Growing up on the central coast of California, Halloween was always about the creative, ideally home-made, costumes and trick-or-treating. This, of course, also meant consuming as much candy as possible! It’s no wonder that our parents tried to force-feed us a veggie soup of some kind in hopes that we may gain some nutritional value on this sugar-induced day. My cousin and I spent every Halloween together (she lived in an actual neighborhood while I lived on a remote farm) and we dressed up well into our high school years and continued the tradition of trick-or-treating until it really wasn’t socially acceptable anymore. In the college years it transitioned to those awkward Halloween parties where, as a female, I felt compelled to try and dress up as the sexy _____ whatever that may be, and sadly lost the creativity of the holiday. Needless to say, those weren’t my finest costumes and a season of Halloweens that I’d much prefer to forget about! Then in my early married years (pre-kids), our ski town friends group got the creative-vibe once again and started group themed costumes dressing up as the Top Gun cast and, our favorite, The Flintstones, complete with a cardboard car, in which Dino’s head (my 6’5” husband) popped out the top! We made a grand entrance for Halloween that year!!!
But thankfully, now that I have kids, I get to enjoy this holiday and all its creativeness for what it once was. And living in a ski town only adds to the uniqueness of this holiday. I’m not talking about the minimal extra layer my mother always made me wear under my costume, we’re talking puffy jackets and base layers while still trying to maintain the integrity of our costumes! Ideally, we should embrace costumes like the Muffin Man or the ghost from ghost busters to welcome the added layers, but what fun would that be? So our family costumes have been varied from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse when I only had one son as a toddler, to our family costumes of Where’s Waldo (Waldo, Wenda, Odlaw, and Wizard Whitebeard), to Star Wars (Hans Solo, Rey, Chewbaca, and Yoda), and this year we are embracing my son’s precious curls and channeling Elf, complete with Buddy, Jovie, the narwhal (“Bye Buddy, hope you find your Dad!”), and Papa Elf!
Celebrating Halloween in a ski town can be a bit chilly, but it’s always fun, and much like other holidays, it’s usually drawn out as long as possible. Being that it is the off-season, Halloween is dedicated to the local, year-round, community. Every ski town has their own way of celebrating but I appreciate how most of the town’s businesses/ villages really embrace the holiday and make family friendly trick-or-treating events, pumpkin carving activities, and pumpkin patches for all to enjoy. And if you’re in a season of still going out at a night… lots of awesome community Halloween parties can certainly be found! (Sadly, that’s just not my season anymore…sleep is too important)!
Tips & Tricks for celebrating in a Ski Town:
- Don’t forget your soup!!!! Grab your Ski Town Soups cookbook to serve up a delicious pre-trick-or-treating dinner packed with lots of nutritional goodness. I’ll be making the Creamy Chicken Soup with Fregola, Shiitakes, and Sage for my family!
- Pumpkins – Pumpkins and freezing temperatures at night don’t mix! Bring your pumpkins in at night if you don’t want them to turn into mush like this…
- Bring your own re-usable bag/ container for trick-or-treating!
- Decorating – I love Fall and Halloween décor but if you keep it simple with Fall inspiration rather than the spooky vibe, you’re bound to get a better bang for your buck by being able to leave the decorations up through Thanksgiving! We love this inviting home’s entry décor…
- Personal Request Here…. If you do love a good spooky theme, please go for creative rather than gory when in public! Our little ones are out and about and I hate having to shield their eyes from something so terrifying they may have nightmares for weeks! If you do go for the gore, please just keep it contained to the interior of a haunted house please. We’ll totally appreciate your creativity as adults and leave our youngin’s eyes outside!
- Check your local newspapers for all the Halloween festivities in your area. You won’t want to miss out on this fun night!!!
Here are a few of our favorite ski town celebrations from across the country:
Minturn, CO -
- October 30th 6:00 – 8:00 pm - Town of Minturn, Minturn Halloween Celebration – Get a jump start on Halloween and Trick-or-Treat your way through the charming old mining town of Minturn. Click HERE for more info.
Winter Park, CO -
- October 30th 6:00 – 8:00 pm - Halloween Trick or Treat at Pioneer Village Museum in HSS - Come Trick and Treat to a Old Time School, Blacksmith, Jail, Courthouse and more. Wear your silliest or spookiest costume. Event is Free. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 5:00 -pm – Trick-or-Treat with a Cop - Join us for treats, a warm fireplace, hot cocoa and coffee, and get to know the Fraser Winter Park Police Department. Will provide a safe and fun Halloween for families. Click HERE for more info.
