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Crow witches and skeletal sovereigns, rejoice: Halloween is nearly here. If your Halloween is a bit more scaled down this year, never fear. You can have plenty of fun indoors, a lá Mary Shelley in 1816 in Geneva, creating your own hair-raising stories and building lasting memories with your friends and family.
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From spooky tabletop games to pumpkin carving, we’ve rounded up some of the best activities you and your loved ones can take part in on All Hallows' Eve this year—no summonings or séances, though, we don’t want that for you.
1. Make a Halloween-themed meal
Soup season is finally here, so make the most of it on Halloween by whipping up some pumpkin soup or hearty chili, or leaning even further into the holiday by exploring recipes in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (yes, there are pumpkin pasties). If grocery shopping for meals isn’t your thing, you’re in luck: Home Chef, our favorite meal kit, actually offers Halloween-themed meal kits, including a deeply adorable Spooky Shepherd’s Pie or a Spooky Turkey Cauldron Pie.
If you want to start off Halloween morning with cozy vibes and comfort food, check out our recipe for waffles with cardamom brown butter and blueberries.
2. Watch a festive film
Scary movies are a Halloween staple—whether you’re checking out terrifying horror classics like Halloween (duh), Night of the Living Dead or The Silence of the Lambs, or you want to keep it a little more lighthearted with offerings like Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus, there’s certainly a Halloween movie out there for you. Grab some popcorn, settle in and get started on revisiting your Halloween favorites.
If you’re not certain where to start looking for horror movies, Shudder is an all-horror streaming service that might have exactly what you’re looking for—including the 1978 Halloween. If you need more recommendations, you can check out our list of great Halloween films.
3. Solve a murder mystery
There’s nothing like Halloween to heighten the suspense. If you and your friends or loved ones are all constantly talking about the latest episode of your favorite murder mystery podcast, bring a little sleuthing to your Halloween celebration in the form of a subscription to Hunt a Killer.
Each month you’ll get a box delivered that features clues and ciphers related to the case you’re working on, and depending on your preference you can opt for a Mystery box or a Horror box. If you order in advance you could ensure that boxes are there for yourself and your fellow players and spend Halloween unraveling the details of a thrilling theatrical mystery. You can also order the entire season’s box, so you’ll have a night full of mystery fun at your disposal.
Hunt a Killer is having a Halloween sale right now that includes offerings like the Blair Witch Season 2 box set, the upcoming Agathie Christie box and more.
4. Carve pumpkins
A classic is a classic! Pumpkin-carving is a Halloween tradition in many households and can occupy everyone’s time, depending on the intricacy of your carvings. Get started with our favorite pumpkin carving toolkit (which also happens to be affordable) and don’t be afraid to test the limits of your creativity.
5. Get your cauldrons boiling (with mulled wine)
Mulled wine is extremely witchy, all things considered. A pinch of this, a sprig of that, and boom: magic. To get started, you’ll need a bottle of a fruity, high tannin red wine, like a Merlot or Grenache, some mulling spices and a sturdy cookpot (cauldron). We recommend Winc if you’re looking for wine (you can also grab a few other bottles for yourself, while you’re at it) and mulling spices and a reusable mulling ball from William-Sonoma to get started. Mulled wine is one of those easy-to-whip up creations that will impress your friends and family, so feel free to reuse the idea throughout the holiday season.
If you’re low on cauldron options, consider the Perfect Pot from Our Place (especially the Char color). We loved the Perfect Pot when we tested it; it’s made with the same nontoxic nonstick coating, but it has the benefit of being oven-safe. Perfect for any soups, brews or poisons.
6. Survive a spooky tabletop game
Halloween is, arguably, the most perfect night of the year for a little tabletop gaming—the spooky atmosphere is inherent to the day and costumes are already on the menu. The Curse of Strahd is a spooky Dungeons & Dragons classic, and while you won’t be able to finish playing the module on Halloween, setting up a few candles, picking out your creepiest dice, gathering your friends and wandering mist-shrouded Barovia is very much on theme for Halloween.
If you want something a bit more lighthearted, you could also check out Kids on Brooms from Renegade Game Studios and take the kids or your friends along on a magical adventure that features wands, brooms and familiars.
7. Stage a Halloween photoshoot
Just because you aren’t going out trick-or-treating or attending Halloween parties this year doesn’t mean your costume should go unnoticed. Setting up a spooky photo area in your home can help capture the essence of your costume in all its glory. You can find Halloween decorations at Frontgate or your favorite decor retailer. If you want to get creative, you could also make your own.
Lighting is extremely important when it comes to creating an atmosphere (even a sinister one) and we recommend checking out the Philips smart bulbs if you want to infuse your space with ambient, dreadful lighting. They’re also a great investment if you love year-round smart lighting in your home.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 7 Halloween games and activities for a night of spooky fun