Ideas for celebrating Halloween when you don't have kids

October 08, 2016

I love Halloween, I'm a total scaredy-cat, true, but I love the chance to celebrate my inner goth, dress up, eat candy and maybe let myself get just a little frightened. Growing up, I lived in a pretty rural area, so I would always go trick-or-treating with a friend who lived in an actual neighborhood with sidewalks and more than a handful of houses. Halloween was always a social event, and part of that was preparing our costumes - should we coordinate? were we wearing them to school? what could I make and what could I buy?

But as I got older, Halloween slowly changed from trick-or-treating, to handing out candy, to picking out a costume I would get noticed in for a party, to.... well, it's not really celebrated in Germany, so nothing for a few years.

And I miss it. I'm 30 now, so clearly in "real adult" territory, but without children of my own. I'm not going to be taking anyone trick-or-treating, I live in an apartment building so I'm not handing out candy, most of my friends are a wee bit far away, and I'm not particularly interested in going to a noisy bar or club.  So what's a maybe-a-bit-too-old Halloween enthusiast to do?

This isn't a list of things you can do only if you don't have children, rather it's a list of things you can do despite not having children. A lot of them would be great with kids, but just as good without - for example, you wouldn't go trick or treating without children, but you can still carve pumpkins without them.

Celebrate Halloween (even if you don't have kids)

+ Find your favorite pumpkin beer (or cider)
+ Wear something small but festive to work - like spider earrings or this amazing bat bow
+ Try decorating pumpkins one of these other ways
+ Test out a few Halloween playlists, or make your own (I've got some uncommon suggestions coming soon!)
+ Check independent cinemas and concert venues for screenings of classic horror movies
+ Dress up to hand out candy
+ If you're handing out candy, make your front porch and walkway into a mini haunted house
Spider cookies

+ Paint your nails black. or something fancier like these
+ Search for a haunted history tour in your area
+ Play zombie survival video games. In the dark (I tried this once with RE3, it did not last very long).
+ Snuggle a black cat
+ Try your hand at reading tarot cards, palmistry, tea leaves or another kind of fortune telling.
+ Read or Re-read one of the classic horror stories - try the Vampyre, Carmilla or Wake not the Dead if you're looking for something shorter.
Photo via Visual hunt
+ Attend a Halloween Parade, dress up if you dare!
+ Listen to the spookier podcasts by Stuff You Missed in History Class, like: Gilles Garnier the Werewolf of Dolethe Dyatlov Pass IncidentNew England Vampire PanicGhosts of History a Haunted House Tour... there are so many good, creepy ones, check the podcasts in October for more.
+ See if there are after dark nature hikes at any parks near you. Even if it's just a stargazing tour, walking at night in the woods can be a little spooky! (The Draconids and Orionids meteor shower both occur in October)
+ Make these fantastic pumpkin dinner rolls!
+ Hang Bat Boxes
+ When you watch Halloween movies, turn off all the lights and instead light candles - the flickering lights with make shadows move in the corner of your eye.
+ Take some seasonal photos, like: creepy spider, toadstools, wrought iron fence, animal bones, an abandoned (haunted?) house, toad, a neo-gothic church at sundown, the moon through tree branches
Tell me that's not at least a bit creepy!
+ Do something that scares you, even if it's just public speaking
+ Make punch or large batch of cocktail and serve it out of a pumpkin or maybe a cauldron
+ Related: Pumpkin Keg
+ Have you heard of Boo Boxes? It's like playing Doorbell Ditch, but you leave a box of treats and a note that says "You've been Booed!" on your neighbors doorstep. Then it's their turn to boo someone!

Of course, there is also the option of throwing a grand Halloween party yourself! but if you're not the entertaining type (it's all the cleaning, I tell you) there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the spooky season.

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