If you’re like us, then you LOVE Halloween. The decorations, the parties, the movies, and the COSTUMES – there’s just nothing about Halloween that doesn’t give us the shivers (in a good way)! So naturally, we were as disappointed as Dracula at daybreak when we realized that our usual Halloween plans weren’t going to be possible this year. With the very real specter of COVID-19 dogging our every step, what’s a ghoul to do?
Have a hauntingly good time at home, of course!
With human ingenuity and some supernaturally good deals from Oliver’s, anyone can bring the spooks and scares into the comfort and safety of their own home. No matter what flavor of Halloween you’re into, there’s something fun for everyone – the only limit is your own imagination! Not sure where to get started? Don’t worry, we’ve pulled some of our best ideas for a grown-up (or family-friendly) Halloween at home. Keep reading for all our favorite tricks and treats for getting into the spirit of season, and download the PDF at the end so you don’t forget a single one!
Spooky Movie Marathon
Our first idea is a classic for a reason – there’s just nothing that screams “Halloween” like a terrifyingly fun horror movie night! Whether your tastes run towards camp-fests like “Nightmare on Elm Street” or something more sinister like “The Babadook”, throwing on your favorite horror movie is guaranteed to get you feeling the spirit of the season.
First, select your movies and decide if you’re just watching just the one or if this is going to be a double or even triple feature. If you’re planning on watching more than one film, decide what direction you want the night to go. Will you start with something truly terrifying and end with something silly, or will it start silly and get darker? Once you know what you’re watching, turn your living room into a spooky, Halloween-themed movie theatre. For an authentic experience, throw some thick blankets or curtains over the windows to block out any light, then string up some purple or orange fairy lights to set the mood. Make sure there are plenty of blankets and pillows so you can cozy up during the scary bits, and check that there’s a clear path out of the living room in case someone needs a bathroom break mid-movie. If you’re going the ultra-scary route, get out some fun games to play afterwards to lighten the mood, or continue the horror with a round of spooky trivia.
A suspenseful movie requires plenty of snacks for nibbling, and while you may be going for an authentic theatre experience, the food deserving of an upgrade. Fondue is a great option for safe sharing between family members or a couple! This traditional Alpine cheese-fest is great for snacking between or during scenes, and the variety of options are seemingly endless. Traditional Swiss cheeses, funky cheese sauces, marinara sauce, and even chocolate are all fantastic fondue options, and the dippers are equally as diverse. Whether you go sweet or savory, include a range of fresh, baked, and cured options for everyone to enjoy, and make sure you have plenty of napkins, plates, and forks. Just remember to serve it with the appropriate wine to cut through all that richness – it’s hard to properly gasp in surprise when you have a mouth full of fondue! Check out our traditional fondue recipe using Götthelf Emmentaler here to get started.
Halloween Harvest Crafts & Cocktails
There’s really no occasion that doesn’t benefit from the addition of a cocktail, so why should Halloween arts and crafts be any different? Whether you’re celebrating fall or enjoying some Halloween mischief, crafting is fun the whole family can enjoy, especially when there’s a cocktail for the grown-ups and a mocktail for the kids. This also great option for those of us separated from our loved ones by time and space – simply coordinate video chats (and drinks) for some ooky spooky virtual fun!
When it comes to cocktails, you have to find the balance between being delicious and being able to glue in a straight line afterwards. Keep your crafting hands deft with a simple classic like Hot Mulled Wine or a light flavorful option like an easy Apple Shandy. For the shandy, simply mix half of a twelve ounce wheat beer with about one cup of sparkling apple cider. This easy cocktail tastes just like fall, and better still, you can enjoy it without needing to take a nap after! If you can handle something a bit more stiff, get creative with ingredients like spiced rum, maple whiskey, and apple brandy to create a signature cocktail all your own. Not all at once though, that probably wouldn’t be very nice…. Naturally, there’s always the option of mocktail instead, particularly when there are kids involved. Hot chocolate is and always will be a compelling alternative to any cocktail!
