A Quarantine Halloween – Game Night Edition
The Covid pandemic has threatened the full spectrum of celebrations this year: graduations, weddings, tailgating, birthday parties, dinner parties, vacations, baby showers, and so on. I think if I kept going, I could fill the rest of this page. This year’s Halloween is unfortunately no exception. Though a global pandemic fits with the eerie theme of the holiday, turns out it’s not a very fun addition.
What about fun traditions like trick-or-treating, costume parties, eating delicious pumpkin goodies and bobbing for apples? (Quick interjection, you can be your own judge of what is safe and not safe to do this year but I think we can all agree that bobbing for apples is a no-no. If we are being honest, it was never really fun anyway so just scratch that idea for all future Halloweens).
Sorry for the side note but someone had to say it. Getting back on track, we really can have a fun, memorable, and safe Halloween this year. I have observed many different approaches to celebrating during the pandemic and there is one common theme that separates the successful from the sad substitutes for these special events. Creativity. I have witnessed many times now how a team of people can put their brains together to come up with some of the most amazing events when others would have just thrown in the towel entirely. Take, for example, a local high school that hosted a drive-thru graduation where I watched a family friend ride triumphantly on his basement couch in the back of a pickup truck to claim his diploma. I imagine this will be even more memorable than walking single file to the monotonous tune of “Pomp and Circumstance”.
You best believe this same principle applies to your Halloween festivities this year, so instead of going door to door risking exposure to the wicked little Covid bug, here are some ideas to spark your creative juices for the ultimate at-home Halloween.
Make sure you have lots of fun Halloween treats. The options on Pinterest are endless. Literally everything from witch fingers, to vampire donuts, or even candy corn cobs. (If you are one of those families who prefer celery to Snickers, then I found a recipe for applesauce monsters that I’m sure you will enjoy). Regardless of where you fall on the treat spectrum, snacks are a must. Don’t skimp on me.
Select some festive Halloween Games that suit your group size and experience levels. I’m of the opinion that you can always find just the right game that everyone will enjoy. No exceptions! (Well, except the rare occasion you have a game gremlin in the mix but they don’t like anything fun so it’s best to just ignore them or feed them cookies if all else fails).
Here are some of my personal favorites games that fit the Halloween mood:
This happens to be one of my all-time favorite games and I have yet to introduce someone to it that doesn’t like it. Basically, one player takes the role of the ghost and must use the abstract image cards to help the living players find the ghost’s murderer and solve the crime. It’s kind of like the game Clue but the game play is cooperative and more engaging. Plus, Mysterium is just as fun with 2 players as it is with 7. If you really wanted to set the mood, I would suggest playing the game by candlelight. Talk about a spooky ambiance.
Set in an enchanted library, Obscurio requires a group of wizards and witches to escape before it’s too late. Beware, one of your fellow companions is a traitor and is secretly trying to sabotage the whole team! From the same creators of the Mysterium, Obscruiro has a lot of similarities but with a few creative twists that make this game a great addition. I personally love the element of having a traitor in the group. It requires strategic deduction or in some cases, baseless accusations like that of the Salem witch trials.
Coming from a family of eight kids, we had a large crowd that many games didn’t accommodate - werewolf was often our go to. As our family continues to expand, we still enjoy this large crowd pleaser. The game play is like that of Mafia but with lots more characters and roles that give the game more depth. Enjoy this sometimes loud, finger pointing game with as many people as you can safely gather. Watch out for the most innocent looking players (i.e. my mom) because they are almost always a werewolf!
As far as themes go, Betrayal has one of the best for Halloween. Basically, you are a group of friends exploring a haunted house, but as always, something really bad happens and one of the players becomes the “traitor”. The part I love most about this game is that it includes 50 different scenarios, so every game has a different unique story. Since Betrayal only plays up to 5 players, it is best for a smaller group. Preferably you pick friends or family who can really get into the spirit of the game, that always makes it more fun. I have played this game many times with my brothers and it’s amazing how many ways you can be killed in haunted house. Tread carefully.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but I hope it opens your eyes to the possibilities for planning your quarantine Halloween game night. If you want more game options check out our Halloween collection on the Blickenstaffs website.