My children go to a religious school that doesn’t celebrate Halloween in the traditional sense. We’ll be having alternative ways to enjoy the season, paying homage to all souls that have gone on and heralding historical, liturgical or literary figures by dressing as them instead of ghosts, goblins and ghouls.
There are several families, cultures and groups that also do not partake in the season. Their children may feel left out, but there are other ways to enjoy the Autumn and Harvest time this time of the year.
- Harvest festivals. Churches often offer harvest festivals or celebrations to shift the focus from scary costumes to the joys of fall. These festivals offer carnival games and other activities. Check out the calendar at some of the larger churches in your area. Most of the time these events offer FREE admission, with a recommended donation of a bag of candy or canned food. Noah’s Ark parties are also popular alternatives to a Halloween celebration for religious families.
2. Pumpkin patches. Pumpkin season is here. Many local farms offer their customers a chance to pick pumpkins and participate in fun activities for just the cost of the picked pumpkin. Pumpkin Patches and More.org is a great resource for finding a local pumpkin patch.
3. Pumpkin carving party. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to throw a pumpkin-carving party. Ask all of your guests to bring a pumpkin, knife and newspaper (to collect spare pumpkin parts). Then just stock up on cheap drinks and snacks. If you’re inclined, you can also buy a bag of cheap tea-lights (you can get 20 tea-lights for $1 at the Dollar Store). Parents and children can work together to crave pumpkins. Be sure to ask guests to set aside seeds so that you can bake them in the oven for a FREE and festive snack. Allrecipes.com offers a great recipe. Once pumpkins are complete, light them up and enjoy the atmosphere while socializing and snack on fresh seeds. Don’t worry about putting together a playlist; most cable TV stations offer a seasonal music channel you can play while everyone is gathered.
4. Volunteer at a local organization. Check with our local homeless shelter or soup kitchen to see if they need any extra help the night of Halloween. Volunteering is a free way to feel great, and doing something good for another person is a great treat – with no trick.