6 trick or treat alternatives and other ways to celebrate Halloween 2021
Last year was a very different type of Halloween.
Halloween is by far my favourite holiday and I absolutely love getting all dressed up to go trick or treating with the kids every year.
For a second year in a row, concerns about Covid-19 have led to questions on whether or not trick or treating, as well as the many other types of Halloween community gatherings, will go ahead.
Last year we did without it, but with 92% of adults in the Republic of Ireland now fully vaccinated, trick-or-treating is looking much more likely to be on the horizon for lots of families this year.
Still, some families may feel too cautious to go door-to-door due to high-risk family members or the fact that under 12s are not yet vaccinated.
With this in mind, here are some alternative ways you can make Halloween fun at home this year.
At home treasure hunt
While the kids might not be able to go from house to house this year, that doesn't mean that they can't still go in search of sweets.
Why not have a spooky 'trick or treat' themed treasure hunt at home this year so you can still have festive, sugar filled fun?
Spooky movie night
Way back at the start of the year I had hoped to travel to the States for my birthday in October to visit the set of Hocus Pocus with the kids but of course we won't be doing that now.
Saying that it will absolutely not prevent me for watching Hocus Pocus along with all of my other favourite Halloween movies.
Whether it's The Halloween Tree or Hotel Transylvania you really can't go wrong with a good movie night, and hey after your treasure hunt you'll already have lots of snacks.
Make a traditional barmbrack
Who needs banana bread? While you can easily pick up a barmbrack in most stores, there's a lot more that traditionally went into a brack than just a ring.
In a traditional barmbrack you would find a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence) and a ring.
Each item was supposed to carry a meaning: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be wed within the year.
Why not make one with the kids this year and see what items you all pull out?
Tell ghost stories
This one might be a little bit more for older kids but there's no reason the younger children can't have a bash at it if they want to.
Believe it or not, ghost story telling was actually a big Christmas tradition in the Victorian era which is why books like A Christmas Carol became popular.
If you're lucky enough to have an open fire, fire pit or land large enough for a small camp fire you could really get the spooky atmosphere going.
Pumpkin or turnip carving
Pumpkin carving has become very popular in Ireland over the last few years but when Jack O Lanterns were first created in Ireland they were made from something else.
Traditionally lanterns would be carved from turnips, which are more tricky to carve, but if you're up for the challenge your house will definitely stand out.
Colcannon was one of my favourite Halloween treats as a kid, especially if you got a pound coin out of it.
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage and around Halloween time will also have one very special ingredient, money.
Traditionally parents would hide washed coins inside (large enough that they wouldn't accidentally be eaten) but just to be on the safe side hiding chocolate coins might be a better bet.