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13 Non-Food Ways to Treat Yourself This Halloween

Karen Katzenbach

From a holiday that started out being about ghosts and ghouls, Halloween has become the celebration that is most associated with sweets and candies. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some great ideas for celebrating the creepiest of holidays without all of the sugar.

  1. Walk (or run!) through a haunted house. Check out your local haunted house. These are usually fund-raisers for local service organizations so feel good about spending a little money to get scared silly. Better yet, volunteer to be one of the monsters, zombies or ghosts and do good while scaring others.
  2. Visit a pumpkin patch. Take a drive out to a local farm that allows you to pick your own pumpkin from their field.
  3. Decorate pumpkins. Once you get the pumpkins home, carve them up and make a jack-o-lantern. If your knife skills aren’t up to par, or you have little ones, grab some paints and brushes and decorate the pumpkins with scary, funny or silly faces.
  4. Go on a hayride. A hayride is an autumn tradition that celebrates the harvest. They can range from fun and festive to creepy and scary if you opt for a haunted hayride.
  5. Get lost in a corn maze. Test your navigation skills, support a local farmer and have some fun getting lost!
  6. Build a bonfire. When the weather starts getting chilly, a bonfire is a great way to enjoy the crisp, fall air and keep cozy at the same time. While you’re at it, find some classic scary stories and see how dramatic you can be.
  7. Play some tricks. Somehow we forget that the phrase is “trick or treat” and just focus on the treat. Surprise your friends and family with a (nice) trick.
  8. Bob for apples. The original Halloween party game. Duck your head into a tub full of water and apples and see how quickly you can capture an apple using only your teeth.
  9. Watch scary movies. Turn the lights off and cue up some classic horror films or some modern slasher flicks and see how much you can scare yourself.
  10. Decorate the house. What once was a tradition reserved only for Christmas, now is a full-blown Halloween extravaganza. Go all out with cobwebs, werewolves and witches.
  11. Visit a graveyard. As scary as this may sound, it’s also a great way to learn about local history. Check out the gravestones and imagine what life was like in your town 100+ years ago.
  12. Collect money for UNICEF. You don’t have to be a kid to go door-to-door and raise money for this charity that helps children around the world.
  13. Dress up. This is really what Halloween is about. It’s the one day out of the year you can be something you are not. Be extravagant, glamorous, scary. Let that part of your personality that most people don’t see come out and shine!

There are lots of ways to take part in the Halloween fun that don’t involve filling up on “fun”-sized chocolate bars and candy corn. Be creative and enjoy the spookiest holiday in a healthy way.