We are already twenty-three days into November and I am still thinking about this past Halloween season. That's right! I use bold, italics, and underlined that!
For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, and therefore might not have known this about me, but my family celebrates Halloween every day of the month of October, based off this calendar of events I create for us (we also have a Halloween advent calendar for goodies and fun knickknacks, but that's neither here nor there).
This year was the fifth year I've celebrated Halloctober—or Spooktober, as some people like to call it—so I thought it might be fitting to write a post about my favorite Halloctober festivities! In this post, I'll focus on my favorite selection of crafts, baked goods, games, and more from my family's 2019 Halloctober calendar, but since this is the first year I'm doing a favorites list, I might also include a few extras from the years' past. Enjoy! ^_^
Top 5 Favorite Activites from Halloctober 2019
#5- Noosa Pumpkin Yogurt
Okay, okay, this is less of an activity and more of a treat, but I could not get over how delicious this yogurt was! Before you go all-assuming, I'm not one of those pumpkin-spice-crazed people who, once the leaves turn red, buy everything pumpkin-flavored in sight. But I am someone who loves yogurt, so when I saw this flavor on the shelf, I gave it a shot.
I like it so much that I went back to the store and bought a half dozen more. I'm so worried it's seasonal and will be removed from the shelves in a few weeks! *sobbing*
#4- Gingerbread Coffin
Coming in at fourth place we have this Gingerbread Coffin Kit I purchased from JoAnn's Fabric Store, and actually, I'm still conflicted as to if it should be higher up on the list!
I've done a lot of gingerbread activities over the years, but this one easily takes the cake—erm, gingerbread! I couldn't believe how easy the frosting was to work with and how adorable this little coffin top turned out! Because I'm such a perfectionist though, I think I spent two or three hours on the lid alone and then I never wound up finishing the rest of it. Still, I was quite pleased with the way it turned out.
My only complaint would be that they should've supplied a little more frosting. I almost ran out of the black, and had I tried doing the entire surface I definitely would've.
#3- Monster Rice Krispies
If you love Rice Krispie Treats then you're in for a treat! Monster Rice Krispies combines regular homemade rice krispie treats with a delicious dipping of candy melts! This is the second time we've made them, and both times I've wished we would've just dunked the entire bar into the candy melts because it is that good!
This is a great activity to do with kids! Our almost-six-year-old loves getting to decorate the monsters with eyeballs. And JoAnn's Fabric Store usually sells an eye combo pack with a variety of sizes, making the end product really fun to look at, as well as eat!
FUN TIP: This year we did all of ours the "tall" way, but you can also dip your monsters the "wide" way, bringing even more variety to the treats!
ANOTHER FUN TIP: Because we didn't want to have 20+ rice krispie treats in the home for all of us to gorge ourselves on, I wound up taking a bunch to work and my team loved them! So it's a bonus: fun for the kids and delicious for adults.
#2- The Beauty of Horror Coloring Book
Adult coloring books have become quite popular, so why not bring a little coloring to your Halloctober/Spooktober festivities?!
The Beauty of Horror coloring book ranked in as my #2 favorite Halloctober festivity this year primarily because of the versatility of this activity. I was coloring during staff meetings at work, while I was waiting for appointments, during the evenings while watching horror movies—you name it! It was such a relaxing way to keep my hands busy while my brain focused on something else, and simultaneously bringing a little bit of horror to my everyday life.
You can purchase a copy here from Amazon. AND while I was looking for that link, I also found out that there is not only a The Beauty of Horror II, but there's also a The Beauty of Horror III! I guess I know what I'll be doing for the next couple of years.
#1- Trick or Treat Footprint Momento
Maybe I'm biased, or maybe it's just the leftover hormones still working their way through my system since the pregnancy, but my number one favorite activity this Halloctober was creating this Trick-or-Treat Footprint Momento with my little one!
Actually getting a one-year-old to stick their foot in paint and then stick their foot onto a piece of canvas in a way that leaves behind something resembling a footprint rather than a blob was a comical experience, one that my partner was sure to get lots of pictures of. With this one activity, we simultaneously made family memories, got a bunch of photos, gave our kiddo an art activity, and created a new Halloween decoration for ourselves!
If you're thinking about making yourself one of these, be sure to stamp the excess paint on your kid's foot on something else before putting it on the canvas. Also, be prepared to spend hours writing and outlining the letters to create the "Trick or Treat, Smell ___Feet" portion!
Let's not stop there though! I have five other years of Halloctober favorites to share!
Halloctober 2018: Halloween Couch Cushion Covers
It's a shame that you can't see the final product in this photo a little clearer, but sadly I've already put my decorations away for the season and this was the only picture I could find.
