"They're all going to laugh at" - Ding Dong!
October 31, 2011 9:27 AM   Subscribe

What's fun to do while waiting for trick-or-treaters?

Let me start by saying that I love handing out candy and seeing the neighborhood kids all dressed up. So adorable! But when we've tried to watch scary movies or cook grown-up fall snacks or whatever else in previous years, the off-and-on doorbell ringing became frustrating, awfully quickly. I mean, yeah, we want to see your outfit and give you candy, but we're doing stuff in here! That's not the attitude I want to have tonight.

Sitting around staring into space would certainly make the doorbell rings more exciting, but it doesn't sound like a nice way to spend the evening. Is there any activity we can choose to do tonight, that will still be fun despite the frequent, unpredictable interruptions?

Bonus points for fall-related or spooky suggestions, but I'm open to anything. Games that withstand interruptions well? Even if it's a board game we'd have to purchase, we could at least pick it up for next year.

Googling turned up an eHow that spends over 60 seconds building up to the advice "turn your TV volume down so you can hear the doorbell," and somebody who addresses all her Christmas card envelopes on Halloween. Please, something better?
posted by vytae to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Watch silly movies! Preferably ones you've seen before. Tonight I plan to watch campy horror musicals, ala Repo! and Rocky Horror.
Actually I'll probably just watch Repo! on repeat.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:29 AM on October 31, 2011

Watch silly movies!

Young Frankenstein!
posted by jquinby at 9:36 AM on October 31, 2011 [3 favorites]

Sitting on the porch with an adult beverage, or two, or three, used to work for me. Now that my kids have outgrown trick or treating, we make them answer the door.
posted by COD at 9:38 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

You said that you make grown-up snacks. Forget grown-up and make Chex Mix. It's easily leavable to run to the door, and if it gets a little crispy in the oven, it builds character :D
posted by deezil at 9:38 AM on October 31, 2011

We recorded Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments a few years back - they used to show it on Halloween night every year, which led to it becoming a tradition for me, but lately they just show Real Housewives of whatever. So we just leave that on in the background, and sit on the stairs so we're close to the door and can see the TV at the same time. :) Probably going to roast some pumpkin seeds to snack on too. It's the same theme as arcticwoman - watch something you know well enough that you won't be horribly upset if it's interrupted or you miss something.
posted by agress at 9:38 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

We sit on the porch and drink with the neighbors in a rotating wandering around to visit and be visited.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:44 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

We moved the firepit around to the front of the house and plan on roasting marshmallows and drinking beer while giving out treats. In other years we've played Uno or Battleship inside or just hung out on the porch outside, depending on chilliness.
posted by headnsouth at 9:51 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do the mash. The monster mash!

I'd go with the suggestion of watching a movie/show you've seen enough times to abandon partway through. A jigsaw puzzle might be good too, since you can leave it and come back to it anytime.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:52 AM on October 31, 2011

Play cards! There's always somebody whose turn it isn't, who's perfectly free to go to the door.
posted by aimedwander at 9:53 AM on October 31, 2011

Put a TV on the porch, playing a kid-friendly Halloween movie on a loop.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:55 AM on October 31, 2011

Beer and weenies on the driveway or front-yard. It's more fun to be outside watching the ghouls come around, you end up chatting with families (as opposed to just dropping a few Milky Ways into their pillowcases), and simply by having a fire/grill and being outside you feel like you are 'doing' something, even if you aren't.

For that matter, grill some extra dogs and give them to parents. Some folks in our neighborhood do that, and it's great!
posted by dirtdirt at 9:56 AM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

Some sort of bingo-inspired costume-watching game!

Maybe: everyone makes a list with 25 predictions for halloween costumes (you can have repeats if you like: "ghost ghost ghost pumpkin turkey" or whatever). Then whenever anyone turns up in costume, if they're wearing a costume on your list, you
(a) cross it off the list; and
(b) score points to this formula: 1 point, plus a point for every player who didn't just cross something off in the latest batch of visitors. First to finish their list gets a bonus 10 points.

Once something has been crossed off the list you can't score for it again, hence maybe wanting to do repeats of the costumes you think will be most popular.

For bonus tricksiness, you could have velcro darts on the back of the door, with four scoring zones: 0, 1, 2, 3. You take it in turns to throw a dart at the door - if you were the last person to throw when someone knocks at the door, then wherever your dart landed is a multiplier for the number of points you get.
posted by severalbees at 10:00 AM on October 31, 2011 [4 favorites]

I don't know if it's too late for you to head out to a game shop, but you could get a horror-themed boardgame and play that between visitors. There are plenty of thematically appropriate games out there, and since it's not on the TV it's easy to hop up and do whatever you want between turns.
posted by daikaisho at 10:42 AM on October 31, 2011

Or just play a game. Like with cards there should always be someone available to answer the door.
posted by theichibun at 11:05 AM on October 31, 2011

Do you have a driveway or sidewalk area? Get some of those big pieces of sidewalk chalk and do Halloween-themed drawings between trick-or-treaters. Vote on the winner, if your group is competitive-minded.

As for board games, Scrabble is a good bet since whoever is not thinking about their move can answer the door.
posted by mikepop at 11:18 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

As an only child, once I hit post-going out age, I was left to man the door. Generally, we'd have a board game of some sort (I think Monopoly was a favorite, considering how slow it'd go normally), and I'd hop up to give out the candy.

Pretty sure the only trick I saw was my mother stealing $100s.
posted by SNWidget at 11:22 AM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

SNWidget - I've got plans for my son tonight given that idea.... he's definitely the one handing out the stuff. 40s and rainy here so won't be doing my sit on porch in scary mask and cape with candy in a cauldron surrounded by dry ice (nested so safe). I think I'll entertain myself on mefi between stealing the kid's $100s.
posted by leslies at 12:43 PM on October 31, 2011

Yeah, listen to monster mash or whatever radio station is playing halloween classics. Have a few drinks. Sit near door or on stoop (new york-centric-here!). Just watch and enjoy. Sounds fun!
posted by bquarters at 1:31 PM on October 31, 2011

Pandora actually has some pretty decent Halloween channels. You could always dance like a fool, too!
posted by daikaisho at 4:01 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

For next year: Zombie Fluxx (3+ people), Who's Got the Brain (I forget how many) , Arkham Horror if you have enough people (goes on for HOURS). There's a Call of Cthulhu 2-person card/board game, too. Just appoint one person as "place-keeper" to remember what's happening in any of these games. Listen to a Halloween playlist/channel/mashup while you play.

We've often watched a silly scary movie like Young Frankenstein or a movie we know well like one of the Harry Potter movies so that we don't mind leaving it going when we get up.
posted by wintersweet at 6:53 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks guys! It turned out we got home from work late, so we ended up just eating dinner and jumping up to answer the door while chewing. Not quite what I had in mind, but I'm excited for next year! Dancing and scrabble strike me as the most easily-interrupted suggestions, and I think we'll institute a double-word bonus for any halloween-related words that get played. Costume Bingo sounds pretty awesome, too.
posted by vytae at 9:10 AM on November 1, 2011

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