With Halloween tomorrow there are certain things we need to talk about.
1. Costumes & Make-Up
- Learn about cultural appropriation here. Learn about how cultural appropriation & Halloween are connected here.
- dressing up as a character should not be confused with cultural appropriation (learn what cultural exchange is here — it’s mainly a matter of respect.)
- some characters are innately offensive to some group & you cannot respectfully depict an insensitive character (a.k.a. a stereotype).
- kids do not understand complex social constructs until they are explained & it is the responsibility of adults to educate themselves & others before donning any costume. It may be difficult explaining this concept to children, but you must try to if this is something that concerns you. Forbidding Disney movies will not help you parent better — it will just make parenting down the line harder when you have to explain why your child has done nothing wrong, but is seemingly being punished. Think about it. Kids are much smarter than many given them credit for it. Stay tuned for my rant on this.
- Know your skin & learn about make-up quality here. Cheap make-up may be tempting, but a one time use may be worse for you than you may realize. Many Drugstore brands, like e.l.f. & NYX, offer bold Halloween make-up options that won’t break the bank or your skin out.
2. Halloween Activities
- All Ages
- Costume Party — whether in class or at home, costume parties are all over the October calendar. Themed costume parties are a good option for indecisive attendees.
- Trunk or Treat — typically set up by the child’s school, or the community’s Fire Department or Church. These events provide a family friendly, safe, contained environment for very young children to experience Halloween — many for the first time! Basically, families sign up with a car & deck out the backseat/trunk with decorations. As a kid, my dad drove a decommissioned ambulance for work & would set up a tiny Haunted House, with cobwebs, a skeleton on the stretcher & a zombie driver — it was awesome & just enough for kids who could barely make the stairs themselves.
- Trick or Treat — most of us know what Trick or Treating is, but many of us don’t recognize the new laws towns, counties & states are putting on the tradition.
- Young Adults
- Haunted House — they come in all forms, at all levels of scary & for all ages. Some require a liability waiver. Some require 10 full steps to get through. If you’re into it, be into it, but don’t EVER force ANYONE to do something they’re not comfortable with. (I was always more than happy to wait on the other end of the ride while friends & family peed their pants screaming & laughing)
- Fright Fest at Six Flags — every year for (at least) the ENTIRE month of October, Six Flags parks all around the country get tricked out for Halloween. There are 18 parks total, 16 being in the United States.
- 21+ (Drink Responsibly, Act Responsibly, Be Responsible.)
- Pup Crawls — There are lots of companies (some local, some national) that are taking full advantage of America’s celebratory drinking culture designing elaborate (& sometimes themed) pup crawls in major cities. In 2015 (at 21), I participated in PupCrawls.com‘s St. Patrick’s Day in Philadelphia crawl & it was tons of fun — if you’re into drinking & holiday spirit, and don’t mind the crowds. Always read reviews and only buy tickets from reputable companies. PRO TIP: If you’re unsure of the legitimacy of a pub crawl, your best bet is to call a few of the bar supposedly on the list & see if they know anything about it.
- Booze Cruise — Along with the companies that offer you the means to drunkenly troll a city on foot, there are companies willing to provide all the same tomfoolery within a designated area at sea. “Booze Cruise” is the slag term for a boat trip with an open bar included in the price. Some sail for a couple hours, some sail for a couple days. Out at sea, sales are subject to maritime law & cruisers may enjoy lower prices on alcohol & tobacco products, depending on where they sail.
3. Personal Safety & Common Sense
- Don’t accept or eat any suspicious treats. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Report any suspicious, dangerous or disruptive behavior to the proper authority. Don’t be a bystander if you witness altercations, but also don’t put yourself at risk.