But I digress. Easily, my most gratifying project of 2018 was making these super cute Halloween couch cushion covers.
I'm not even sure what sparked the idea—actually, no, that's a lie. Our couches are disgusting. We have a dog and we allow him on the couches, so now they are covered in slobber stains. Plus, having two little ones doesn't help.
So, when I was at the craft store one evening and I found this lovely fabric, I just knew it would look great on our couch—because anything would look better than what's underneath that couch cover...
"What did I do next," you might be wondering. Well, I measured, cut, and sewed. That may sound really simplified, but I'm not exaggerating. I embarked on this project with NO pattern, NO experience in sewing anything like it, and NO qualms with winging it and botching it. So I just sewed.
And look at how beautiful they turned out! Because I was super pregnant (I'm talking, I gave birth to our kiddo like a week later), I only had time to do the covers for the one couch, but maybe next year I'll try to get the other couch setup too. I even have a different—also equally cool—fabric!
Halloctober 2017: AtmosFEAR Board Game
I'm guessing that the vast majority of the people readings this have never heard of, let alone played the board game AtmosFEAR, and that is a damn shame.
AtmosFEAR is the cheesiest, most anxiety-provoking, "horror", DVD board game I've ever played—and I love it! It is easily one of my top five favorite board games and every Halloctober I force my family to play it with me.
When you start a game of AtmosFEAR, the first thing the players do is write down one of their deepest fears on a piece of paper, fold it up, and set it inside "the vault". The object of the game is for the players to make their way around the gameboard/crypt (as one of the six spooky characters: a possessed doll, a werewolf, a zombie, etc.) to collect key that will eventually unlock the vault, gaining them access to their fears.
It sounds like a normal board game, but here's what sets it apart from all of the others.
The game is timed. Not just timed, but actively monitored by possibly one of the most well-acted roles of all time: the Gatekeeper. The entire game, all this guy does is mess with "you maggots," as he likes to call the players. He banishes people periodically, makes players swap keys, gives players the black spot, and all sorts of things.
Seriously, if you're into corny horror flicks and shit-talkers, this game is a must.
Halloctober 2016: Bat, Ghost, & Pumpkin Truffles
I had honestly forgotten all about the bat, pumpkin, and ghost truffles until I started writing this post and going through old photos!
These were super easy to make (because I stopped worrying about making them look anything like bats, pumpkin, or ghosts—do you see that picture above?! Making those bat's wings was way too much work to do it 20+ additional times!). They only require three ingredients:
Crushed cookies (we used Chips Ahoy (ghosts), Oreo's (bats), Nutterbutter (pumpkin)
Chocolate chips for melting and dipping (white for ghosts and pumpkins, dark/milk for bats)
For each truffle type, all you do is mix the cream cheese with the crushed Oreos, roll them into balls, and them dip them into the melted chocolate and let them sit/freeze. See? How simple is that?
The best part though? These lasted us for months! Because we made three different batches and then stuck the bulk of them in the freezer, we were snacking on these delicious homemade truffles all the way through the New Year.
Halloctober 2015: Psyche!
Fun fact: I actually wasn't in the States during October of 2015. I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina!
Before the trip, I hadn't really thought about what it would be like to spend my favorite holiday away from my home, family, and friends, and—you guessed it—when the day finally came, I was hit so hard with homesickness that I almost bought a plane ticket home.
Though tempted, instead I persevered. The hostel I was staying at during Halloween just happened to be throwing a Halloween Bar crawl. I am no social butterfly, but I signed up, figuring I'd at least go to the pre-bar crawl for the free pizza, and then call it a night.
That is not what happened.
The picture above is of the party bus I stepped onto just a few hours later and to this day, I'm not sure who that girl was who was in my skin and walked me onto that bus and had me dancing all night, but she had the time of her life!
Halloctober 2014: Costumes & Murder Mysteries
Last but not least, the year that I like to think started it all: 2014. There was something about this year that made my family go a little overboard with Halloween festivities.
Prior to October 31st, we hosted two separate murder mystery parties (one zombie-themed and the other 70's-themed). I also attended a Halloween party, where I sported one of my first ever handmade costumes: Poison Ivy. And, as if that wasn't enough, on the day of Halloween I threw on some creepy face tattoos and we invited family over to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show and hand-out candy to the neighborhood children.
Though we had been into Halloween well before 2014, this was the year when I first learned exactly how much enjoyment and celebration one could get from the season. And I've committed to living the month of October to the fullest ever since.
Thanks so much for reading this list of the Highlights of my Halloctober Adventures from 2014-2019! If you have any recommendations for Halloctober 2020, let me know in the comments below!