Not trick-or-treating this Halloween? There are still plenty of fun ways to have a spooktastic Halloween party celebration at home
After the disappointment of having to skip Hallowe’en last year, many had hoped that we could have some scary fun for Halloween 2021. Alas, it is not to be. With the current Stabilisation Phase due to end on October 24th, it is difficult to plan anything for a week later, not knowing if we will still be restricted to just two visitors per household per day.
Once again Hallowe’en celebrations will need to be adapted. Big community events cannot go ahead and while there are some Hallowe’en events in town, Trick or Treating in the neighbourhood or around the condo, is ill-advised because of the potential issues like cross-contamination from little hands in bowls of sweets, or accidentally bumping into other groups. However if you think you can do it safely in your neighbourhood, then why not.
Despite being British, I am an avid Halloween junkie, and have helped to organise the events at Opera Estate in the past so trust me – I am just as bummed – again.
So what can we do instead?
I’m a believer in the fact that your kids are going to love whatever you try and do at home for them. Honestly. A small private family party with games and decorations and an inventive kind of Trick or Treat can be even more special than traipsing around for an hour sweating under a Halloween costume that was (let’s be honest) designed to be worn at the end of Autumn, when the temperature drops!
So here are my easy tips to celebrate Halloween at Home
1. Get the kids involved. There are lots (and lots) of easy crafts on the internet and Pinterest. Use the rainy days or weekends at home to make some fabulous decorations from recycling old toilet rolls and other fun things. Once you have a basic set of paints, papers or pens in spooky colours – you are all set to make so much!
2. Purchase any other decorations early. I mean now, if you haven’t already! Compared to previous years, there is a distinct lack of Halloween merchandise in the shops here in Singapore, which means that if you don’t have a box hidden away, you’ll need to do this as soon as possible. If you are purchasing online, you’ll need time for items to arrive! There’s nothing more annoying than that 6ft inflatable pumpkin arriving in November!
3. Send out the invitations. With current restrictions only allowing two persons to visit your house at one time, make sure your invitations go out early too – so you can invite someone else in case someone declines – making the most of your quota! Make sure you include an end time – so that you have time to relax afterwards!
4. Plan. Your party doesn’t need to go on for hours and hours – but you want to make it as fun as you can. Decided if you will be letting kids watch a movie (factor in games and snack time on top of the movie time).
- Start with an “Arrival Gift” – this can be a small pumpkin/cauldron filled with some fun accessories to be used throughout the night. Think of glowsticks, silly glasses, hair clips, fake fangs – the list is endless! Make sure they are labelled so there are no mix-ups. The guests can fill them with the candy they get through party games and more.
- Set the mood. Nothing sets the scene better than a mixture of music and spooky sounds. Grab an online playlist – or make your own.
- Temporary tattoos. These can be fun and keep kids amused if you are waiting for someone to arrive.
- Games. Organise a couple of games – team and individual. From traditional bobbing for apples (switch over the water and apples between participants) to dangling doughnuts, balloon stomping, pumpkin drop, musical pumpkins and spaghetti eyeball dig! You can be as messy – or not – as you choose! Here are some ideas for 7 to 11-year-olds that we used last year:
– Eyeball Roll: Plastic eyeballs, straws and a table … even more fun if you have a bucket to aim for at the end!
– Witchy Fingers: Grab some black, purple and orange balloons, some empty toilet rolls and some “witch’s fingertips” (Halloween costume aisle) – who can go the furthest without dropping the balloon?
– Hangman’s Apples: The classic hanging apple game (you could use doughnuts instead) or pop the apples in a washing up bowl of water … and go bobbing.
– Worm Hunt: A bag of worm sweets and some flour (or squirty cream) – find as many as you can with just your mouth!
– Spider Catch: Inflatable spider headgear with tossable rings – who can get the most points?
- Crafts. Getting the kids crafty can be a lot of fun – from scary toilet roll eyes, paper monster lanterns, witch wind catchers or flying ghosts. Set up some easy crafts and pre-prepare the materials needed.
5. Snacks. There are some fiercely creative and easy snack ideas to add atmosphere, from all-out sweet-fests to cute ghosty bananas or fruit sticks – there really is something for everyone’s taste and cooking ability. Grabs some ready-made fun snacks from stores, and you can even just add spooky elements like vampire’s teeth to ring doughnuts, gummy worms to chocolate mousse or wrap some pastry around some hotdog sausages for a mummy-effect.
6. Trick or Treat. Ok – so this is the big one, the one that concerns people the most. There is no denying that Trick or Treating isn’t going to be “normal” again this year, but hiding some candy around the space you have can be just as fun! Why not turn out the lights to make it even more difficult and spooky? Cellophane goodie bags with a glowstick inside are fun to find, or decorate some leftover plastic Easter eggs! You can make toilet roll monster piñatas – or even ghost lollipops to find. You can hide the candy – or have the children find the ghost to win the candy. Throw in some clues and you have a Spooky Scavenger Hunt!
7. Halloween Movie Time. If you are happy to keep the little monsters a bit longer, you can get them settled in front of a Halloween movie – but if they are on a sugar high you might want to turn out the lights and let them have a boogie instead!
8. Leaving Gift. As with all the things mentioned, this is just an idea and is optional. Try filling a disposable glove with candy or other Halloween treats.
What if you have kids of differing ages? Why not try and organise with your friends to each take a different age group? One of you can host 7-9-year-olds whilst the other hosts for the 4-6-year-olds. This makes concentrating on one set of games much easier. If you are not ‘swapping’ kids, why not ask the invitees to bring along some candy to share – thus making it a little lighter on your pocket?
However you celebrate Halloween this year, I hope you have fun!