What could be a more rewarding & fun experience for your kids, than Halloween camping in the woods? (or as we call it here in Australia…. the bush!) Whether we like it or not, Halloween is finding its way into the Aussie way of life & for our kids, that's a whole lotta fun! Halloween is a great excuse for being outside; there’s nothing quite so scary as a ghost story around the campfire & the thought of spooky zombies, vampires & maybe even a witch sweeping through the moon lit sky…. it’s enough to get the heart & mind racing! If this sounds like you, here are 11 Ways to get creative when camping during Halloween
- Camp in the bush
Camping deep in the wild can be very eerie at the best of times for kids. There’s a whole range of sounds outside that we’re simply not used to hearing in our sheltered suburban lives at home. Rustling of the leaves, sound of wind cutting through the trees, night time animals & bird calls, & even the night time coolness on your skin is enough to run shivers down your spine. National Parks are great for this, not only are you in the wild, you’re also camped near other people to enjoy Halloween with!
- Decorate your camp site
Now here’s a great activity that will keep the kids occupied for hours, but it will need some organisation & preparation before you leave home. Spooky paper lanterns are popular additions to your campsite walkways. This is a paper bag with scary cut outs of witches, ghosts, spiders, zombies, vampires etc... & instead of using the traditional candles inside, a safe portable lighthouse 150 LED lantern inside does a great job!
- Dressing Up
If you want to get your kids really excited about an upcoming camping trip, get their involvement & ownership (camping trip buy-in) at home before you set out. A camping Halloween dress up, is sure to encourage some anticipated fun & excitement with your kids! Stimulate their creative minds with some online research at home & be a part of their Halloween costume design & build up to your camping trip. As much fun & enjoyment can be had in preparation of a Halloween camping trip as it is once you have arrived at your camping destination.
- Costume contest
On the subject of dressing up, there’s nothing like stimulating the imagination with the introduction of a Halloween Camping Costume Contest (what a mouthful!). Get all the kids together in their Halloween dress up & have them walk the camping runway with the parents being the judges. You don’t have to limit it to your own kids either - getting a few of your camping neighbours involved, is a great way to meet new likeminded people. A sure way to get everyone involved!
5. Spooky Treasure Hunt
For those of you who love camping with large groups of friends & families, organising a Halloween ’Spooky Treasure Hunt’ is an exciting way to get the creative camping juices going! With the design of a Halloween haunted treasure map, there can be hours of creative fun for the kids! Spooky clues, haunted riddles & hidden scary treasures, will be sure to produce loads of fun & laughter. You can even go one step further & add some extra heightened energy, by making it a camping night time activity…. BOO!
- Pumpkin Carving
Carving a Halloween pumpkin is something that will get the creative juices flowing possibly more than anything else. Provided there is suitable adult supervision of course…. pumpkin carving is something that will keep the kids stimulated and entertained for hours! Whether it's everyone involved in carving one large pumpkin for your own campsite, or everyone having their own individual small pumpkin to carve, this activity will encourage more creativity than you can ever imagine!
- Campfire Ghost stories
Here’s an oldie but a goodie…. everyone gets to tell a late-night ghost story around the camp fire! An added twist is to get all the kids involved in telling one scary story to the adults (such a wonderful way to bring kids together!). The cheesy torch shining up under the chin for the story teller & kids hidden around the campsite making ghost noises & shaking the bushes at random will have everyone sitting on the edge of their camp chairs!
- Trick or Treat
This one's a No Brainer, especially for those of you who love to camp in caravan parks! With ample caravans, camper trailers, motor homes & tent doors to knock on, caravan parks are a pretty safe place for our young ones to trick or treat. Even better, it’s a closely captured market for the parents in tow… there’s not a lot of distance that needs to be covered! Here’s where a creative scary Trick could come in real handy (especially for those who are camping right amongst the dark hidden timber of the great outdoors), it just needs a little creative thought & a team of kids ready to scare the daylights out of would-be-door-knockers!
- A night time hike
At the end of the night & just after the scary ghost stories have been told around the campfire, a great way to totally scare everyone is a night time hike in the dark through the bush! Some early preparation with the odd hanging ghost in the trees (blanket) & a couple of pre organised people hidden to make scary noises & rustle the odd tree here or there, will be a highly creative way to guarantee no one sleeps this night! Oh & by the way, ensure only one person has a torch & everyone else has to follow in tow…. the kids will be bunched like a tin of sardines!
- Scary…. but not too much!
Halloween is a fine line with kids isn’t it? Scare them a bit, but not too much so that they won’t sleep (As parents, we enjoy our quiet down time around the campfire after the kids have hit the sack!). This is where a bit of creativity on our behalf kicks in - placing ample glow sticks around the campsite is a simple way to keep kids from getting too scared. Dark enough to create atmosphere & bright enough that kids can see what’s going on. Also gives the kids something to carry around with them (ie: we know where they are!)
- Halloween camping party food
Here’s a sure way to keep your kids’ creative minds active when camping - have them create some scary Halloween Camping Food. This will take some research at home first, but it’s as simple as having some printed images of camping food to start with (kids are visual & it gives them something to copy), the right ingredients, & of course - a short demonstration from mum & dad to kick them off. Here’s a couple of ideas: Campfire damper that looks like a wrapped-up mummy - hotdogs that look like a cut off finger in a bun (with loads of saucy blood!) & maybe even some miniature spider pizzas cooked in the camp oven? The ideas are endless!