Halloween Night In :: 8 Activities for a Hauntingly Good Time at Home


Spooky season is in full swing! The Halloween sections in stores are set up and stocked with candy and costumes. Cable networks and streaming services are bringing the best (and worst) of horror movies and television shows.

But, if you’re choosing to avoid crowds of trick-or-treaters or potentially wet and cold weather, you’re probably looking for ways to celebrate Halloween in the safety and coziness of your home. Here’s a list of 8 activities you can do at home to celebrate Halloween:

Trick-or-Treat in Your House

Just because you’re having a Halloween night-in doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the holiday’s most popular tradition. Set out candy and treat bowls throughout your house for your kids to gather. Don’t feel you have to skimp on the experience because you’re at home, either (although there is nothing wrong with having your child snatch up candy in their pajamas). Pull out the costumes and decorate the doors to get in the Halloween spirit!

Holiday Mashup Decor

I love holiday mashups! Especially Halloween and Christmas. Why not combine the spooky with holiday joy and decorate a year-long holiday tree? Get an artificial Christmas tree and decorate it for Halloween with store-bought or handmade ornaments. Dangle orange string lights on your tree, inside, and around your home. Show off a macabre wreath on your front door. Have fun turning your home into a nightmare before Christmas!

Halloween Egg Hunt

The Halloween egg hunt is my favorite holiday mashup following the year-round holiday tree and is a great alternative to trick-or-treating. Dress up in costumes, decorate real eggs or plastic eggs filled with candy, and hide them inside or outside your home. Take an extra (fun) step and create some boo baskets for added treats and goodies or to drop off for friends and family. 

Costumed Story Time

Combining dress-up and spooky tales makes for a special Halloween story time! Decide on a theme (witches, monsters, ghosts, etc.) then pick out books and costumes to go along with that theme. Transition it to a movie night by reading books with a movie adaption.

Play Mad Scientist 

Why not make Halloween both fun and educational with some Halloween-themed science experiments? Play the Igor to your child’s Dr. Frankenstein and turn your kitchen into a laboratory for their experiments. You can even put a magical twist on it and become spellcasting witches and wizards. 

Create a Haunted Room

If putting up and taking down a lot of decorations is not your thing (it’s definitely not mine), pick one room in your home to designate as a scaled-down version of a haunted house. Decorations can be as simple as covering the furniture with sheets and changing out the lightbulbs to create eerie lighting and shadows. Add some dollar store decorations and creepy music/sounds to create a ghostly chamber. Your haunted room could also double as your Halloween egg hunt location.

Halloween Trivia Game Night

Did you know that the first jack o’ lanterns were made from turnips? Show off your brainy side and gain a new appreciation of Halloween traditions and folklore by hosting a trivia game night. Pinterest is loaded with game ideas and printables. You can use candy and other treats as prizes.

Break Out the Glow Gear

Last year, my family celebrated Halloween at home in our backyard. We toasted smores over our fire pit and dressed the kids up in glow-in-the-dark jewelry, swords, and wands. Their glow-in-the-dark accessories provided the added bonus of keeping track of them in our dimly lit backyard. When it started to drizzle and get too cold, we brought the celebration indoors by warming up hot chocolate and turning out the lights.

Being at home for Halloween doesn’t have to be a dull and predictable affair! I hope these suggested activities get you excited and inspired about celebrating Halloween at home!

What would you add to this list? 

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Shacoya is a devoted wife, mother of an Âûsome son (‘16) and vivacious daughter (‘19), and caretaker of her loving mother. Columbia became her home after surviving sunburn and mosquito bites to meet and fall in love with her husband while they were working at the Riverbanks Zoo gift shop. Her love of writing began when she won the Young Author’s Award in the fourth grade and culminated in her writing a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days for the annual National Novel Writing Month challenge, NaNoWriMo, in 2019. Along with writing, Shacoya also enjoys the art of fake 'n bakin’ (making premade ingredients taste like homemade), developing the skill of actually using the pins on her Pinterest boards, fangirling Richland Library, window shopping on Etsy, and learning about ways to be a better human being.


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