One minute we had trick-or-treaters on Halloween, and the next we don’t. This year Jackson is away at college and Samantha will most likely be out of town on a sports trip. Jackson obviously hasn’t gone around the neighborhood for candy in quite a few years, but Samantha did last year with some friends. So, all of a sudden, we don’t have costumes to buy and doorbells to ring. I am actually looking forward to handing out candy this year. (Ken usually stayed home and passed out candy.) But it definitely feels very different than the past 18 years have been.
Just because kids are grown (or mostly grown), the fun doesn’t have to stop. Family time is still very important, and some of our best memories have yet to be made. Our time together as a family of 4 is limited, but Jackson will be home for Fall Break, and I hope to maximize our FFF. (Forced Family Fun)
If you’re looking for a few ideas on how to have fun with your BIG kids (or kids at heart), here are a few things to try:
- Pumpkin Carving Contest – Since everyone is old enough to wield their own knife, why not turn the pumpkin carving into a contest? (Bonus: add prizes)
- Corn Maze – These are more fun as young adults than when they’re younger kids. They don’t have to stay with you, and they can really “get lost.” (Bonus: Find one that is open at night.)
- Host a Trunk Together – Our church hosts an annual “Trunk or Treat”. That’s when families sign up for a parking space, decorate their car/trunk in a theme, and pass out candy to the church kids as they walk through. This is a great way to still get away with dressing up even if they’re too old to trick (or trunk) or treat.
- Family Fantasy Football – Okay, so this one is longer than just the month of October, but how about having a family fantasy football league? Sunday football games just went to a whole new level.
- Chili Cook-off – Each member of the family makes a batch of chili. Invite the neighbors or extended family to taste and “vote”.
- Decorate the outside of the house together. Brainstorm as a family for some fun ways to make the yard and house SPOOKY. What would have scared them a few years ago?…Make it happen!
- S’Mores Bar – You’ve had the basic s’more before. But have you tried a flavored marshmallow on a Reese’s peanut butter cup with chocolate graham crackers? Try different flavor combinations. (Bonus: Try this as a surprise on a random weeknight.)
- Haunted Houses – Does your area have a seriously scary haunted house? In metro Atlanta we have Netherworld, which is not really for young kids. If your young adults are into get freaked out, something like this may be for them. (I’m a scaredy cat. I went in my 20s, and I’ll pass on it now.)
- Scary Movies – Now that they’re bigger, maybe they want to watch some real thrillers. I’m going to stick with Hocus Pocus, myself.
- Bonfire and Bonding – Corny, I know. But a simple bonfire and just talking together is probably one of the most relaxing ways to spend a memorable October Night.
I’m always looking for new ways to have fun. If you have more ideas that I haven’t thought of, I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know in the comments below.