Figure out your crafts ahead of time so you can make sure you’re well stocked on supplies before you start. If your budget is tight, get creative! There are lots of ways to DIY even simple craft supplies, and it’s a great way to add a unique twist to every finished craft. Set up an area where you can be as messy as you (or your kids) would like. Ideally, this would be outside, but if space is at a premium, lay out a tarp to protect your floor, and cover any surfaces you don’t want splattered in paint and/or glue. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and if you anyone else has long hair, make sure it’s tied back to prevent any hair-meets-craft-supplies-related incidents. Keep your space well-ventilated too; COVID-concerns aside, many glues and some paints can release strong vapors that can collect in the air. Ensure your room and lungs will be vapor-free by throwing open the windows and turning on a fan.
Plan on at least one craft per person, remembering that everyone loves an option when getting creative. We love a spooky theme for Halloween, and crafts like pumpkin carving or decorating masks are great options for an ooky spooky crafting session anyone would enjoy. For the intrepid Halloween-crafter, try building your own gingerbread haunted house! Simply bake your gingerbread house pieces ahead of time, then decorate with Halloween candy and Halloween-themed shades of royal icing. If you’re more in the mood for hayrides and apples than ghosts and ghouls, there are plenty of fall-themed crafts to be had as well. Traditional crafts like corn-husk dollmaking, basket-weaving, and even candle-making are super fun ways to celebrate the bounty of the season, though the traditional route is hardly the only route to take. Gather up colorful fall leaves for easy leaf impressions with crayons, or save up glass bottles and crepe paper for paper-mache decorated vases. If you live in a wooded area, collect pinecones of all different sizes to paint, make into wreaths, or just use as decoration for your fall crafts. Other simple decorations include acorns, dried beans, and of course, dry macaroni.
Party Packs for the Ultimate Virtual Halloween
If you find yourself desiring a little outside contact this Halloween, opt for a safe option by hosting a fun, interactive virtual party! By creating and delivering your own Halloween party packs, you and your friends can enjoy a real feeling of togetherness even while quarantined. Use it as a way to coordinate party games and feel connected, or simply take the opportunity to share a little love in the theme of Halloween – the choice is up to you!
When creating a party pack with COVID-safety in mind, it is of course paramount to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands before you start, and sanitize any work surface. While we’d normally say “absolutely” to including homemade snacks, it’s recently become a bit of a dodgy subject. If you want to include food items, a handful of Halloween candy or even a fresh caramel apple are great options that don’t require you to directly handle any of the food itself, though make sure you keep your party packs cold until they’re delivered. Even including a couple beers per pack is a great way to show your guest it’s time to party in a safe and sanitary way! Along with any food or drinks, DIY some easy decorations for everyone to put up to help set the mood. Paper ghosts on strings, little yarn pumpkins, or even a simple “Halloween” banner are all fun and easy party decorations that can be made at home. Throw in other fun items like stick-on googly eyes, Halloween stickers, and fake vampire teeth to really up the silliness, or include instructions and supplies for a simple craft everyone can do together.
Adding an itinerary to your party pack is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and keep the party moving even when apart. There’s no need for too much detail, just an ordered list of what will be happening. This allows everyone to coordinate so events happen simultaneously, making things feel less virtual and more personal all while making sure the “party” happens as smoothly as possible. Our itinerary would look something like this: start off with cocktails (or mocktails), which can overlap with arts-and-crafts or a party game, then finally slide into a classic costume contest! We’d round the evening out with a bit of virtual karaoke for the grand finale, and maybe send everyone off to bed with a nightcap. The possibilities are truly endless, so get creative and keep your options open. As long as you’re having fun, it’s working!
Whether you’re hunkering down for Halloween movie night, whipping up Halloween crafts, or responsibly enjoying the company of the people you love, this Halloween has the potential to be truly magical. All it takes is a little creativity, a dollop of determination, and of course, just a pinch of help from Oliver’s Markets. Stop by for great deals on everything Halloween, and pick up exactly what you need to make your Halloween-at-home a spook-tacular you’ll never forget!
Want to plan a Halloween-at-home of your own? Click HERE to download our companion PDF, and get your ghoul on tonight!