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Photo: Heather Gott

How to Pull Off Four Weeks of Halloween Fun

Treats, crafts, and activities for your family to enjoy this fall.

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Halloween canceled? Now that’s a scary thought for kids. Never fear! No matter what this month brings, or which events are put on hold, you can still dream up a spooktacular month of fun. This week-by-week guide steps you through wickedly cute crafts, thrilling activities, and drool-worthy recipes. Follow along and you may just end up mummy of the year.

Week One: The Colors of the Season are Orange and Black

Kick off the month with a trip to the pumpkin patch and bring pops of bright orange into your home. Set aside an evening to decorate your own no-carve pumpkins while you snack on licorice-legged spider cupcakes.

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Pick Out Pumpkins

Hooray! Several farms around the Denver metro area are open to the public and ready for picking. After you’ve picked and brought home your favorites, extend their life by following these helpful tips.

where to pick pumpkins denver
Photo: Getty Images

1. Leave Some Stem
When picking your own pumpkins, be sure to leave on about three to six inches of stem. “Pumpkins without stems tend to rot quicker as the wound allows bacteria to enter the interior of the fruit,” says Larry Vickerman, the director at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms.

2. Wait to Carve
Pumpkins deteriorate quickly after carving, so if you’re hoping they’ll still be fresh on Halloween, it’s best to wait until the day before to carve. If you have room, Vickerman suggests refrigerating carved pumpkins until you’re ready to set them out for Halloween.

3. Prevent Mold
To keep mold from creeping up on your carved pumpkins, Vickerman says smearing petroleum jelly on the interior and around cut surfaces can help.


Three No-Carve Pumpkins

These adorable pumpkin designs make for easy crafts—and festive porch pals!

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Fuzzy Monster Friend

Make a friendly, furry monster by wrapping wired faux fur (Creatology Fuzzy Craft Stem) all around your pumpkin. Add a pair of googly eyes and enjoy your new friend.

Halloween fuzzy pumpkin
Photo: Heather Gott

Star-Studded Pumpkin

Add some shine to Halloween night by pushing silver star brads (Recollections Silver Star Brads) into an uncarved pumpkin.

Halloween studded pumpkin
Photo: Heather Gott

Ghostly Messages

Cover a pumpkin with chalkboard spray paint, then write scary or funny notes on it each day to entertain your kids.

Halloween chalk pumpkin
Photo: Heather Gott

Spider Cupcakes

A much cuter version of an unwanted creepy crawler.

Halloween spider cupcakes
Photo: Heather Gott

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate chips in a pot over low heat on your stovetop, stirring frequently.
  2. Place a cooking rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet and lay cookies on the rack.
  3. Once the chocolate chips are melted, spoon the chocolate over each cookie.
  4. Place candy eyeballs on each cookie before the chocolate hardens.
  5. Cut black licorice into thin strips that are about 3.5 to 4 inches in length. Then, place four pieces on each side of your cupcakes.
  6. Set the cookies on top of the cupcakes and serve.

Week Two: The Monster Mash-Up

Get your house dressed up for the holiday by decking it out with its own wacky door decor. Then, treat your family to monstrously fun cookies.

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Have a Door Decorating Contest

Rally your neighbors to compete in a halloween door decorating contest. Make your own invites, score sheets, and rules, then leave them in envelopes on your neighbors’ front porches. Hold the judging at night. Dress up and walk through your neighborhood with flashlights while you record your scores.


Eerie Door Decor

Tempt Halloween revelers with a sweet display or prove that Frankenstein really isn’t such a grump with the clever door designs shown above.

1. Creepy Critter

Halloween door decor
Photo: Heather Gott

You Will Need:

Directions: 

  1. Cut a large mouth shape of your choice from the white art paper.
  2. From the white construction paper, cut two large circles for eyes. 
  3. Cut two semi-circles from black construction paper, and adhere to the white circles to complete the eyes. 
  4. Attach everything to your door with painter’s tape.

2. Candy Loot

Halloween Door Decor
Photo: Heather Gott

You Will Need:

Directions: 

  1. Cut a piece of brown kraft paper that’s long enough to cover approximately three-quarters of the height of your door.
  2. Hold the piece of kraft paper up to your door and cut a circle where your door handle is. 
  3. Using packaging tape, attach a variety of mini candy bars to the top of the paper to make it look like the candy is overflowing. 
  4. Print out the letters for “Trick or Treat” and attach them to the center of the brown kraft paper using packaging tape. If you don’t have a printer, use letter stickers or a stencil.
  5. Use painter’s tape to attach the finished creation to your front door.

