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I ordered my 16-year-old daughter a wig
today to complete her Halloween costume. Besides bringing home some pumpkin
bread from Starbucks, that was my only contribution to anything having to do
with Halloween this year.
My girls are teens now and Halloween has
changed — they make their own costumes, there are no school parties to
volunteer for and it’s been years since I accompanied them trick-or-treating. While I miss these traditions from their childhood, I’m not going to lie. I’m
kind of relieved my days of sewing wings on a leotard or making bat-shaped
PB&Js at 3 a.m. are behind me.
But even with the kids on their own,
there’s no reason to sit at home waiting for the doorbell to ring. Here are some things to do on October 31st
that don’t involve handing out candy or following the kids around the
neighborhood with a flashlight.
out to dinner
For the past few years my husband and I
have made a tradition of going out to dinner on Halloween night. The
restaurants are empty, and it’s a great way to escape the chaos out on the
streets. We time it perfectly so that just as we’re finishing our pumpkin
ravioli (because every restaurant feels it needs a Halloween-themed menu) we
get the call to pick the girls up at their respective parties. We’re looking
forward to the day when they can drive themselves so that we’ll have time to
order the ice cream cauldron for dessert.
in a movie
Like the restaurants, movie theaters are
ghost towns (see what I did there?) With the exception of some horror
movies, you should have no problem getting a ticket and the best seats in the
house. Bonus: You can stuff your pockets with Halloween candy before you leave home.
a cocktail party
The kids are out of the house having fun on
their own, so let’s raise a glass to that milestone — a tiny glass, that is. (Candy
Corn Jell-O shots, anyone?) Invite a few similarly
un-tethered friends over and have an adult evening – cocktails, grown-up food, costumes
optional and no one ends up crying because they didn’t get the full-sized box
yourself to a show or movie
What could be more perfect than seeing "Wicked" on Broadway on Halloween night? Here on the West Coast I’ll be seeing
Danny Elfman perform music from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and other Tim
Burton films while everyone else is out trick-or-treating. Many venues schedule shows on October 31, knowing that there’ll be
lots of adults looking for something to do; Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys and
Queens of the Stone Age are just a few acts scheduled to perform on Halloween
night. Instead of a lighter, steal your kid’s "Frozen" snow wand to wave around once the lights go down in the arena.
Disclaimer: I’m about as far as you can get
from the outdoorsy type, so I won’t be trying this anytime soon. But I do know
people that take to their favorite mountainous paths on the 31st — a
local hiking club leads an annual Haunted Halloween Hike to search for the
ghosts of a couple that died mysteriously in the park almost four decades ago.
Check with your local parks and rec department to see what guided hikes they
offer, and don’t forget to take a candied apple with you in case you run into a
witch in the woods.