Since we trick-or-treat on Beggar’s Night in Des Moines, the actual holiday of Halloween on October 31st, can seem like a bit of a letdown. However, there is more to Halloween than just trick-or-treating and there’s a lot of ways to enjoy this frightfully fun day with your kids. So, if you’re excited to celebrate on the actual Halloween holiday, here are 13 ways to celebrate Halloween with your kids on October 31st.
1. Host a “scary or spooky” family movie night.
Turn off the lights, make an enormous batch of popcorn and settle on the couch with your kids for a few scary afternoon/evening movies. Of course, choosing the titles depends on the age and anxiety levels of your kids!
2. Walk or drive around the “spooky” streets of Sherman Hill.
Each year on October 31st locals can find zombies dancing to Thriller or a 7-foot Frankenstein at Halloween on the Hill. This all trick and no treats event begins at The Kathedral, located on the corner of 19th Street and Crocker Street, where visitors drop off non-perishable food items and pick up a map.
3. Tell some ghost stories.
Build a bonfire outside and tell some scary stories or stay inside, dim the lights and turn reading time into a spooky-themed story spectacular. Jumpy kids might prefer to keep the lights on and the voices normal, but if they’re up for some scary fun, try making them squeal with sudden noises and creepy voices!
4. Visit the pumpkin patch or corn maze one last time.
Most of the area pumpkin patches and corn mazes close for the season on October 31st. Make one last visit to take a final hay ride or stroll through the corn maze. Is there really anything much creepier than running through a corn maze on Halloween?!?
5. Grab some pumpkin or fall-themed treats.
Fall is the only time of year where it makes sense to snag some of these crazy pumpkin-themed treats like coffees, cake, pie and even ice cream for the family.
6. Go on a Halloween treasure hunt.
Kids can use their Trick-or-Treat bags to collect Halloween themed objects from around the house and/or yard. Make the treasure hunt more challenging by providing clues to take kids to each hiding spot where the treats are, adding a little bit of spooky-ness to them. And, up the fun factor by inviting friends and neighbors to participate too.
7. Cook a spooky family dinner.
Make dinner a scream by giving it a Halloween theme on Tuesday, October 31. Get everyone to dress up in costumes, even the dog, then serve up some spooky treats. Give the dining room extra atmosphere by carving a jack o’lantern and place a candle inside it to enhance the Halloween feel.
8. Visit a local haunted house.
This one is a classic that doesn’t really need any explanation. October 31st is the pinnacle of the haunted house season. Visit 2017 Haunted House Fun in Des Moines to see where there’s a haunted attraction in your area.
9. Host family game night.
Ouji board anyone? Whether it’s a long-lost relative, historical figure or an old movie star, Halloween is the perfect night to try calling on the spirits. Not into that, pick out a few other board games, serve snacks, and enjoy a night in!
10. Attend the The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Sing-Along) at Flix Brewhouse.
Enjoy a special Halloween Sing-Along version of this cult classic. Flix puts custom subtitles on the screen so all the guys and ghouls in your fam can follow along with their favorite Rocky Horror songs!
11. Review a little Halloween lore.
Why not teach the kids about the origins of Halloween? Halloween’s origins are British. Called ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ it’s believed to have originated with the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. The Celts believed the souls of the dead mingled with the living on that day before making their way to the ‘other side’. Placing Jack-o’-lanterns outside would help guide lost spirits home when they wander the streets on Halloween. Do a little research then give the kids a fun history lesson.
12. Go to bed early.
OK, perhaps this isn’t the most exciting option. But, it still sounds pretty great, right? After, staying up late to trick-or-treat on Beggar’s Night, crash in bed early on Halloween, and catch up on some much needed shut-eye. After all, nothing is more frightening than kiddos with a lack of sleep!
13. Go ahead and Trick or Treat!
How do you celebrate Halloween with your kids on October 31st? Share your fun ideas with us!