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How to Celebrate Halloween When You Don’t Like Going Out

A guide for the ghouls who want to have fun without sacrificing their personal comfort

Written by Sophie Farrar

It’s October and Halloween is rapidly approaching. Luckily, you’ve been ready since the beginning of September. Your costume is picked out, your decorations are up and your playlist has been on repeat. Halloween is your favorite holiday, and usually you can’t wait for it to arrive, but this year, despite all your preparation, you’re kind of dreading its arrival.

Halloween hasn’t been the same since you’ve gotten to college. Your friends all like to celebrate by going out to parties or bars. You understand that they find that fun, and there’s nothing wrong with them for wanting to, but it just isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re not the legal drinking age yet, or maybe you are and you just don’t like drinking. Maybe going out to parties or bars gives you anxiety. Whatever reason you have, you simply don’t like going out — and there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling that way. The issue is that it feels like your only option to celebrate Halloween is by going out.

But have no fear! Going out is not your only option. Party culture may make you feel like the only way you can celebrate Halloween as an adult is by having a night out, but that is simply not the case. There are still a variety of ways that you can enjoy Halloween as a college student, without sacrificing your personal comfort.

Enter: me. Think of me as your Halloween guardian angel. I have graciously come down from heaven to guide you towards all the ways you can celebrate Halloween without forcing yourself to go out when you don’t want to. Keep reading for my list of activities you can do to get in the spooky spirit without getting into any alcoholic spirits.

Activities to Get You Out and About

  • Apple picking

    • Apple picking is a fall classic. You can use the apples you picked to cook, bake or just have as a crispy snack. If you really feel like committing to the Halloween of it all, set up a tub and go bobbing for apples!

  • Visit a pumpkin patch

    • Pumpkin patches are another staple of the fall season. If you don’t have a front porch to put full size pumpkins out on, get small pumpkins to put around the inside of your home instead!

  • Go to a haunted house

    • Plan your haunted house trip around how much you like or want to be scared. For example, if you don’t like the idea of a haunted house actor touching you, make sure that is prohibited where you’re going. Haunted houses can still be fun even for those who frighten easily!

Activities to Do at Home

  • Throw a costume party

    • So you have a costume to wear but you don’t want to go to a party or bar to show it off. My recommendation? Invite some friends over and throw your own costume party. If you want to take it up a notch, turn it into a competition or have a silly little fashion show to show off your creativity.

  • Throw a murder mystery party

    • Love “Knives Out” and “Glass Onion”? Take inspiration from Miles Bron himself and have a murder mystery party of your own.

  • Decorate the inside (and outside) of your home

    • Turn your house into a haunted house! I recommend T.J. Maxx and thrift stores for all the best Halloween decor finds.

  • Carve (or paint) pumpkins

    • Take advantage of the only time of year you can carve a pumpkin. If you’re not keen on dealing with gooey pumpkin seeds, painting pumpkins is a less messy alternative!

Halloween Streaming (and Reading!)

  • Have a horror movie marathon

    • Pop some popcorn, turn off the lights and prepare to get spooked. Take your horror movie marathon to the next level by centering it around a theme (slasher movies, movies with vampires, witches, haunted houses, etc.).

  • Binge a scary show

    • Have a hard time sitting still for the length of a whole movie? Try watching a scary series instead!

  • Read a scary book

    • Don’t love watching movies OR shows? Maybe a bone-chilling book is the route for you. Include your friends by turning it into a book club!

  • Make a Halloween playlist

    • Some people’s favorite holiday is Christmas because of the music. I think those people simply haven’t discovered the joy of Halloween music yet.

No Tricks, Just Treats!

  • Hand out candy to trick-or-treaters

    • If you live in a community that has trick-or-treating and miss doing it yourself, take on the role of candy-passer-outer and get ready for some nostalgia.

  • Have a Halloween candy taste test

    • Don’t feel like letting the neighborhood kids take all your candy? Keep it for yourself and have a taste test with your friends. Make it official by creating a corresponding tier list.

  • Bake Halloween-themed treats

    • Halloween treats can be found in food other than candy. A personal favorite are the Pillsbury Halloween shaped sugar cookies, which are easy for even the most inexperienced bakers to bake.

  • Make spooky snacks

    • If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you can also upgrade or transform many everyday snacks into ones that feel spooky. For example, at Halloween, hot dogs wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are not pigs in a blanket, but mummies instead.

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