We’re a Halloween family. Always have been, always will be. We’re the first through the door on opening day of Spirit Halloween. Our kids plan their costumes months in advance. We own a disturbing amount of animatronics and take pride in being ‘that’ house in the neighborhood. I add canned pumpkin to everything I bake between early September and mid-November. Spooky is just our jam.
That being said, there are three main ways our family is celebrating the Halloween season this year, and NONE of them are anything like they have been before (hi, theme of 2020). Surprisingly though we’ve decided, unanimously at that, that we like these ‘new traditions’ even better than our old ones!
So here I am, to share with you our Halloween 2020 extravaganzas – part one, two and three!
PART ONE: The Ultimate Scary Movie Night
We keep this part family friendly because our team is still only little, but as the kids grow, I’m sure we’ll branch out to a few more spooky ‘classics.’ We’re going with the must see, annual obligation of a movie known as Hocus Pocus this year. Again. Here’s how we’re mixing it up this year though:
What You’ll Need:
$1 candy boxes (pre-packaged really adds to the theater feel). By the way, these and most other items in this post can be picked up en mass from Target drive-up for anyone who is still steering clear of stores!
Popcorn divided into spooky treat bags, ready to ‘grab and go’ style.
Mini soda cans. Don’t judge us; it’s a once in a while treat that the kids flip out for because it’s ‘special’ and THAT’S the theme of this night!
Printable ‘movie’ tickets and ‘movie bucks.’ Make your own design or do a quick Google search — just make sure there’s enough for everyone!
Here’s How It Goes:
Set out each treat in a movie theater style fashion so the kids can ‘shop’ for their snacks before the designated movie start time. I recommend multiples of each candy if you have more than one child so you don’t have a mutiny on your hands. Make sure everyone has a set amount of ‘movie bucks’ (see above); it adds to the pretend play and, frankly, helps with portion control!
Optional: spooky colored lighting, flickering candles, cozy blankets for each seat, flashing lights at the start of the movie to signal it’s time to take your seat, ice cream at intermission, Mom and Dad playing along as ushers and concession stand attendees.
Trust me on this…they’ll talk about this one for weeks!
PART TWO: The Halloween Campfire
This part is my favorite this year because it can involve some extended family members, even those who are still social distancing from one another.
Keep it outside: firepits make a wonderful addition to this gathering, but frankly, a heap of cozy blankets, a spread of fireside inspired grub (think spider dogs *google it*, s’mores, pumpkin baked everything, hot chocolate) and a flashlight under the chin, add more than enough ambiance.
Here’s where the fun really starts: ask each family member (at least those who are old enough) to bring along their favorite spooky story to recite or read…gather round, get warm and cozy (even at 6 feet apart) and make some family memories that will go so much further than the same old trick or treating outing ever did.
PART THREE: Making Magic For Others
Here’s where we get to give back a bit during this rather bizarre excuse of a year. Let’s ask ourselves what WE can do to bring a little magic and memory making to others this Halloween season.
We will be setting out our animatronic and decoration collection for the neighbors to, ahem, enjoy, and will be making little individual treat bags (wearing gloves and masks I’ll have you know) for the neighborhood kids to help themselves to while visiting our yard. We’ll be staying on the porch and encouraging social distancing with a one-way trip around our display, but most of all, we’ll be together as a family, doing what we can to bring a small festive smile to our community.
I’ve also heard of ‘boo-ing’ your neighbors (leaving little unexpected treats on a stranger’s porch to brighten their day), or even ‘pumpkin fairies’ who leave cute jack-o’-lanterns around the community to make others smile throughout the season.
Our kids aren’t too worried about the candy this year (though I doubt they’ll go without *eye roll), but they were worried that we wouldn’t have a special Halloween season in 2020. I daresay they don’t have anything to worry about at all.