Pumpkins and goblins and bats, oh my! It’s that time of year — Halloween is here! What will you be doing on that frightful night? When you’re sober, Halloween can still be a night of ghostly good fun. There are a great many ways to celebrate the spooky season (and your sobriety!) on this eerie evening. So break out the sweets, turn up your favorite spook-tacular tunes, and enjoy one, or all, of these fall-time festivities while you stay sober this October.
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1. Feast on all the festive flavors of fall.
‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice and everything nice. But this orange gourd doesn’t have to steal the spotlight — there can be room for both sweet and savory fall food on your table this October. Check out Food Network’s list of best harvest dishes for recipes like roasted acorn squash, gingered pears and more. And don’t forget ghastly drinks, too! Break out your recipes for booze-free (there’s only room for “boos!”) “frankenpunch” and “witches brew,” or enjoy the simple goodness of spiced apple cider.
2. Watch some spine-chilling (or fantastical) films.
For some spooky souls, it’s never Halloween without hair-raising horror. Whether you’re into found-footage or more cinematic-style scares, there are plenty of vintage films, new classics and even television series (here’s looking at you, “Stranger Things“) to give horror buffs all the thrills and chills they crave. Not into the morbid or macabre? You can never go wrong with classics like “Hocus Pocus” or “The Nightmare Before Christmas” for a comfy and cozy Halloween movie night.
3. Host a pumpkin party.
Make the most of pumpkin season while it’s here! Grab your ghoul-friends and goblins and host a BYOP, or bring-your-own-pumpkin party. Put on a playlist fit for the pumpkin king and get to carving. Pumpkin guts can get everywhere, so be sure to put down newspapers and have wet paper towels at the ready. For those who’d rather not carve a jack-o-lantern, put out some permanent markers, glue, sequins or spray paint for your guests to make their own frightfully fun designs. Bonus points if you eat pumpkin spice treats after carving!
4. Organize a ghoulish game night.
There is no reason to be bored on Halloween when you can play board games instead! Besides, all the best games leave the booze behind. If your group’s into strategy, settle into a round of “Risk” or mysterious “Monopoly.” To break up the scheming, bust out the “Bananagrams,” or teach your favorite fiends a devilishly good card game like “Phase 10” or “Rummy.” To sprinkle some spook onto your game night, a murder mystery game or two can kick your party up a notch.
5. Create a brand-new Halloween tradition.
Trick-or-treating is fun for all and carving pumpkins can be a long-awaited treat every year. But who says you have to do the same activities each Halloween? If you’re looking for a way to spice up this pumpkin holiday, start a new tradition all your own. Maybe you and your friends marathon all eight “Harry Potter” movies or indulge in a season of “Supernatural.” Maybe you create a new scary-delicious dish to share, or a special craft with the kids using fall leaves. You could even pick a new book series to read, visit an orchard or a local farm, or volunteer with cats and dogs looking for “fur”-ever homes. No matter how simple or involved your new tradition, it’s yours to create and celebrate.
You don’t need drugs or alcohol to have a frightfully fun time with your loved ones this spooky season. If you’re worried that your substance use has gone too far, it’s never too late to get help (even on Halloween night). Call 352.771.2700 The Recovery Village to speak with someone who understands your struggle and can guide you toward the help you need.