Like most other holidays, adult Halloween festivities often revolve around alcohol and other addictive substances. All Hallow’s Eve ranks squarely in the middle between Mardi Gras and Thanksgiving in terms of the booziest holidays, with ghoulish revelers consuming an average 3.5 drinks per person.
Alcohol.org also reports that roughly 20% of men and 12% of women binge drink on Halloween. Couple this with the gratuitous amount of drugs available at haunted raves or any other number of Halloween parties and events, and you can quickly find yourself in dangerous territory if you’re in substance abuse rehab.
So, where does that leave you? Are you relegated to staying home alone and handing out candy?
Only if you want to.
However, if you’re more of a public reveler, you have several options where you can enjoy being social without worrying about relapse. Our addiction recovery center team has put together a list of terrifyingly guilt-free, fun, and sober activities you and your friends and family can enjoy all month long.
Let’s get your scare on!
1. Throw Your Own Party
Gather your supportive friends and family and make Halloween a night to remember, literally. Enjoy scary snacks while sipping mocktails, carving pumpkins, or watching a marathon of your favorite horror movies. Or perhaps, slip into a costume and turn your home into a haunted mansion. Pinterest is a great place to go for loads of creative party ideas.
2. Go Trick or Treating
You should expect to do this if you have young children anyway, so have fun. Grab some apple cider or hot cocoa in a to-go cup and chat with the neighbors while your little goblins rake in the candy.
Or join your kids by trick-or-treating alongside them for canned goods to benefit a local food pantry. Afterward, invite everyone back to your place for some Halloween treats and continue visiting.
3. Take Advantage of Local Non-Drinking Events
Haunted houses, corn mazes, dance parties – your area probably has several exciting Halloween happenings all month (with many beginning Sept. 30th). If you’re looking to stay local, Utah has several, including:
- Pumpkin Nights in Salt Lake City creates a dazzling array of carved pumpkins on display for all to enjoy.
- Fantastic Feast & Festival at the Wadley Farms Castle in Lindon is a Harry Potter-themed event where you can delight in good food, sweet treats, and healthy doses of butterbeer and other wizarding world curiosities.
- A ton of terrifyingly haunted houses, including Nightmare on 13th and the Fear Factory in Salt Lake, Spookshow Haunted Screampark in Price, Nightstalkers Haunted Trail at Crazy Corn Maze in West Jordan, and Asylum 49 in Tooele. Check out www.UtahHauntedHouses.com for more information and additional creepy venues.
- Now You’re Mine in Salt Lake City, a crazy and completely alcohol-free Hocus Pocus-themed dance party for adults 18 and up.
- The Sleepy Hollow Haunted Wagon Ride takes you on a journey through the woods of Soldier Hollow in Midway, set to the eerie narration of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
- Several not-so-scary outdoor Halloween haunts, including BooLights at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest in Lehi, Pumpkin Days at Wheeler Farm and Mill Creek Gardens’ Festival Transylvania in Salt Lake, and the Heber Valley Railroad’s Halloween Train.
- Catch a live show like the Odyssey Dance Theater’s Thriller at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City or Paranormal Percussion at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Salt Lake.
- Your local AA chapter and various area substance abuse recovery centers like Renaissance Ranch often host Halloween events for current and alumni patients and their families.
4. Discover Your Area’s Haunted History
Gather your partner or a few friends and take a ghost tour of your town’s famously frightening haunts. Or circle the firepit and tell creepy stories from the surrounding area. You have plenty to choose from – Skinwalker Ranch, the Great Saltair, the Cottonwood Paper Mill, Ogden’s Bigelow Hotel, and Salt Lake’s Rio Grande Depot, just to name a few.
5. Run Away
Ok, not really. But running, walking, or any form of outdoor exercise is a great way to celebrate Halloween and maintain your health and sobriety at the same time. These days, most local festivities have at least one 5K, 10K, and even half-marathon attached to this annual ghostly holiday.
Consider the Witch Run in West Jordan, the North Logan Pumpkin Walk, The Haunted Half in Salt Lake, or the Scarecrow 5K at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. And if you don’t see one near you, you might try starting your own.
As you can see, fun and exciting Halloween celebrations come in all shapes and sizes; none of them have to include alcohol. From all of us here at Renaissance Ranch, have a safe and happy Halloween!