3. Friendly Frank

Halloween door decor
Photo: Heather Gott

You Will Need: 

Directions: 

  1. Using painter’s tape, attach green art paper to the top of your door and black paper to the remaining portion of the door (if needed). 
  2. Cut mouth, eyes, hair, and nose shapes from white and black construction paper, then tape to the green paper.

Monster Dip Cookies

Serve up these kooky treats to give off major monster and alien vibes.

Halloween monster cookies
Photo: Heather Gott

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Microwave green candy melts in a microwave-safe container at 50 percent power for one minute. Remove from the microwave and stir.
  2. Continue microwaving at 50 percent power in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each set until completely smooth and melted.
  3. Dip cookies halfway into the candy melt mixture, then place on a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet.
  4. Add candy eyeballs to each cookie before the candy melt dries.
  5. Let sit for about 10 minutes before eating—and dunk in milk for extra goodness!

Week Three: Movie Thrills and Chills

Halloween is drawing near! Appease your little house spirits with a Halloween film festival, featuring your favorite seasonal flicks. You can even make and invite your very own ghost guests!

Watch Spooky Movies

Gather your crew for a wicked night of movie marathon fun. These family-friendly picks are available to stream and rent now, so get ready to cozy up and enjoy a frightfully festive night in.

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What to Stream
The Little Vampire (Netflix)
Curious George: A Halloween Boofest (Hulu)
Monster Family (Netflix)
Spooky Stories (Netflix)
Room on the Broom (Netflix)
Spookley the Square Pumpkin (Netflix)
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (Netflix)
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (Disney+)

What to Rent
Hocus Pocus (Amazon Prime)
Casper (Amazon Prime)
Halloweentown (Amazon Prime)
The Addams Family (Amazon Prime)
Monster House (Amazon Prime or YouTube Movies)
Spooky Buddies (YouTube Movies)
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Amazon Prime or YouTube Movies)
Goosebumps (Amazon Prime)


Ghost Balloons

Ghosts like movies too! Blow up white balloons and add ghostly faces with a black permanent marker. Tie these creepy attendees to chairs or door knobs, or tuck them in between couch cushions to make your movie night just a bit more eerie.

Halloween ghost balloons
Photo: Heather Gott

Mummy Popcorn

Upgrade your movie snacks with drizzled white chocolate, colorful sprinkles, and loads of peeping eyes.

Halloween food ideas
Photo: Heather Gott

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Microwave popcorn following the instructions on the bag, then divide between individual serving bowls.
  2. Mix pretzel sticks into the bowls.
  3. Microwave white candy melts in a microwave-safe container at 50 percent power for one minute. Remove from the microwave and stir.
  4. Continue microwaving at 50 percent power in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each set until completely smooth and melted.
  5. Using a fork, slowly drizzle white candy melt over the popcorn and pretzel mixture.
  6. Add small candy eyeballs and sprinkles throughout the bowls, then serve.

Week Four: The Final Haunt

It’s almost time to put on your costumes—but first, give your fam a good scare by hosting a hair-raising haunted house. These final ideas are easy to pull off on short notice (and with a budget in mind).

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Host a Haunted House

Get your family in full-on fright mode before Halloween weekend by setting up your own haunted house. These handy tips will help you pull off a spine-chilling night.

1. Create Blanket Forts
Mimic the feel of entering a real haunted house by using tables and blankets or sheets to set up forts throughout your house. Cover the floor with fake spider webs or weave it throughout the entrances to give each fort a frightful feel.

2. Set up Scary Stations
Put mushy, slimy, sticky food in big bowls. Blindfold or tell your child to close their eyes as they reach their hands into each concoction. Make up gross names for each bowl, like spider eyes (olives), monster guts (gummy worms), or witch hair (soggy spaghetti). Then, have them guess what each item really was.

3. Play the Right Music
Chilling music turns up the scare factor. Pick a haunted house playlist from YouTube—you can even find the soundtrack from Disney’s The Haunted Mansion!


Spider Web Trap

Create a creepy entryway for your haunted house with just a few supplies.

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Spider web trap

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Using clear thumb tacks, secure spider web to a doorway.
  2. Tuck spider rings into the thickest parts of the web.

Ghost Milkshakes

End your gruesome night (and cool off those fears!) with these refreshing milkshakes.

Halloween Ghost milkshakes
Photo: Heather Gott

You Will Need:

Directions:

  1. Thaw vanilla ice cream for about five minutes.
  2. Put eight scoops of ice cream and two cups of milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. (If the consistency is too thick, add a little more milk; if it’s too thin, add a little more ice cream.)
  3. Dip the rims of 4 cups in the ice cream carton to get them sticky, then dip each rim in your favorite sprinkles.
  4. Pour a portion of the blended milkshake mixture into each cup, top with whipped-cream swirls, and add candy eyes.

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