couple celebrating dia de los muertos

How to Celebrate Halloween with an Empty Nest

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I have spent a lot of years on the parent/Halloween hamster wheel. For many years my husband and I have celebrated Halloween apart because he is out chaperoning trick-or-treaters and I am home handing out candy and soothing people who came home early’s feelings because they didn’t get as much candy as someone else who stayed out trick-or-treating with dad longer.

But in the last couple of years, we have graduated from separate Halloweens to being able to celebrate Halloween (theoretically) together. My husband chaperoned his last trick-or-treat when my youngest daughter was 14. It was more about that she enjoyed going with her dad and her friends thought it was kind of cool that he was willing to go with them to walk around the neighborhood.

After that, she felt too old to go trick-or-treating and we were excited to have our own “grown-up” Halloween celebration plans except that my husband was out of town last year.

This year we are so excited that he is home and the kids all have their own plans! So even though the nest isn’t technically “empty” our Halloween Evening is. I have one last one in high school and three college students living at home and working and going to school fulltime to save money and avoid debt (parenting win, right there!)

We haven’t finalized our plans just yet, but there is a lot of grown-up Halloween celebrating that we are looking forward to.

pumpkin scones on a festive table
Enjoy Halloween at home

Celebrate Halloween at home

  • forget Halloween is even happening, lock the door, turn off the lights and eat sushi and watch Netflix
  • order in and watch Alfred Hitchcock movies
  • make and sent a Trick or Treat care package to your grown and flown kids
  • make your house a must-visit destination in the neighborhood, get the good candy and plenty of it
  • carve pumpkins and decorate the yard, make it spooky
  • roast pumpkin seeds, make pumpkin cake, pumpkin soup or even make dinner in a pumpkin
  • host a Halloween party, make it simple, make it a potluck!
  • set up a lawn chair or two on the driveway and serve hot apple cider or lemonade to the neighbors as they pass by
  • if you have a firepit, set it up in the driveway along with a few lawn chairs to let cold trick-or-treaters get warmed up before they continue on their way
house decorated for Halloween and surrounded by trick-or-treaters
Enjoy Halloween out in your town

Celebrate Halloween out on the town

  • dress up the dog in a cute Halloween costume and walk the neighborhood
  • go to a Halloween party and be sure to dress in a memorable couples costume
  • volunteer at a local church or rec center’s Halloween celebration and help wrangle the kids
  • go out to the local theater and enjoy a Halloween show
Victorian mansion
Enjoy a Halloween getaway

Celebrate Halloween away from it all

  • Take a night or two away and visit a Bed and Breakfast (Victorian mansion recommended for extra atmosphere)
  • Or stay at a rustic cabin or go camping, if you dare…

I have to admit that a quick midweek getaway is particularly appealing, but that’s something that needs a little bit more notice than the week of to plan for. If the weather in North Texas stays pleasant, I am leaning towards spending the evening outside on my lawn chair enjoying all the ghosts and superheroes who pass by. Look for my house, I’ll be the one giving out the “good” candy.

How are you celebrating Halloween this year, whether the nest is empty or full? Did I miss your favorite empty nest Halloween celebration tradition? Let me know in the comments below!

pile of pumpkins
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