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Best Places to Celebrate Halloween

Best Places to Celebrate Halloween

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How to celebrate Halloween in 7 places with Halloween-themed names

A trip to Skull Valley is sure to create Halloween excitement.

Where should you go when you want to get in the spirit of Halloween? America has several spooky towns with equally eerie events to turn the brave into timid travelers.

See Best Places to Celebrate Halloween Slideshow

From re-enactments of the Salem witch trials and a silent supper in honor of the dead in Salem, Mass., to traversing a haunted plantation and boarding a glowing ghost ship in Cape Fear, N.C., these small towns are brimming with brew fests, ghoulish goodies, and frightful festivals.

Whether you are one of the estimated 41 million trick-or-treaters in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census, or just looking for a Halloween-inspired location for your next vacation, America’s 7 Spookiest Towns are sure to put you in the Halloween spirit.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.

15 Fun Quarantine Halloween Ideas for a Festive, Socially Distanced Holiday

Your Halloweekend can include fun outdoor activities, scary movies, spooky treats, and more.

This Halloween has the potential to be epic: the holiday falls on a Saturday (which means we get an entire day of candy, costumes, and crafts) and there will even be a full moon (so spooky!). That said, there are a few things that will set Halloween 2020 apart from all other years &mdash most notably, the coronavirus pandemic and everything that comes with it. But just because we need to remain socially distanced this year doesn't mean Halloween is canceled &mdash it just means we need to brainstorm creative quarantine Halloween ideas.

Ahead, we've compiled a list of the best ways to safely celebrate Halloween in 2020. From setting up a few festive Halloween games to cooking a spread of yummy fall foods, these ideas will help you have the best Halloween yet. Forget everything you know about how October 31 is traditionally celebrated these quarantine Halloween ideas will help you have a spooky socially distanced celebration right at home. All you need to do is put on your costume, eat some candy, and get ready for a haunting Halloween house party.

What's that, you ask? It's when you create a treat bag of goodies for a friend or neighbor and leave it on their doorstep with a note inside to pass it on (as in, create a new treat bag and "ghost" someone else). It's a festive way to spread some socially distanced holiday cheer.

This year, you have all day to celebrate Halloween &mdash which means you might want to plan some structured activities. A fun bean-bag or ring toss, or a game of trivia or charades is sure to be a hit.

Since you might not be able to do traditional Halloween activities like going to a haunted house or trick-or-treating with friends, you can channel more of your energy into creating a stunning spread of spooky snacks.

Halloween is all about treating yourself &mdash which means you should go all in on preparing a ton of sweets. Try something creative, like witch cupcakes, black cat cookies, or choco-pumpkin ice-cream sandwiches.

Light a few candles and see what's in the cards for your future. For a unique experience, hire a professional to do a private Tarot consultation on Zoom.

No matter how small your Halloween party is, it won't be complete without some festive tunes. Blast your favorites and have a dance party or play a game of freeze dance.

There's no more classic activity than watching a Halloween-themed movie or show. For a kid-friendly option, tune into the Mighty Express's Halloween Special on Netflix. In it, a haunted Ghost Train comes for candy every Halloween, and Nate gets quite the fright when he thinks Flicker's first-class costume is the real deal.

Look in your local newspaper to see if there will be an outdoor Halloween parade or some other socially distanced celebration. You might be surprised how many parades, trunk or treats, and drive-through events you find.

The perfect Halloween craft is one that's just as festive on October 31 as it is come Thanksgiving (that way, you can make the craft on one holiday and use it as a decoration on the next). Fortunately, there are a ton of crafts that fall into this category, such as these paint-splattered pumpkins. Simply paint pumpkins a solid color and then splatter a different color over it using a toothbrush.

A little bit of Halloween decorating can go a long way &mdash especially if you've got kids. For example, waking up to these adorable ghost emoji balloons will help them feel like Halloween is going to be perfectly festive, even if it's a little bit different this year than most years.

At this point in quarantine, we're all pros at hosting virtual get-togethers. Pour a drink, put on a costume, and invite all your friends to a Halloween FaceTime or Zoom party.

You don't have to be an artist to have fun with face paint. Ask your kids which design they'd like and do your best to paint it. They can even take turns painting each others' faces if they'd like.

