiest decoration on this list!
How you decorate your wall is up to you, but a fast and easy decoration is draping cobwebs over your candy wall and placing a few fake spiders across the surface. You can cover it with black cloth to make the cobwebs pop. This also makes it easy to clean, too, because you can carefully bundle the cobwebs in the with the cloth and keep them from getting tangled into your bushes or your fence.
You can get as elaborate or as simple as you want with this one!
A cute way to celebrate the holidays with your neighbors is to reverse trick-or-treat. Instead of children and their families visiting different houses in the neighborhood, you can pack up candy into little plastic bags and drop them off at your neighbor's house!
Feel free to pack the bags of candy with gloves and drop them off with gloved hands, too, for added safety.
You can also use little Halloween buckets or cups to transport your goods. You can also tailor the contents of your gifts to who your neighbors. Does one of your neighbors really enjoy peanut butter cups? Load up their bag with them.
Happy Halloween, friends!