Historians have traced Halloween’s origins to the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain, during which people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts, fairies, spirits, and other monsters. While we’re no longer warding off malevolent spirits, we still don our costumes and partake in other activities, like trick-or-treating. Or at least the children do. But why should they have all the fun? Just because you’re a grown woman doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Halloween. Sure, you probably won’t get any candy if you go out trick-or-treating, but you can buy your own candy and do these fun things instead.
1. Deck the Halls With All Things Scary
Halloween is a very big deal for my family. Some people go all out for Christmas (I’m looking at you, South Philly!), we build our own haunted house for Halloween. We begin decorating at the end of September and take Halloween day off to put out the fragile, not weather-proof decorations. I’m not suggesting you take it as seriously as all that, but decorating is a surefire way to get you in the Halloween spirit.
2. Don Ye Now Your Spooky Apparel
Dressing up is half the fun! My family has a Halloween closet that contains all our past costumes. I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy for friends who came over to trick-or-treat without a costume. There’s something freeing about dressing in costume and pretending to be someone (or something) else for the night.
3. Have a Ghouls’ Night (In or Out)
Even if you’re not really into the whole Halloween thing, use it as an excuse to get together with friends! My aunt and her friends (all of whom are in their early- to mid-50s) get together every month to play pokeno. Every October, their pokeno night turns into a ladies-only costume party. Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume, but not every woman does. And that’s fine.
4. Pumpkins (Pick, Paint, Pare, Prepare)
Fun fact for Halloween-themed trivia: The Irish originally carved turnips, beets, gourds, potatoes, and rutabagas into jack-o-lanterns to ward off evil spirits. You could go digging for rutabagas if you want, but there are plenty of patches full of pumpkins ripe for the picking. Once picked, you could paint or carve whatever design you’d like into your pumpkin. If you hallow out your pumpkin, don’t forget to save the seeds for toasting. And if all you want is to enjoy a delicious pumpkin-flavored food or beverage, this is the season to do so.
5. Get the Pee Scared Out of You (but Hopefully Not Really)
Haunted attractions are a great way to bring yourself back to adolescence. Excitement and anxiety electrify the crisp autumn air while you wait in line. Anticipation and trepidation mount with distant shrieks occasionally pierce your ears as you slowly make your way to the front of the line. You enter the attraction completely on edge. You have no idea what horrors await you as you make your way to the other side. The shadows make children of us all as our imaginations run wild!
6. Attend a Harvest Festival
If getting the pee scared out of you sounds like a terrifying prospect, you can always attend a local harvest festival. With activities for all ages — from hayrides to pumpkin painting to scarecrow making — harvest festivals are a great way to have fun with family and friends! It’s also usually a great place to jump into a pile of leaves.
7. Watch Your Favorite Halloween Special
My favorite Halloween special is Dr. Seuss’s Grinch Night. No matter how many times I watch it, the trippy cartoon ghouls never cease to terrify and delight. Was there a specific movie or show that you loved watching every Halloween? Why not put on your rose-tinted glasses and hop on the nostalgia train for an evening?
8. Experiment With Spooky Cocktails
Whether you’re hosting a ghouls’ night or watching your favorite Halloween special on your couch, try some festive booze to get you in a spooky mood. Candy corn cocktails and Jell-O shot syringes are great for get togethers. While a blood red rosé-rose cocktail makes for a classy night on the couch.