No Halloween is complete without a custom witch's brew cocktail or mocktail. Freezing plastic spiders into your ice cubes, as seen in this drink, will delight both kids and adults.

Spend Halloween morning biking through a park or nearby neighborhood. Point out the prettiest fall foliage or the most fabulously decorated houses. It's a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the late-fall weather.

Consider sending a delicious Halloween treat to friends and family you can't see in person. Receiving a delivery of these monster-inspired rice Krispies pops will be a bright spot on anyone's holiday.

Decadent Halloween Candy Desserts

The only thing better than a home-baked cookie or cake is one you’ve hacked to include bits of your favorite trick-or-treat candy. These Halloween candy dessert recipes will have you hoarding Halloween sweets just to stock your baking pantry.

Wholly Homemade How to Make Your Own Halloween Candy Of course, there is something to be said for healthy Halloween treats, but everything in moderation, right? Which means you have to have some sugar—and these Halloween candy desserts will certainly provide plenty of it. Whether you need a last-minute recipe for your Halloween feast or are looking for creative ways to use up leftover Halloween candy (allegedly, that’s a thing that exists…), these cakes, cookies, bars, and muffins are all perfectly delicious and loaded with some of our very favorite items to ever grace the inside of a plastic pumpkin bucket.

October 4: Cinnamon Roll Day

Ryan Benyi Photography / Getty Images

Ooey, gooey, and best served warm with fresh coffee, cinnamon rolls are a perfect breakfast for chilly fall weekends. For Cinnamon Roll Day, try making your own rolls from scratch. If you really want to take your cinnamon rolls to the next level, layer pieces of lightly baked bacon into the strips of dough before baking.

Everything You Need to Celebrate Halloween in Sarasota

From quarantine costumes to trick-or-treat alternatives, we've got everything you need for a great—and safe—Halloween.

Like everything else in 2020, Halloween this year is going to be different than we expected. But have no fear&mdashyou can still enjoy some Fright Night fun with these guide to pandemic-safe tricks and treats. From a spooky cocktail recipe to trick-or-treating alternatives to quarantine-themed costumed, there's something for everyone. Plus, metaphysical maven Susan Moen shares what's in her handbag (yep, crystals are included) and we take a look at Sarasota's haunted past.

17 Extra-Fun Ways To Safely Celebrate Halloween 2020 At Home

It's official: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced safety guidelines for Halloween this year, which include avoiding trick-or-treating and large gatherings. But that doesn't mean Halloween is cancelled! Far from it. There are still a bunch of ways to make October 31 feel special and just as festive as years before. So don't fret: Get a costume ready (because why the heck not!), and make it the happiest Halloween possible.

Start your holiday on an extra-sweet note and put all of this season's candies to the test&mdashtaste test, that is. There are tons of new treats this year, like glow-in-the-dark chocolates and green KitKats. And do let us know: Does anyone like candy corn?!

It's a classic Halloween activity for a reason. Grab pumpkins for the whole family (groceries stores tend to sell them if you don't feel like venturing out to a patch). Then you can either free-hand a design or print out one of the many templates floating around the interwebs.

Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown are great to get you in the Halloween mood, but you should spice it up with some seriously scary movies if you're into that kinda thing. These classics are a good place to start. but don't say we didn't warn you!

Bottoms up, witches! Halloween calls for a boozy drink for all those 21 and older. This Drunken Peanut Butter Cup cocktail is not only a great photo opp for Instagram, but it's a great use for your Halloween candy, too. The vodka is Reese's infused.

Just because you're at home doesn't mean you shouldn't step out in your funniest, spookiest, or cutest costume. Cat ears are highly encouraged.

There's never a bad time for a dance party, and streaming services like Spotify always curate Halloween playlists that feature throwbacks like "Thriller" and newer jams like "Midnight City."

The only thing scary about trying a new recipe is not knowing where to start. This recipe helps you out with step-by-step instructions. Jack-O'Lantern stuffed peppers are filled with beef, rice, and more, but you can use any protein or toppings you please.

Zoom and Google Hangouts have become the norm for holidays this year, so send out that invite link and tell people to mark their calendars. Bonus points if everyone wears a costume for a virtual costume party&mdashor makes a Halloween-appropriate treat to enjoy on the call!

Nothing will get you more in the Halloween spirit than decking out your house in all things black, orange, and yellow. Throw in a couple of decorative pumpkins and you're all set.

