We’ll be celebrating Halloween down in the woods this year with family fun and games at all of our Forest Holidays locations. In the meantime, here are a few Halloween ideas to get you in the mood.
The tradition of Halloween is thought to be linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, marking the end of the harvest and the start of “the darker half of the year”. Whatever its true origins, what remains is dressing up in creepy costumes, playing messy games and trying to scare ourselves silly. At Forest Holidays, our woodland locations are perfect for Halloween breaks and we’re gearing up for another spooky spectacular this year. More about that later, after some Halloween games….
Traditional Halloween Games
Apple bobbing, a favourite in the list of Halloween kids’ game, goes all the way back to when the Romans introduced apple trees to these shores. The aim is to grab an apple from a bowl of water with your teeth. Mostly, you end up soaking wet and without an apple.
Trick or Treating is often seen as an American import but look to Scotland for a version with slightly gentler overtones. Costumes don’t have to be scary and children have to work for their treats with a song or dance or a magic trick.
Pumpkin carving is one of the Halloween crafts everyone loves, and that ghostly orange grimace is perhaps the most iconic of Halloween symbols. See below for some tips on how to make yours special this year.
5 Pumpkin Carving Tips
- STOP. Before you sink the knife in, draw your design or download a template from the internet, then mark up your pumpkin. This could save you a fortune in false starts
- Turn the pumpkin and use the stem as the nose. You can create some very quirky faces
- Add some extra detail with autumn leaves for hair and a crown of conkers
- Your design doesn’t have to be a face, it can be anything you like. Make pin prick holes for a starlight effect or use little pastry cutters to make shapes
- Don’t worry about cooking up a recipe for the scooped-out insides. Pumpkin is very over rated (there, we said it!)
Some more Halloween ideas
Grab-a-donut is similar to apple bobbing but without the water and vitamins. Thread cotton through some donuts and hang them at different lengths above the children’s heads – the stair banister can be a good place to do this. The aim is to tie your hands behind your back and grab a donut with your teeth. Another competition is to see who can eat a donut without licking their lips. It’s a lot harder than it sounds!
Or how about the Mummy Wrap? Kids absolutely love this. Split the children into at least two groups. One child in each group is the mummy. The other children have to wrap the mummy with rolls of toilet paper, leaving the eyes, nose and mouth uncovered. The first group to finish the rolls and wrap the mummy, wins.
Phantoms in the Forest?
Choose Forest Holidays for your Halloween break and you can join in organised activities and games for a spooky but child-friendly holiday:
- Join the Forest Ranger on a Ghost Walk
- Take part in the pumpkin carving competition
- Continue 'fright night' with a scary movie from our In-cabin Entertainment system and order the Evening-In Treats Pack
- Dig out your Halloween costumes and green paint to take part in our fancy dress competition and organised Trick or Treating
- Join us the Forest Retreat for a quiz and Halloween party.
Finish your evening with a twilight walk in the woods looking for bats and other mysterious creatures. Then shut the door on the chilly autumn night and gather for Halloween games and scary stories round the wood burning stove. Or simply share a pizza in the warmth and security of your luxury cabin, and laugh at how scared you made yourselves.
Did you know?
- According to folklore if you see a spider on Halloween it means the spirit of a loved one is watching over you. It’s a good bet, as autumn is the best time of year to see spiders.
- A truly full moon on Halloween is rare. The last one was in 1974 and the next is 2020