Halloween to me is a fun time. When my kids were younger we decorated the house from top to bottom with ghosts, goblins and other creatures of the night. School buses transporting the kids from school slowed down to a crawl when driving by the house so all the kids could have a look see. Halloween night meant Trick or Treating with everyone in the neighborhood returning to our house for taco soup, hot dogs and pizza. Such fun memories.
Today’s world is different. Many families would rather not go Trick or Treating. It matters not if they object for religious reasons, safety concerns or health. Still it is important for families to build family traditions and memories. Fall is a wonderful time of year with or without Halloween. So here are a few ideas for celebrating the season with alternative Halloween celebrations.
Trunk or Treat Celebrations are gaining in popularity especially in churches across the country. This gives children a safe place to collect treats from members of the church congregation instead of going door to door around the neighborhood. With Trunk or Treat treats are handed out from the trunks of decorated cars in a parking lot to children who parade through. Often a prize is awarded to the best decorated truck with some of the cars sporting flashing lights, costumed characters, music and more. Some churches take it one step farther and decorate with Bible verses and stories such as Noah or David and Goliath.
Harvest Celebrations are a wonderful way to celebrate the season. Think falling leaves, pumpkins and apples. Consider a bonfire, a hay ride and a square dance. Decorate with lots of fall leaves, corn stalks and pumpkins. Face painting for the little ones is a must. Crafts are easy using packaged leaves from the dollar or craft store to pin onto a small straw wreath, or glue onto a picture frame. Hold a scarecrow making contest by providing the straw and have guest bring clothes to stuff.
Serve lots of fall foods. Apples in every way, from fresh to candied both red and caramel, to apple pies, donuts and apple cider, hot and cold. Hot dogs roasted on sticks over the bon fire and hot bowls of spicy pumpkin soup round out the menu.
Family outings to apple orchards and pumpkin patches to pick apples and pumpkins are another way to celebrate the season. Check with the farm before going for hours, cost and any special activities that may be going on. Most farms provide a hay ride to the field and many free entertainment and activities during this time. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and clothing suited for rolling around in the hay, and don’t forget the camera.
Families can celebrate fall and the harvest season in way other then traditional Halloween Trick or Treating. The key is to celebrate the season in a way that reflects your family’s beliefs and values and in a way that builds your families traditions and memories.