Apple picking is a staple fall activity, and there are so many places offering safe, socially distant visits to the orchard. Check out our running list of best orchards to visit across the nation, and get ready to bake some apple pie.

No party, no problem. All of the classic Halloween party games can be just as fun with only your family, like bobbing for apples&mdashusing all the ones you picked up from the orchard!

Celebrate the holiday movie in the biggest way ever: Whip up these Hocus Pocus S'mores along with these Jell-O shots that'd surely please the Sanderson sisters. Then, find a movie-themed "ugly" Halloween sweater to wear while watching the movie. We'll save you the legwork of searching for it, btw. It's on Disney+.

You can still hand out candy to your neighbors and maintain social distancing with genius tactics like a candy chute or slider.

To keep kids entertained, pick up some supplies to make themed crafts. You can make Halloween specific ones, or get prepared for Thanksgiving with some DIY activities, too.

Ghosting has become a popular tradition over the years, and it's a great way to show people you're thinking of them even if you can't hang out in person. Here's how it works: You make a bag of Halloween-themed goodies and leave it on a friend's or neighbor's doorstep with a note that encourages them to "ghost" someone else.

Face painting is always the most fun part of a Halloween fair, but you can easily do it at home with some safe to use paint and creativity.

Ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant can make any day an extra special occasion, and some of your favorite places are probably offering killer Halloween food deals.

Drive-by Trick-or-Treating

Coordinate with your neighborhood and have folks drive by like the Covid-19 birthday parades. Gently throw candy at costumed kids in their yards, like your car is a parade float. This reverse trick-or-treating is a win-win. It keeps the more vulnerable generation and high risk people from getting too close while still allowing them to enjoy seeing everyone in their costumes, and the kids can still collect ALL THE CANDY!

40 Fun Halloween Party Themes for the Best Gathering Ever

Every awesome fall bash starts with a great theme and Halloween is no exception! To help you plan a legendary Halloween party for adults or kids, we've rounded up 40 fun&mdashand sometimes scary&mdashideas that are sure to please even the most finicky member of your "quaranteam," virtually or otherwise. You can choose to embrace the sweet (candy making, we're looking at you!), sticky (pumpkin carving contest, anyone?) or spooky (two words: ghost stories) sides of Halloween. Or, you can plan a low-key night centered on festive Halloween games. Either way, we've got you covered with everything you'll need&mdashgood Halloween party names (hello, Nightmare On Your Street!), super easy fall desserts, creative DIY decorations (do not miss the paint splattered pumpkins), tasty autumnal cocktails (think: vampire shooters), a killer playlist, and even the best movies to stream&mdashfor a fun party, whether you're hosting a classy black-and-white bash, a work-friendly dinner gathering, an adults-only costume contest, a murder mystery over Zoom, or something in between. Happy haunting!

Who doesn't love a good whodunnit story? For a memorable party theme, serve up a little mystery along with dinner. It's a great way to keep guests engaged and entertained.

See more of this party at Giggles Galore.

Keep your little monsters entertained this Halloween by throwing a skeleton scavenger hunt party. Hide faux bones around your yard or house and send the kids out to find them all.

Invite friends over for a backyard horror movie night this Halloween! (You could also screen It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for a more kid friendly event.) All you need to create your own outdoor theater experience is a blank wall or sheet and a portable projector (you'll hook it up to your laptop or another device). Set up comfy seating and DIY a creepy concession stand.

See more of this party at Catch My Party.

Love baking cookies at Christmas? There's no reason you can't host a spooky treat-making party for Halloween! Make your goodies do double-duty by packaging them up and handing them out to trick-or-treaters.

You don't have to wait until December to break out the gingerbread houses! Give the Christmas favorite the haunted treatment and invite friends over for a decorating party.

Are Octobers pretty mild in your neck of the woods? Host a "Franks and Steins" party and squeeze in one more cookout before the weather turns too cold. Go all out with the Halloween decorations or keep things minimal&mdasheither way you can't go wrong.

Want to see your little one's face light up in more ways than one? Host a glow party this Halloween! Just add glow-in-the-dark details anywhere you can (cups, pumpkins, straws) then turn off the lights and await the smiles.

Break out the spooky decorations and music and recruit some friends to help you with the scaring.

