Acrylic pumpkin

Acrylic pumpkin

With social distance guidelines still lurking about, this year’s Halloween will be an unconventional one. 

However, with some ingenuity, this year’s holiday can turn into the ultimate “graveyard smash.” Here are some ideas to celebrate at home.



The catchy and dark-themed songs from Tim Burton’s classic animated fantasy The Nightmare Before Christmas resonate with children and adults. The fanciful story depicts Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who is bored with Halloween and becomes obsessed with Christmas. The hybrid holiday theme of the movie makes it ideal for the entire season.

What would Halloween be without a classic scary film to send viewers screaming into the night?

Jack Nicholson in The Shining might just do the trick. The now-famous “Heeeere’s Johnny” scene has been sending shivers down spines since 1980. For goofy comedy, Hocus Pocus is a cult classic that has steadily grown in popularity since its release in 1993. When the three Sanderson sisters get resurrected from the dead on Halloween eve, mischief and mayhem ensue. This one has plenty of quotable movie lines that you’ll be repeating all season.

After your movie, head to the backyard and top the evening off with s’mores and ghost stories around the fire pit. Check out Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark on Amazon, Target or your local library. Spooky horror stories of bloody heads and skeletons with tangled flesh await. Or, you could go old school and pass around The Complete Stories of Edgar Allen Poe.



With door-to-door visits probably not happening this year, how about doing a “reverse trick or treating” experience by dressing up and tossing packaged candy to trick-or-treaters from the driveway? Another idea is to dress up your car with signs, banners and Halloween decorations and drive through the neighborhood parade-style. Your vehicle can be a prop by keeping the trunk open and decorating the inside with skulls, headstones or even a fun Halloween movie theme.

Or consider an indoor family scavenger hunt, with small goodies placed throughout the house and a Halloween DVD for a prize. Afterward, host a devilish dinner party replete with spooky music, black candles and scary treats (hot dog “fingers,” for example). For the brave and daring, have a séance with a Ouija Board and see who answers back!


For puzzle lovers, hobby stores have a wide selection of colorful and whimsical Halloween puzzles available. Virtual escape room fans can be super-sleuths using Puzzle Break. Players race against time, pitting wits against each other as they tackle the “Grimm Escape” and “Hackfiltration.” Tickets are $25 per person. For more:

A creative experience for the whole family is painting a plastic pumpkin. The steps are easy: Just let acrylic paint pour down from the top of the pumpkin in a variety of colors. For extra “oomph,” use neon colors. 

Have a safe and happy Halloween, Arcadia!