There are many great activities that you and the family can enjoy here in Eugene during Halloween season. From pumpkin patches to harvest festivals, corn mazes and petting zoos or, for adults, book an overnight stay at the Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast. There’s a haunted hayride at the 1910 Tomseth House. Our two year old is really excited to spend time in a pumpkin patch!
Of course, there is also trick or treating. Get creative with those costumes (superheroes are the hottest trend for kids). Send your little ones through the neighborhood for goodies, or take them to the Fifth Street Public Market or Valley River Center for a public place to trick-or-treat.
But maybe you’d prefer to entertain friends at your house. How about a Halloween-themed garage party!
Crafts and Candies. This is all about keeping kids busy, so they’ll be there at your place for a few hours. The kids can make paper bag decorations (with mom and dad’s help) that they can later use to hold candy. Set up card tables and chairs in your garage or driveway. Each table or station will have paper bags, markers and stencils (like jack o’ lanterns, black cats, spectral ghosts and flying bats). You can purchase bags with handles from your local dollar stores. Create a face-painting station (a great activity for the teens to run, to keep them busy). Give out craft supplies, candies, glow-stick bracelets and all-natural goodies at the end of the party.
How about a Haunted Hoedown?
Book a local bluegrass band. Don’t have the money to pay? Ask if they’ll work for tips along with free food and drinks. Make sure your guests know that the band is there as a courtesy and leave a big tip jar.
You can get hay bales at your local pumpkin patch, and rent torches and lawn chairs. Make some mason jar candles for decoration. Tell your guests that they’re welcome to show up in costume, or just come in jeans and plaid shirts for comfort. Put up a bonfire for warmth!
For the grownups, set up a hard cider station! Have a variety of adult-only beverages (bourbon, whisky, moonshine) to add to a crock pot of apple cider, simmering with spices (orange, clove and cinnamon is the “holy trinity” of autumn spices).
String cheesecloth “ghosts” onto chickenwire as spooky decorations in your yard. Make it a potluck party, and put your card tables in the garage for people to serve, and eat, food.
Or, create a maze inside the garage using cardboard boxes. Assemble them the day before, using duct tape and staplers. Just think how much fun this will be once the liquor is flowing!
Best of all, nobody needs to drive. Please have safety measures in place for parties that involve drinking and be sure to designate a sober “adult sitter” to make sure everyone gets home safe. And check out our other blogs on garage-themed events!