When's the last time you went to a dance party? Host a monster mash of your own this Halloween&mdashit's a theme that works for both kids and adults. (Just make sure the music is good!)

Whether you hire a local fortune-teller or play the role yourself, this party theme is sure to be a hit! We can see it now.

Combine a block party, bar crawl, and halloween festivities, and you get Nightmare On Your Street. Assign a different Halloween activity or game to each house on your block&mdashincluding making caramel apples and spooky cocktails, sharing ghost stories stories, decorating pumpkins, and, of course, a costume contest&mdashthen have a ghoulishly good time going house-to-house on All Hallows' Eve. Yes, this idea takes a bit more effort and organizing, but it will also be five, six, or seven times more fun.

If you're into a less spooky Halloween vibe, why not host a floral arranging party? For the best deal, visit your local flower market if you have one (Trader Joe's or Whole Foods usually have good blooms, too!) grab some easy snacks, and you're pretty much good to go.

Want to liven up a regular old Halloween cocktail party? Stir up some friendly competition by having party goers come prepared to whip up a fall cocktail on the spot. You provide the basics&mdashbooze, glassware, garnishes&mdashand ask each guest to bring one special ingredient of choice. Get to sippin'!

Get in the spirit&mdashliterally!&mdashwith a Halloween party theme inspired by one of the most tried-and-true costumes: a ghost! To create the slightly frightening feel, apply the all-white theme to decorations (think painted pumpkins, spooky eyeball wreaths, and ghost garlands), treats (such as mummy pops, s'mores dip, white chocolate covered apples), and costumes (Princess Leia, ballerinas, and, yes, Casper).

If you wait all year for the return of pumpkin spice everything, then a pumpkin spice party is the one for you. (It's basically just a regular party but everything served is&mdashyou guessed it!&mdash pumpkin flavored.) The theme works whether you're throwing a kid friendly daytime event or an evening cocktail party.

See more of this party at Savvy Sassy Moms.

Invite your bravest friends for a frightening, adults-only dinner party. For the most spooktacular setting, decorate your dining room table with black linens, dishes, utensils, serving pieces, and candleholders, as well as few creepy curiosities, like your child's stuffed animals and passed-down antique tchotchkes. Then to make things even eerier, serve and eat your scary dinner&mdashvampire cocktails, mummy baked brie, eyeball pasta, bloody cheesecake&mdashentirely by candlelight.

Don't feel like making dessert? Cheryl's Cookies makes delightful Halloween-themed rice crispy pops that you can order ahead and serve.

Ever wanted to redo your prom? Well now's the time. sorta. This Halloween, host a dance of your own and encourage everyone to come dressed in their zombie-fied best&mdashit'll be a night to dismember!

When it comes to Halloween party decorating, a black-and-white palette will never steer you wrong. (Sometimes it's just best to stick with the classics.)

See more of this party at Sugar and Charm.

Caramel apples are no doubt one of the most delicious parts of fall, so why not plan a whole Halloween party around making them? Plus, it's a great excuse to go apple picking. Keep it simple or go all out with the toppings.

Throw a summer camp-themed bash in honor of horror flick Friday The 13th. Decor-wise, think vintage lanterns, pennants and plaid blankets. Fill a small wooden boat with ice to house beverages and serve up classic campfire fare, like s'mores and hot dogs. If you really want to go all out, hand out Camp Crystal Lake t-shirts so everyone matches and set up activities, like an archery competition or lawn bowling.

You don't have to wait until the sun goes down to get the (Halloween) party started. Host a daytime brunch party (pumpkin pie mimosas, anyone?) and invite everyone to come in costume.

Why should kids get to have all the trick-or-treat fun? Host an adults only candy-themed party this Halloween. (Guests can fill up their own treat bags and take them home as a party favor.)

The holiday is traditionally all about honoring loved ones who have passed. Select party décor that commemorates the dead, like traditional sugar skulls, bright floral displays, and candlelit lighting.

Forgo a night on the town in favor of a ghouls' night in Halloween party. Play a boardgame or whip out the old Ouija board and serve up some mummy pizza. You can't go wrong when you're in good company.

Why battle the crowds this Oktoberfest when you can simply host the party yourself? Double up on the October fun by asking guests to come dressed in their Halloween costumes.

Both kids and adults alike will enjoy a craft-making party. You pick the project and provide the supplies and guests can bring a snack for everyone to enjoy.

