Come October, there’s no shortage of pumpkin this or pumpkin that and the sheer number of Halloween-themed events can be overwhelming. And pricey. Think: costume parties, candied treats and (did we already say this?) pumpkin treats. Given all this, finding cheap Halloween activities might seem damn near impossible.
But we’re not here to crush your holiday spirit. Thankfully, for the budget-conscious among us, October is also the month when you can celebrate Halloween basically any day of the month. You don’t need to go to an exclusive and crowded party to celebrate Halloween. Nor, do you need an overpriced, super-elaborate costume. Nope—just add in a few jack-o-lanterns and embrace anything scary or witchy and you’ll be set.
Here’s some cheap Halloween activities to stay on budget without sacrificing your love for the spooky holiday.
Host a pumpkin-carving night
Stick to the classics and you’ll not only relive your childhood, but also end up with some holiday decor for your place. Bonus: Save the pumpkin seeds to roast them in the oven.
Make your way through a corn maze
Grab a friend, or your partner, and get lost in a corn maze. It may or may not be extra fun with some hot apple cider with bourbon.
Go on a tour of a haunted house
If you’re the kind who lives to be spooked, why not go to a haunted house? Many towns create one from scratch with ghouls whose job it is to scare you. Too cheesy? You can also make plans to visit a historical home that’s rumored to be haunted.
Visit an Instagram-worthy pumpkin patch
Visiting a pumpkin patch during autumn is as cliché as it sounds, but it’s the kind of family-friendly event that’s perfect for a group or kids (and photo-ops).
Host a pumpkin-themed dinner
‘Tis the season for everything pumpkin-related. Why not host a pumpkin-themed dinner with friends and family? You can roast pumpkin seeds, have pumpkin pie, and other holiday-related treats. To save extra cash make it a potluck.
Make goodie bags for trick-or-treaters
While you might be too old for trick-or-treating, you can still make an event out of arranging goodie bags. Gather a group to help (or embark on it solo) to wrap different treats in a plastic, holiday-themed bag. It’ll help you get into the spirit and score some points with your neighbors.
Have a horror movie night at home
Host a classic horror film night at home. All you need is the a bone-chilling movie and some popcorn.
Invite friends over for a spooky game night
If you’d rather have a more interactive Halloween-themed night, aim for a round of spooky or mystical games. See whether anyone gets spooked out over a game of Ouija or you always opt for a round of tarot readings.
Go on a local ghost tour in your city
Many towns and cities organize local “ghost tours” in a neighborhood where you can take a trip through memory lane. Often, these tours will cover the history of crime in a given area, where murders and mysterious events happened and the ghost stories that followed.
Gather for a night of ghost stories
If you and your circle of friends and family prefer a more intimate gathering (for a spookier feel), opt for a night of ghost stories around the dinner table. Guests can take turns sharing their own experiences with the mysterious and unexplained. Or, you can take turns reading aloud popular ghost stories from the internet.
If all else fails…
If any of that still seems like a bit of a reach, you can always light a pumpkin-scented candle. And maybe enjoy it while drinking a pumpkin spice latte. While reading a horror story about a man with a pumpkin head. Okay—we’ll stop.