William Shakespeare wrote, “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.” He’s not the only one with witches on his mind this time of year. ‘Tis the season for costumes, illusions, and lots and lots of candy!

Halloween originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a pagan religious celebration. Samhain marked the turn of seasons, a change in time, and was often associated with human death. Supposedly during the night of the transition from summer to harvest, it was believed that the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead became blurred. Superstitious participants would light fires and wear scary costumes to ward off any ghosts. Halloween didn’t gain popularity in the U.S. until around the nineteenth century. We’ve come up with various ways you and your family can celebrate the holiday this year!

The Joke’s On You

Kick start each day with a little humor. Share some of these with your younger kids each day leading up to Halloween to get them psyched and smiling in the mornings!

    • Q: What is a ghost’s favorite dessert?
      A: “Boo”berry pie with ice scream.

    • Q: Why didn’t the skeleton go to the Halloween party?
      A: Because he had no-body to go with!

    • Q: How can you tell if a vampire has a cold?
      A: Because of the coffin!

    • Q: Why did the policeman ticket the ghost on Halloween?
      A: It didn’t have a haunting license.

    • Q: What do you get when you divide the circumference of your jack-o-lantern by its diameter?
      A: Pumpkin Pi.

    • Q: What do mummies like listening to on Halloween?
      A: Wrap music.

  • Knock, knock. Who’s there? Wanda Witch! Wanda Witch who? Wanda Witch you a Happy Halloween!

Find more quirky jokes here.

Finding Creative Alternatives

Creating your own costumes can be a lot of fun and is a great activity for spending more time together. There are a lot of options out there! We recommend that you look up DIY on Pinterest for fun tutorials that are easy to follow. Another benefit of creating your own costume is that you get exactly what you and your kid are looking for, and you can use raw materials around the home! Check out this fun list of costume ideas. They walk you through creating planets to favorite Disney Pixar characters like Woody and more.  (This is a fun way to entertain the imagination.)

This year, instead of shopping for candy to put outside your door, spend an afternoon in the kitchen.. Some Halloween favorites to bake are candy-corn monster munch (a simple popcorn mix), Lollipop ghosts (tie a small piece of white fabric around a Lollipop and use sharpies to make two little eyes), and candied pecans. Your house could be the talk of the town with these crazy alternatives.

Creep it Real

For an evening with the whole family consider these spooky movies that are appropriate for all ages: Coraline, ParaNorman, The Corpse Bride, or turn to the classics: The Nightmare Before Christmas; Casper; It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; Halloweentown, etc. The options are endless! Order some takeout or pizza delivery for a night of thrills and chills.

Take your teens to local haunted houses, hotels or mazes to complete the thrill of the Halloween scare. Be careful with bringing the younger kids though, lots of places love to go all out with chainsaws, clowns, and other scary additions.

Trick-or-Treat

Smell my feet, give me something good to eat! Of course, you can’t celebrate Halloween without taking a stroll around your community showing off your costumes and collecting treats. We have made the hunt for schedules and times a little easier for you with the following schedule of available dates/times in the Black Hills region.

  • Safe N’ Sweet, Trick N’ Treat: Storybook Island, Oct. 26, 3:30-8:30 p.m., $3
  • Downtown Trick-or-Treat: Main St. Square Rapid City, Oct. 26, 1-3 p.m.
  • Trick-or-Treat: West Blvd. Rapid City, Oct. 31, 5-9 p.m.
  • Trunk or Treat: Spearfish United Methodist Church, Oct. 27, 1 p.m.
  • Trail of Treats: Downtown Spearfish, Oct. 31, 3 p.m.
  • Family Fall Blast: Sturgis Community Center, Oct. 31, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Merchant’s Trick-or-Treat: Downtown Custer, Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m.
  • 3rd Annual Trick or Treat Event: Custer Fire Department Station 1, Oct. 31, 5-8 p.m
  • Merchant Trick-or-Treat & Carnival: Main Street Hill City, Oct. 26, 3:30-6 p.m.
  • Kidweird: Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center, Oct. 31, 5-8 p.m.

WORDS BY SARAH RICHARDS