6 family-friendly Halloween activities to try at home: from food experiments to spooky treasure hunts

Halloween will likely look and feel different this year, but you can still have fun with the family at home

Parents will have to get creative this year when it comes to celebrating Halloween. Unsplash
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Halloween is just around the corner but like all things in 2020, the holiday will feel a little different this year. However, just because children might not be able to go out and trick-or-treat in the neighbourhood, that doesn’t mean they can’t still enjoy the day.

If you’re looking for ways to get in the Halloween spirit, here are some ideas you can try at home:

Host a movie night

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Have a Halloween movie night with 'Hocus Pocus'

Celebrate Halloween with a movie night and dress as your favourite characters. Children can also get in on the fun by doing this with friends over video chat or by hosting a Netflix Party. Some family-friendly Halloween film suggestions include Coraline, Hotel Transylvania, Hocus Pocus and Casper.

Decorate pumpkins

From left, Riley, 8, Harper, 6, and Leighton Fellman, 4, carve pumpkins at the Walking Mountains Science Center's Fright at the Museum in Avon, Colo., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. Children were able to carve or draw on pumpkins and take them home. (Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily via AP)
Pumpkin carving and decorating is a great way to have Halloween fun at home. AP

Carving and decorating pumpkins has long been a Halloween tradition for families and friends. So grab a marker or two, draw a scary face and get to carving. You can even make it a contest with the best-carved pumpkin winning a special prize. Carving kits can be picked up on online stores such as Amazon or Noon. If you don’t have the tools or don’t want to carve, another less-messy option is to paint them.

Hunt for Halloween treats

A handout photo of candy bags for Halloween (Courtesy: Art Beat)
Have a Halloween treasure hunt. Courtesy Art Beat

Even though trick-or-treating might be out of the picture, little ones can still have fun with a hunt for treats around the house. If you have a terrace or garden, with the weather in the UAE cooling down, you can also use that space set up a Halloween treasure hunt, with some spooky surprises thrown in along the way.

Set up your own haunted house

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 14: An animatronic monster rises up at one of the sets at the Fright Ride immersive haunted attraction on October 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The creative team from the Fright Dome attraction made the new experience after seeing how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was shutting down many Halloween events across the country and decimating the entertainment industry in Las Vegas. Guests are driven through the 75,000-square-foot "research lab" on electric carts in groups of six or less to maintain social distancing. Other safety protocols in place include face coverings required for all guests, staff and actors, enhanced cleaning procedures and visit-specific entry times for all patrons.   Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
Deck the living room out to create your own haunted house

If you can't get out to visit a haunted house this Halloween, bring the ghouls to you. Turn your home into a spooky shack by dimming the lights and hanging up some themed decorations like spider webs or sheet ghosts. If you're children are a little older, you can ramp up the scare factor with some more garish ghouls or even dress up yourself and prepare to spook them.

Bake Halloween treats

What better way to bond over All Hallows' Eve than by baking treats together as a family? Whether it's cookies shaped as pumpkins or creating your own themed cake pops, there are plenty of Halloween recipes out there. If you have been busy decorating pumpkins, why not use the flesh to whip up a pumpkin pie, or blend it down to make your own pumpkin puree for at-home pumpkin spiced lattes?

Create a blindfolded food experiment

Continuing with the trend of food, why not set up an experiment that is a little more trick than treat? Try getting the children involved in a blindfolded taste test, with some foods that could easily be mistaken for something a little less palatable. For example, grapes can double up as eyeballs, cold cooked spaghetti could be worms and soft flour tortillas mixed with oil could be mistaken for skin. There are plenty of possibilities to experiment with, you only need to use your imagination.