14 Halloween themed activities to do instead of partying
Just because there's a pandemic going on doesn't mean you have to give up on having fun during Halloween!
The spookiest month of the year creeping upon us! Now that we’ve reached October, feelings of excitement and anticipation are starting to brew within college students. The preparation of complex group Halloween costumes, the planning of wild Halloween costume parties and the partaking in festive autumnal activities are all events that students and community members look forward to every year. Unfortunately, city mandates have prohibited partying, even on the scariest night of the season.
However, what is even scarier is putting other people at risk by having a party. To avoid this chilling idea, here are 14 Halloween-themed things to do instead of going out on October 31st:
1. Watch a scary movie with friends.
To do this virtually, you can use Netflix Party, Kast or Discord to stream movies while still seeing your friend’s faces. If you’re really brave, you can watch a scary movie by YOURSELF. If you don’t like scary movies, watch a funny movie instead and stick it to societal norms.
2. Buy a bag of candy and eat it all with your roommates.
Nothing says Halloween like sugary goodness. Get a big bag of your favorite candy and spend some quality time with your roommates. For a twist, try your least favorite candy and see if your opinion has changed, or try a candy you have never tried before.
3. Carve a pumpkin.
Another classic. To avoid the crowds at local pumpkin patches, head to a local Home Depot or Walmart. Although their pumpkins may not be the highest quality, they get the job done. You can pick up a pumpkin carving kit while you are there, or you can use a plain old knife. To make it extra fun, carve an extravagant or funny face into your pumpkin.
4. Roast pumpkin seeds.
Take the insides you scooped out from your pumpkin, pick out all of the seeds, clean them off and bake them for 45 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika or whatever seasoning you like and boom — you have a delicious snack.
5. Make some apple cider.
You could just buy a gallon of apple cider from the store, but everything tastes better homemade. To find your preferred recipe and exact steps, personal research is best, but the basic ingredients and tools involve a bunch of apples, some oranges, some cinnamon and a large stock pot or slow cooker. For people 21 and older, add fireball or caramel vodka.
6. Make a Halloween costume from items in your closet.
Assuming you don’t want to leave the house and spend an absurd amount of money on a cheap store-bought costume, you can make your own with the items you already own. Or, you can use arts and crafts to create costume pieces. For an extra challenge, use that one shirt that you NEVER wear. If you want to get your friends involved, have a virtual costume contest with them over Zoom or Facetime.
7. Bake a pumpkin pie.
Baked goods are always a great idea during the holiday season. Plus, premade pumpkin pie mix and premade pie crusts are available at most grocery stores, making pumpkin pie an extremely easy bake. If you aren’t a fan of pumpkin, you can bake some other halloween treat, like cookies or cake pops.
8. Decorate your room with halloween decorations.
If you are feeling sad that you can’t deck out your whole house for a party, decorate your room or dorm. Bust out some purple lights and fake cobwebs for the ultimate spooky atmosphere. Arts and crafts can come in handy here as well, for people who love to be creative.
9. Brush up on some Stephen King.
If you like to read and you want to be spooked, Stephen King is the man for you. His horror novels are some of the most iconic and terrifying in their genre. “Pet Sematary,” “The Shining” and “IT” are all amazingly scary novels, perfect for the Halloween season.
10. Finish a corn maze (while also social distancing).
The great thing about corn mazes is that they are pretty huge, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be within six feet of anyone else. In other words, it’s a great social-distanced activity. Hours and rules will be different for every corn maze, but most of them start to open mid-september. To add even more spookiness, try to go at night.
11. Tell a spooky story to scare all of your friends.
Yes, most scary stories aren’t very scary at all, but if you look long enough and hard enough, the internet has plenty of spooky tales. Stories like “The Girl in the Photograph” and “Laughing Jack” are some well-known internet horror stories that will definitely leave you feeling spooked. For some more Halloween nostalgia, whip out that old Oujia board. What’s the worst that could happen?
12. Finish the assignment that your least favorite professor made due on Halloween.
We all have that one professor who loves to assign work on holidays or the day right after a holiday. If none of these other activities seem appealing, a productive activity like doing schoolwork might be beneficial.
13. Make creepy noises in your dorm hallways late at night, and see if anyone reports spooky-happenings.
Are pranks immature? Maybe. Are they fun? Most definitely. Knock on random doors in your dorm, make ghost noises (whatever you think those may be), or play creepy music at strange hours of the night or early morning. Of course, if you are going in your hallway, wear a mask, and if your dorm mates have expressed an early morning activity, try not to wake them up, but a little Halloween prank never hurt anybody.
14. Play a horror themed video game.
Video games can be another great way to scare yourself. Horror games that make you jump out of your chair and throw your controller across the room can be incredibly fun, alone or with your friends or roommates. Recent horror video game releases include Resident Evil 2, Blair Witch and Dead by Daylight. For a more classic game, Slenderman is a great option.
Hopefully one or more of these ideas has sparked your inspiration! Although there is no equivalent activity to match the buzz and excitement of a huge costume party, being responsible is far more important.
Maybe this Halloween won’t be what you or your friends were expecting this year, but there are still ways to make the most of it and keep yourself and others safe.