Edwards, CO (Beaver Creek) -
- October 31st 4:00 – 7:00 pm - Halloween Night - Join us for a FUN, SAFE & WARM family environment this Halloween at the Vail Valley Fall Fun Night! Family friendly games, free rock climbing, obstacle course, bouncy houses, entertainment and much more. Costumes are encouraged and there will be candy, games and prizes for kiddos! Click HERE for more info.
Crested Butte, CO –
- October 31st 4:30 – 6:30 pm – “Howl-O-Ween Fright Parade” - the main commercial district of Elk Avenue shuts down for a parade of costumes and trick-or-treating at each of the businesses. Expect to find some truly decadent treats along the way including Big B’s Apple Cider and transformations of some business to the ultimate haunted houses! The Trailhead Children’s Museum will also have activities for the kids! Click HERE for more info.
Vail, CO –
- October 31st 2:00 – 5:00 pm - Celebrate Halloween in Vail Village! - The Vail Recreation District is hosting the 27th annual Trick or Treat Trot from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday October 31, 2019. This is a great event for children up to 10 and their families to trick or treat in Vail. Merchants will have a variety of booths handing out candy and treats. A limited number of bags will be available and on a first come first serve basis. Participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags. Click HERE for more info.
- November 1st 8:00 pm – 12:00 am - Join us for the 1st Annual BOO Bash at Frost Bar in The Sebastian Vail. Your ticket includes 2 drinks (beer or wine) music by DJ Krusher Jones, and a costume contest for $350 in cash prizes, gift cards and more! Click HERE for more info.
Breckenridge, CO –
- October 31st 7:00 pm – Breckenridge Haunted Tour – Guides share eerie stories from Breckenridge’s past (by lantern light), which remain unexplained today! Click HERE for more info.
Steamboat Springs, CO -
- October 31st 5:00 – 7:00 pm - One of the community's favorite events is the Downtown Halloween Stroll. For over 30 years kids and families of all ages have gathered on Lincoln Avenue to trick-or-treat and enjoy Halloween festivities. Get dressed in your best Halloween costume and come down to historic Steamboat Springs while businesses open their doors for trick-or-treat fun. Just one of the things that makes the community special. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 6:00 – 9:00 pm – Mountain Tap Brewery - Guests are invited to bring in their old books to exchange and vinyl records to share. Mountain Tap will spin vinyls, and anyone who brings in a book to exchange or a vinyl to play – the spookier the better – will receive a free 5-ounce taster of craft beer. Free trick-or-treats for kids of all ages! Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 10:00 pm - Schmiggity's Live Music Dance Bar - The North 41 Halloween BASH! - The North 41 is a dynamic blend of Rock, Funk, and Jazz, with the danceability of Pop music and sophisticated musicianship that keeps you hanging on every guitar solo, every drum solo, and every whaling vocal lick. The Chicago-based band has been winning fans all over the midwest since 2014. Click HERE for more info.
Jackson, WY -
- October 31st 9:00 am – 2:00 pm - HALLOWEEN AT JHCM - Join us at JHCM for Witch’s Brew at 11:00 for some spooky and scientific fun. We’ll also be making Monster Rocks all day. After painting the little creatures we’ll add magnets to showcase your ghoul. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 3:30 – 5:00 pm - Trick or Treat on Town Square presented by the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce - The community is invited to gather with their little ghosts, goblins, princesses, and superheroes to visit local businesses to trick or treat and participate in the costume contest. Simply gather in the middle of Town Square before 4:00 pm and look for direction from Chamber staff and volunteers. The costume contest features prizes donated by our sponsors for different age categories — grown-ups are included! Trick or Treat on Town Square is a fun opportunity for parents, kids, business owners, staff members, and other Halloween fans to show off their creativity while gathering with friends and neighbors.Trick or treating will be available at participating businesses and nonprofits in the neighborhood around Town Square. Participating times will vary. For more information, please contact the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at 307.733.3316 or email@example.com. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 9:00 pm – 1:00 am - Halloween Hoedown with Sam Riddle at Million Dollar Cowboy Bar - Get ready for a scary fun night! The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is hosting the best Halloween party in the valley. Enjoy live music with country rock artist, Sam Riddle Experience. Come dressed in your scariest best. We will have costume contests with prizes for the lucky winners! No cover! Must be 21+ to enter. Click HERE for more info.
