Halloween at Home: Tips for Staying in this Spooky Season

It’s safe to say that ghosts, witches, and haunted houses aren’t the scariest things on our minds this October. Spooky Season looks a little different this year . . . a little more masked. You may not be throwing the ultimate ghostly bash or getting ready for Fright Night at Six Flags, but that certainly doesn’t mean Halloween is canceled. I’ve always had a soft spot for those childhood Halloween traditions: carving pumpkins, spooky cartoon specials, decorations, making costumes, etc. What is a better time than during a pandemic to fully embrace these fun festivities? And in this spirit, I have culminated a spooky night-in itinerary for you and your quarantine buddies. 

Getting Ready: 

Just because we aren’t going out doesn’t mean our costumes have to stay in the closet. Personally, my favorite part of Halloween has always been, and will always be, dressing up. I must admit, I love to primp, and any excuse to do so is good enough for me. Of course, you can still go all out in the costume department with full glam, fairy wings and witch hats, but some may choose to keep it more low-key this year. When I started thinking about costume options, the Disney princess scene from the movie "Ralph Breaks the Internet" immediately came to mind. In this movie, Ralph’s spunky friend Vanellope, whom the princesses deem the “queen of comfy,” discovers all the princesses in a kind of Disney princess hype house. Vanellope’s athleisure outfit inspires Cinderella to transform every princess’s fit from formal to comfy. With a touch of Disney magic, the movie fasts forward to each princess wearing pjs inspired by their iconic colors. They lounge around on bean bags, sipping soda and munching on popcorn. Going as a Disney princess, but comfy "Ralph Breaks the Internet" style, in my view, is a top notch costume choice. Plus, this costume is so easy to pull off. I’ve always claimed Ariel as “my princess” because of the redhead connection, and I just invested in a pair of aquamarine ugg slides. So, odds are you will find me curled up on the couch, watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as off-duty Ariel on October 31. 

This year is also a great time to put those DIYing skills to the test. Have a costume idea you’ve always wanted to pull together but have never had the time? Well, this is the year to try it out! Some of the best DIY, no sew costumes are knotted tulle skirts, which can be paired with a crop top, making for a cute fairy, princess or witch moment. Another easy costume idea with a shelf life longer than Halloween night is decorating a cami with a small iron-on graphic (like Cher’s rose top from Clueless). This Y2K inspired look has become a trend this year and would make for a great Powerpuff girl, Barbie or Bratz vibe. Pair your custom graphic top with a tennis skirt and voila: your cute, Y2K costume is complete!

For the Table:

Let’s be honest, no night is complete without the perfect spread of snacks. An autumn themed charcuterie board is a great mood booster for everyone. Add candy corn or candy pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds, champagne grapes, apple slices with caramel dip and cinnamon sticks to the traditional cheeses and meats to give your board a fall flare. With all its autumn charm, this charcuterie board is bound to make the Insta story. 

Several local bakeries in Evanston and Chicago sell the most beautiful and tasty Halloween treats. The cake pictured here is from Bennison’s Bakery in Evanston. I tried it last week, and it is simply delicious. Tags Bakery, another Evanston favorite, sells the best fall themed pastries. Their sprinkled chocolate cake donuts are to die for. However, nothing beats Sweet Mandy B’s in Chicago. Check out their adorable Halloween specialty desserts, like these cakes and this spread of frosted cookies, rice crispy treats and brownies decorated like monsters. 

What to Watch:

While you're lounging in your pjs on Halloween night, it's the perfect time to flip on the TV and watch your favorite Halloween show. Here are a few of my favorite Halloween movies and TV specials: 

1. "Ghostbusters"

2. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"

3. Season 2 Episode 13 “Halloween” from "Beverly Hills 90210" (the original 90s show of course, available on Hulu)

4. "Mean Girls" (for the Mouse costume and Halloween party gone bad)