Halloween is a boo-tiful day to get to know your neighbors. We can’t think of a better way to literally meet people where they are — out and about, knocking on doors and toting around kids in adorable costumes. (Tip: costumes are the best conversation starter!)
But there are more ways to engage your neighbors on Halloween besides saying hi to trick-or-treaters. We asked you, our Turquoise Table community, how you plan to gather and love this year. You sent in some creative ideas! Your creativity inspired us so much at Turquoise Table HQ that we added a few ideas of our own. And, we’ve created a beautiful FREE download with instructions for my favorite way to gather neighbors.
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10 Ways to Engage Your Neighbors at Halloween.
1. Roast Marshmallows and Make S’mores with a Fire Pit
Crisp fall weather was made for fire pits. We loved this idea from Nicole in Pennsylvania:
We started a tradition of a fire pit in the driveway, complete with s’mores for trick-or-treaters. This past Halloween, we were so thankful to add our Turquoise Table to the mix! We had over 250 trick-or-treaters and enjoyed meeting neighbors and hanging out with people on our street around our table and the fire pit.
2. Create a Trick-or-Treater Warm-Up Station
Go a step beyond handing out an industrial-sized bag of candy by creating a warm-up drink station! Make a big batch of hot chocolate and cider, and keep it warm in a slow cooker. Invite folks to sit a spell while they rest and warm up at the Turquoise Table.
3. Decorate Spooky Cookies
This activity is perfect for kids young and young at heart. Grab some sugar cookie dough, a few flavors of frosting, some food coloring and sprinkles, and go to town! Kudos if you listen to the “Monster Mash” while you decorate the cookies.
4. Grill Out!
If your neck of the woods is still warm, why not fire up the grill? Everybody loves a cookout! Grill up a batch of burgers and dogs, and set up some harvest-themed yard games for the kiddos: corn hole, a pumpkin broom race (push the pumpkins with the broom!), find “treasures” in a haystack (coins, small toys), a candy corn spoon race. The possibilities are endless!
5. Paint Pumpkins
The easiest and most kid-friendly way to decorate a pumpkin? Painting them. Set out some washable paints and brushes, and let the kids have a heyday.
6. Booze the Neighbors
Why should kids have all the fun on Halloween? We thought this idea from one Turquoise Table owner was a boo-tiful thing, indeed.
Instead of “booing” the neighbors, we “booze” the neighbors! ??We dress the kids up in their Halloween PJs, load them up in the wagon, and deliver a couple of buckets of goodies for the adults. We started this a couple of years ago, and it’s been so much fun watching it spread through the neighborhood!
Look at these cute tags we found for your boozy gifts. So much fun!
7. Host a Harvest Tea
Michelle in Washington sent this idea. We’d never thought of it before, but it sounds just lovely.
I just had a Turquoise Table tea at my house yesterday, and we met inside because it was too cold here already! I just love this: a Harvest Tea for Halloween, for areas where it’s too cold to be outside.
8. Halloween Movie Night
Halloween movies are a must! Pick a few of your favorites, and gather folks on your lawn with an inflatable screen and projector, or invite them inside. You could even have multiple viewing stations: one for parents and one for kids.
9. Serve Some Chili
Turquoise Table owner Ron has the perfect secret weapon to fight a chilly Halloween night:
I planned a gathering last year on Halloween, and it snowed! We did still have some trick-or-treaters though. This year, I think I’ll provide chili.
10. Devour a Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bar
When Moriah from North Carolina sent in this idea, we at Turquoise Table HQ collectively swooned and knew we had to share. Who doesn’t love mac ‘n’ cheese?! Moriah shared her recipe for her foolproof mac ‘n’ cheese bar, and here’s what we love about it: with this setup, each guest can truly customize their bowls to their heart’s content. And your gluten-free friends will hug your neck, since you can make this cheese sauce without a flour roux and easily serve them GF noodles.Print
Moriah’s Mac & Cheese Bar Recipe
What’s better than mac & cheese? A mac & cheese bar! Make mac & cheese magic by letting your friends and neighbors add all their favorite toppings.
- 1 (16 oz.) box macaroni elbows
- 1 (16 oz.) box gluten-free macaroni elbows
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne
- 4 cups milk
- 4 cups shredded cheese (Moriah uses a mix of fontina and sharp cheddar)
- Topping Ideas
- Green onions
- Roasted Brussels sprouts and garlic
- Caramelized onions
- Crushed Cheez-Its
- Grated Parmesan
- Hot sauce
- Truffle oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Set pasta aside while you make the sauce.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add cornstarch and salt. Cook for one minute, whisking constantly.
- Add milk, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
- Add cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.
- Ladle sauce over prepared pasta, and stir to combine.
- Serve with a choice of toppings.