Before I start this post, I just want to say that I am not writing it to judge anyone. If you do or do not celebrate this holiday or that holiday, that is between you, your family and God. If you disagree with our decision, that's ok, but we ask that you respect it, just as we respect yours. Thank you. :)
As you may have guessed from the post title, my family does not celebrate Halloween. We used to; I even went trick-or-treating as a girl and my hubby went as a boy, but we no longer do. Why? Well, there are 3 reasons really.
- We do not like the origin of the holiday. As a family, we agreed that we should not celebrate something with the traditions that Halloween has, even if all it is now (for most people, anyway) is an excuse to get dressed up in costumes and get candy. If our kids wanted to dress-up and have candy, they could do that at any time, so this was no reason to keep taking our kids out trick-or-treating in our opinion.
- The decor scares my kids...and sometimes us. The last few times we actually took our kids trick-or-treating, they were terrified of some of the ways people chose to decorate. They had nightmares about some of it (Seriously!). To us, that makes participating in this holiday not worth it.
- Walking around in the cold (and either snowy or damp, considering where we live) weather for hours is horrible for my Fibromyalgia. I couldn't take them even if I wanted to.
You may be the type that either is on the fence about whether to take your kids out or not, you may already have decided not to participate in Halloween or you may indeed celebrate the holiday but are looking for other types of fall activities to do just for fun. This is the post for you! :)
Here is a list of five things you can do in lieu of Halloween, either before, during or after October 31st:
- A Harvest Party. This is very common and a great alternative. You don't get dressed up in costumes, but you celebrate the season of Autumn and the time of Harvest. You can decorate with fall colors, leaves, pumpkins, apples, Indian corn, etc. You can play games and have a piñata with candy and toys in it. You can have all the fun without the ghosts and goblins.
- Have Family Time. You can just spend time with family, immediate or extended. You can jump in the leaves, go on a color tour, make indoor s'mores, drink hot apple cider...You can do anything that screams "fall" to you.
- Have A Non-Halloween Dress-Up Party. We don't do this, but we know people who do. If you still want your kids to be able to dress-up, but don't like all the ghosts and goblins, have a party that has a theme like "animals" or "farmers" or "historical figures" and have the attendees dress-up accordingly.
- Get Away For The Night. Over the years, we have gone from feeling like we should pass out candy if we're home to feeling like we really shouldn't support the holiday in even that capacity, so we've had to go away for the night (at least for a few hours, anyway) because we live in town and feel that (if we're not going to participate) we should not be home. Instead, we make arrangement to go to a friend or family member's house who lives out of town (i.e. where there is no trick-or-treating because it is too rural) and stay there for the afternoon and evening until trick-or-treating is done. We normally have pizza or some other kid-friendly meal and some kind of sugar-loaded dessert (and sometimes we've even had bags of candy/trinkets for the kiddos from the grandparents/us that they got to take home with them) so the kids feel like they haven't missed anything. We've even played games or watched a movie and ate popcorn, too. It's always a lot of fun, and my kids always come away from it feeling like they haven't missed a thing. :)
- Game Night With Candy Rewards. This could be a party or a family thing. What you do is get age-appropriate games together and make up a reward system. Now, you could go very educational-based, and have them go through X amount of math or spelling/reading flashcards in a minute to earn some candy, or you could do games like Tick-Tac-Toe or Go Fish! and reward the winner of each game with a miniature candy bar or something. You could even have candy bar eating contests or apple eating contests. You could do any number of things. The point is, if you feel that your kid will miss out if they aren't getting candy, then find a way for them to get the candy without the Halloween twist. You don't really need a reason to give your kids sugar, but sometimes it's nice to give them fun ways to earn it. :) What you use for rewards is totally up to you.
I hope you try some of these alternatives out, even if you do celebrate Halloween. You might find a new tradition to add to your yearly schedule. :)
Take care, and may you have an amazing day!