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Celebrate Halloween The Southern Way

As the leaves begin to change color and fall gently to the ground, we know that Halloween is just around the corner. For many of us, this is a time to break out our best costumes, enjoy some spooky fun and feast on candy. Here are 10 activities to help get you in the mood—and get your one good scare.

Visit A Haunted House

RISE Haunted House in Louisiana from Facebook page

This activity may not be for everyone, but if you are looking for a bit of excitement for Halloween, consider checking out one of the many haunted houses in the South. Nothing will get you into the Halloween spirit quite like a good, old-fashioned haunted house. Atlanta and New Orleans both have some big ones, but you can also find haunted hotels, mansions, trail rides and corn mazes.

Go Pumpkin Picking

Looking for a family-friendly activity? Then head to a pumpkin patch! This is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise while also picking out the perfect pumpkin for carving or decoration. Local churches often have pumpkin patches, with other activities included, but farms from South Carolina to Virginia grow pumpkins in a variety of hues.

Make A Pumpkin Pie

The Pie Hole in Georgia Pumpkin Pie

Now that you’ve got your pumpkin, it’s time to put it to good use. One of the best ways to do that is by baking a delicious pumpkin pie. (Pie pumpkins are the medium-sized ones and are usually labeled at the grocery store.) Not only is this a tasty treat, but it’s also a great way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit (which isn’t too far away). Additionally, there are also other pumpkin recipes you can try, such as pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup and even roasted pumpkin seeds. Just save and wash the seeds after you carve your pumpkin and then roast them in the oven with spices.

Host a Halloween Movie Night

If you and your friends love games, you have probably hosted a zar casino night, so why not do the same with Halloween movies? Make some popcorn, get some candy and settle in for a night of scares. Be sure to choose a Halloween movie everyone will enjoy. The South has no shortage of creepy movies set on plantations or just good thrillers like “Deliverance” or “Cape Fear.”

Go To A Halloween Party

What’s Halloween without a party? Throw your own costume party with themed foods and punch or look for a local ball or fundraiser. Dancing in disguise is almost as fun as planning your costume.

Go Trick-Or-Treating

If you have kids (or if you are just young at heart), trick-or-treating is a must on Halloween night. What better place to do it than in the small towns of the South where the kids can run free? With warm weather (usually) and long nights, trick-or-treating is always a treat. Have plenty of candy on hand and some fun Halloween decorations to make your house extra inviting.

Carve A Pumpkin

Carving pumpkins is a Halloween tradition that dates back centuries. It is a great way to get creative and have some fun with friends or family. If you are unsure how to get started, get a kit with tools and designs included. Just be sure to have a sharp knife and some adult supervision.
This is a great activity for both kids and adults alike. However, you need to have some patience—carving pumpkins can be harder than it looks.

Go To A Halloween Parade

Halloween parades are a great way to get into the spirit of the holiday and are getting to be more popular. Do your research ahead of time so you know when and where it is happening. Atlanta has the Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade; Louisville, Kentucky has one; as does the Krewe of Boo in New Orleans. Then, just show up in your best costume and enjoy the fun.

Attend A Halloween Concert

Looking for something a little different? Why not check out a Halloween concert? This is a great way to get your fill of Halloween fun without having to go out trick-or-treating or to a party. Many concerts and shows are being performed around this time by local symphonies, theater groups and bands.

Go For A Hayride

A hayride is a perfect activity for a fall day. Not only is it a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but it is also fun for a group. Bonus points if you can find a hayride that’s followed by roasted marshmallows on the firepit.

Make DIY Costumes

Scarlett O’Hara costume idea

Another great way to spend an afternoon is by making your own costume (or several costumes if you are feeling ambitious). Whether you want to put together something clever, cute or scary, there are tons of ideas that can help you achieve your desired look. If you don’t have time to make a costume from scratch, simply raiding your closet (or costume box) for creative DIY ideas can also work.

Volunteer at Trunk-or-Treat Event

Lastly, if you want to do something good this Halloween season while also getting into the holiday spirit, consider volunteering at a Trunk-or-Treat event. Many churches and community organizations host these events as safe alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating, and they always need volunteers to help set up, hand out candy and clean up afterward. It’s a great way to give back while also getting into the Halloween spirit.

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