The bewitching month of October is nearly upon us! Leaving us to ask ourselves what we can do to keep our little ghouls and goblins busy. Below I have compiled some of my family’s favorite free and low cost Halloween Haunts to check out.
The Ghoulish Homes Tour: This event is put on each year through the St. Charles Park District. Families enter their homes in this fun ‘haunted house’ decorating contest for a small fee. The entry fee funds both the contest prize money and, I believe, the Baker Street Underground (a fun and safe place for teens and tweens to hang out together). The list of participating homes is available on-line on October 15 (see link below) and homes can be viewed through Halloween night. You can walk, but we usually drive as the houses can be spread pretty far apart. Last year turned out some pretty impressive displays so I can’t wait to see what people come up with for this year!
Cemetery Walk: Sounds creepy, but it was actually really neat. We have a couple of cemeteries within walking distance of us so one chilly night we loaded the kids, some blankets, some flashlights, and some hot apple cider into the wagon and headed into the cemetery. Thankfully we saw absolutely no ghosts, but we did see a whole bunch of really unique grave stones. Some of them were really old and served as a neat glimpse into our past. Some of the graves were of war heroes dating back as far as WWI, some were graves of husbands and wives that had passed at a ripe old age. It was overall a sobering and unique experience.
The Mummy Mile Fun Run: Another park district event. This one does cost a small fee, but it’s pretty affordable. I think it runs something like $5.00/person. Although it says ‘fun run’ you can certainly walk along the path, wearing costumes of course, making stops along the way to play fun and covid-friendly games like the ‘toilet paper mummy’ challenge. At the end there were treats and goodies for the kids. See link below for the details.
Movies In The Park: I know a lot of communities tend to show movies in their parks so you will have to look around in your neighborhood to locate one nearest to you. The event by us takes place in Pottawatomie park on select Fridays and is totally free. Dress for the weather and I would recommend a blanket or camp chairs to sit on as well as your favorite snacks, and don’t forget the bug-spray for the mosquitos. For Dates and times you can click on the link below. P.S. Hocus Pocus is playing soon!
Crafts and Activities For the Littles: For your teeny-tinies that are in bed well before movies in the park starts I recommend a nice Halloween themed bath. This year at Target in the dollar bins I found some adorable little pumpkin shaped soaps and some bat shaped bath fizzers. Oriental Trading Company offers Halloween themed rubber ducks in all shapes and sizes imaginable….even ones that glow in the dark. I also used to brain storm Halloween words and write them on the side of the tub in orange bath crayon to keep my kids entertained.
My kids love Cosmic Kids Yoga (found via YouTube). There’s a five minute Halloween themed speed Yoga https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt-dk7aQhPs as well as a longer session about skeletons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-GvTXEoQfk and another about a witch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArOzn2dtDdA .
Don’t forget about your local library as well! Our library is great about pulling seasonal books to the front to make them easy to find. Some of our favorite Halloween reads: Pumpkin Countdown by: Joan Holub, The Littlest Witch by: Brandi Dougherty, EEEK! Halloween! by: Sandra Boynton, The Bearenstain Bears: Happy Halloween by: Stan and Jan Berenstain, The Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever! by: Steven Kroll, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat! by: Lucille Colandro, and It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by: Laura Numeroff.
The Dollar Tree has my favorite picks again this year for Halloween crafts. We scored some spooky face sticker books as well as some foam witch kits and a big felt pumpkin kit.
Last year the kids and I attempted to make our own ‘Haunted Gingerbread House’. Though it wasn’t a complete disaster it certainly wasn’t easy (hello Royal Icing learning curve). This year Five Below has haunted Hershey’s house kits for five dollars and the kit includes everything you need!! We haven’t tried it yet so I am excited to see how it goes this year and if it is any easier than last year.
I had a bunch of old Mason Jars sitting around from cleaning out the kids’ great grandma’s house, so we painted them and used electrical tape, wine bottle corks, and google eyes to turn them into jack-o-lanterns and Frankenstein’s.
Hopefully, out of all these ideas you will be able to ‘scare-up’ some Halloween fun for your family this year without hearing your wallet scream like a banshee! Stay safe and have a blast!