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8 Outdoor Ideas for a Close-to-Home Halloween

Let’s celebrate Halloween safely with the whole family. Here are 8 close-to-home, socially distanced ideas for making the most of one of our favorite fall holidays.

1. Have a Spooky Scavenger Hunt

Instead of going door to door for treats, create a sweet candy-collecting journey for your kids in your backyard. Stash colorfully-wrapped candies and set a timer to see how fast kids can collect them all; or, make a map with clues about how and where to find each candy. Headlamps can help you search after the early sunset, and flickering lanterns add spooky ambience.

FLASHLIGHTS, HEADLAMPS & LANTERNS

2. Tell Scary Campfire Tales

Gather around the campfire, firepit or picnic table for the Halloween tradition of scary stories! Take turns trying to spook your family with your scariest story, or make it a game – everybody adds a line, twisting and turning the story as it goes on. Then, warm up from your chilling stories with some gooey, soothing s’mores over the campfire.

8 DELICIOUS TWISTS ON THE CLASSIC S’MORE

3. Decorate Pumpkins

Show off your family’s artistic side with some fall-inspired decorations on your front doorstep. Hollow out pumpkins for classic jack-o-lanterns, or expand your horizons with paints, carving tools, lights or other decorations. Add some painted gourds for an entire cornucopia of autumn art projects.

4. Create Back-of-the-Closet Costumes

If you’re not going trick-or-treating this year, you may not want to invest in a new Halloween costume – but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. Combine a flannel shirt, jeans and a construction paper axe for a lumberjack costume; or, combine a plaid robe and lots of wild hair gel for a “plaid scientist!” With a little imagination, the possibilities are endless. How many back-of-the-closet costumes can your family come up with?

SHOP FLANNEL SHIRTS

5. Find Spooky Stories in the Stars

Clear autumn skies provide the perfect opportunity for stargazing, and there are some thrilling stories in those stars. Andromeda, Cetus and Perseus, for example, are named for a Greek myth about a heroic battle to save a sacrifice from a scary sea monster – and they’re all prominent in the northern hemisphere in fall. Bundle up with some cocoa and take in the twinkling tales.

SHOP BINOCULARS

6. Screen a Scary Movie

Turn your yard, deck or patio into a classic drive-in theater experience with an outdoor projector and your favorite scary movie. Set up camp chairs, snuggle up under an outdoor blanket and bring out the popcorn and s’mores to bring this quintessential Halloween activity outdoors.

ACADIA 8-PERSON CABIN TENT WITH MOVIE SCREEN

7. Play Some Ghoulish Games

Classic backyard games are even more fun in costume or with a spooky twist. How about a “mummy hop” instead of a sack race, musical chairs with a Halloween-themed song, or cornhole with bags of candy instead of beanbags? Play for treats, or just for fun – it’s a great way to get rid of excess energy after a little too much Halloween sugar.

EASY OUTDOOR GAMES FOR KIDS

5 CLASSIC BACKYARD GAMES

8. Go for a Fall Family Bike Ride

The cool weather and golden afternoons make this time of year perfect for a family bike ride through the neighborhood. Instead of trick-or-treating door to door, take a ride to show off your costumes – you can even decorate the bikes to make them part of the show. Just be sure you’re back off the roads before it gets too dark!

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