Celebrate Halloween with a pumpkin pie bake off. To keep things easy, have everyone bring over their dessert fresh out of the oven, then have a panel of unbiased judges (maybe the kiddos?) rate them on taste and presentation.

#Blessed to have a mild fall? Head outside for an outdoor feast this Halloween! Serve up comforting fare, like mini shepherd's pies and hot cider.

Get into the Halloween spirit by hosting a pumpkin-carving party competition. Winner takes home a freshly baked pie! Check out our clever pumpkin carving ideas here.

For a fang-tastic Halloween, invite your pals over for a "vampires only" dinner party. Slay the menu by sticking to dishes that primarily utilize red foods: tomatoes, cranberries, beets, etc. Check out Love at First Bite: The Complete Vampire Lover's Cookbook for more inspiration.

Happy Halloween! 9 Ideas to Celebrate

It's Halloween time! The scariest night of the year is finally upon us. How will you be celebrating? We've got Halloween food ideas that will help you entertain in style.

How about sinking your teeth into a bloody Halloween cake? Or what about snacking on jello eyeballs or jelly bats? These spooky treats will please all the goblins and ghosts that show up at your door.

For more spooky fun, check out our Halloween party ideas. Halloween is definitely the sweetest, yet scariest night of the year and we can help you celebrate the ghoulish affair with plenty of wicked food ideas. We’ve got tips for everything from decorating Halloween cookies to making skull-shaped pancakes. Why not celebrate Hallow’s Eve with bloody cocktails? Or how about sweet caramel apples and fun candy corn jello?

Halloween Fun: Crafts, Games, Recipes & More

Find spooktacular events, creepy crafts, Halloween recipes, DIY costumes and more in our Halloween Round-Up. These hair-raising Halloween ideas will make your family's celebration "faBOOlous"!


FaBOOlous fun awaits in our list of San Diego's Halloween and Fall Happenings, full of fun things to do and places to go with your family.


Looking for JUST pumpkin patches in San Diego? We've got you covered! Plan your day of fall family fun with our list.

Make no bones about it! These tasty treats are ghoulishly good grub for your Halloween party or family fall celebration.

Frankenstein Pops -- Allergy-safe monster pops

Candy Corn Smoothie -- No candy was used in the making of these smoothies.

Mummified Cupcakes

Pumpkin Patch Snack -- A healthy snack that "screams" Halloween.

Have a bounty of apples this season? Find festive recipes in our Apple Recipe Round-Up.

Find more creepy cuisine for Halloween in Family Recipes. Indulge in delicious sweet and savory pumpkin recipes in "Pumpkiny Goodness", a round-up of recipes that takes you beyond traditional pumpkin pie.


Mini Halloween Pinatas

DIY Halloween Treat Bags
Easy to make Treat Bags for Halloween

Creepy Cones
Cute table decorations that will delight your trick-or-treaters.

Greedy Ghosts
This DIY party game is fun to make and play!

Spooky Fun: No-Carve Pumpkins
An alternative way to think about pumpkins at Halloween

Decorations for Dia de los Muertos
Art with Alyssa: Calavera for Dia de los Muertos

Visit our Halloween pinterest board for more crafts, decorations and party ideas!

Find step-by-step instructions from Style Me Pretty Living
for these adorable Sushi Roll, Hot Air Balloon and Bubble Bath costumes.

DIY Funko POP! Costume
Create your own Funko POP! costume this halloween.

13 Halloween Party Games for Kids
Entertaining the neighborhood "littles" this Halloween? These games will keep them giggling!

10 Haunted Spots in San Diego
SD has its share of haunted places. "Meet" our local ghosts at these infamous locales.

Is Your Child Ready for a Haunted House?
Take a look behind the scenes to help decide

1. Go BIG on decorating

This may well be the year to pull out the stops decorating in and outside your home, just for the fun of it. String up some lights. Invest in a fog machine. Stuff some old clothes to make a headless scarecrow . or invest in something more elaborate at local stores. Decorate or carve multiple pumpkins — have a family contest and ask neighbors to vote on their favorites (just remember that pumpkins don’t last long once they’re carved, especially in California’s balmy fall weather, so hold off on carving until a day or two before Halloween). Or you could grab a marker and draw on gourds for “carvings” with more staying power.

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