Your kids have been talking about their Halloween costumes since August. You’ve spent money on candy, fake noses and glow-in-the-dark skeletons. The jack-o-lanterns are carved and, now, you’re ready for the big night. The kids wolf down dinner and hit the streets as it starts to get dark. By 7:30 p.m., they’re home and the loot’s been sorted. After all the preparation, you’ve got to wonder: Is that all there is?
If you’re a fan of Halloween, an hour and a half doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to howl. Here are 13 wicked ways to keep the ghostly good times rolling just a little longer.
1. Invite the neighbors for a potluck supper after trick-or-treating. A garage makes a great spooky location, and you won’t have to clean the house. Decorate with cobwebs and include traditional activities, such as bobbing for apples, a barbecue bonfire and fortune telling.
2. Wear costumes to a nursing home and bring treats. Check with the administration before you hand out sweets.
3. Rent classic scary videos to watch after trick-or-treating or the night before Halloween. Some good suggestions include: The Nightmare Before Christmas, the original King Kong, the original Godzilla (with special nod to Godzilla vs. Mothra).
4. Have a costume parade the day before Halloween. Bring noisemakers. Supply cider and donuts for a post-parade treat.
5. Organize a neighborhood house decorating or jack-o-lantern carving contest. Award a black ribbon (or a jack-o-lantern carved with the #1) to the winner. Deliver awards before trick-or-treating begins. (This is also a good time to collect for UNICEF.)
6. Set up a spooky house in your basement, on your front porch or in the garage. Attach a skeleton or a bat to a pulley (even a rope draped over a ceiling beam) and make it move from a remote location.
7. Celebrate the season with a scary Halloween supper. Try creating mummies from sandwiches, eyeballs with peeled grapes, and brains with cold spaghetti! Create a spooky punch and don't forget to skip dessert!
8. Work with local businesses and your recreation department to paint storefront windows with a Halloween theme. Ask businesses to donate gift certificates to participants.
9. Wear a costume all day. Drive the carpool in a witch’s hat, go grocery shopping with vampire fangs.
10. Take time out during the month of October to take part in your community’s Halloween events.
11. Construct a haunted gingerbread house. Use cotton candy for cobwebs; plant candy pumpkins in the front yard.
12. Visit a local cemetery. Bring butcher paper, masking tape (to attach paper to stone) and a thick black crayon for rubbings.
13. Halloween is a dramatic time of year. Young thespians can stage a mysterious “who-dun-it.”
Updated August 2012