Park City, UT –
- October 30th 7:00 – 9:00 pm - Park City Halloween Bash: Starry Pumpkin Painting - All ages event (NO alcohol served). Join us as at The Paint Mixer as we paint a vivid composition and celebrate Halloween at our first ever Halloween Bash! Costumes are optional. We will have spooky treats, decorations, and music to go along with a festive night of painting! Our goal is to encourage everyone to try something new, and create something special! All ages and artistic abilities are encouraged to join in the creative adventure! Step-by-step instruction and materials are provided. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st - 3:00 - 5:00 pm - Halloween on Main Street - Trick-or-Treating: Little ghosts and goblins are invited to Main Street for fun and safe Trick-or-Treating, compliments of participating merchants! 5:00 p.m. Dog Parade on Lower Main Street: Leashed, costumed dogs and their owners will meet below the Lower Main Street Pedestrian bridge at 4:45 p.m. The parade will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will march to Heber Avenue. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 6:00 – 9:00 pm - Grappa Halloween Party - Join us for a haunted evening with delicious drinks, perfectly paired bites and an amazing party at Historic Main Street’s premiere restaurant & patio. This reception-style event will have limited seating. We encourage guests to mingle and enjoy the spooky atmosphere filled with music and the most delectable tastes in town. The event will sell out, so be sure to grab your tickets early! Click HERE for more info.
Whitefish, MT –
- October 31st – 3:00 - 5:00 pm - Trick or Treat Street presented by Montana Children’s - Montana Children’s is proud to support the annual Trick or Treat Street in Whitefish, MT! Starting at 3:00pm on Halloween in downtown Whitefish, visit Montana Children’s nurses and staff in front of the O'Shaughnessy Center for free glowstick necklaces, safety tips and opportunities to win a prize and then go trick-or-treating with downtown merchants! Montana Children's, Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s pediatric facility, was created to provide access to high-quality pediatric specialty care close to home. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 7:00 – 10:00 pm - Whitefish Halloween Costume Contest - Start creating your costumes! Thursday, October 31st, will be Whitefish's Annual Halloween Costume Contest. Join the bars and restaurants downtown for a ghoulish time.
Participating Venues are...
The VFW (start)
Firebrand Hotel (start)
Great Northern Bar
Great Northern Brewery
Casey's (end) Click HERE for more info.
Big Sky, MT –
- October 31st 3:00 – 5:00 pm - Town Center Trick or Treat - Grab your kiddos and head to the Town Center for an afternoon of trick or treating at our local Big Sky businesses. Stay tuned for more details and a full list of participating businesses. Click HERE for more info.
Truckee, CA (North Lake Tahoe) –
- October 29th 4:00 – 5:00 pm - Halloween Party at Truckee Library - Celebrate Halloween and harvest time with the Truckee Library! We'll have different crafting stations including mask making, paint a pumpkin, and spooky slime as well as having apple cider and other refreshments. Click HERE for more info.
- October 29th 5:00 – 7:00 pm - Sierra Sun Hosts Halloween Chamber Mixer All Truckee Chamber - Members are invited to a Halloween themed Chamber Mixer at Sierra Sun in the Pioneer Center. You're welcome to browse the archives and enjoy drinks, appetizers, and great people. Wear a costume if you like! Don't forget your business cards to share and for the raffle. Click HERE for more info.
Incline Village, NV (North Lake Tahoe) –
- October 31st 3:00 – 5:30 pm - Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Hyatt Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade Join us for our 2nd annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Parade!
100% of the monies raised for this event will benefit our friends at Pet Network Humane Society.
This event is open to everyone - including resort employees. Complimentary Self-Parking available. Click HERE for more info.
South Lake Tahoe, CA -
- October 31st 6:00 – 8:00 pm - Trick & Retreat at the Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge - Join us for a free community event to support the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe. Trick-or-Treat throughout the hotel as local business' come together to offer a safe place for children to play. This event is free to the public and we encourage you to bring all of your little goblins, even the furry ones (we are pet-friendly after all). Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 4:00 – 6:30 pm - Halloween Carnival Celebration at Kahle Community Center - Celebrate the spirit of make-believe, a sense of community and “spooktacular” happenings, all under one roof at Kahle Community Center on Halloween. The festivities will include carnival games, lots of treats to guarantee a “bootiful” fun, safe and ghoulishly good time for all ages. Community groups invited to host or run a booth. For more information please call (775)-586-7271. Sponsored by Kiwanis of Lake Tahoe. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 9:00 pm - Halloween Bash & Costume Party - There will be a slew of mind-bending fun as world-class magicians make their way through The Loft Theatre featuring DJ Jos Beatz. Prizes for best costumes. | thelofttahoe.com
Stowe, VT –
- October 31st 4:30 – 6:00 pm – Stowe Parks and Recreation’s Halloween Party - Every Halloween goblins, princesses and superheroes can be found scaring up some fun at the annual Halloween Party! Kids of all ages make their way to the Stowe Elementary School gym to play games like Give Frank a Heart, Witches Brew, and many more! Fun prizes, food, music and a super spooky photo booth make it the perfect pre trick-or-treat tradition for Stowe families. Click HERE for more info.
- October 31st 8:00 pm – Stowe, At Night, Lantern Tours - Join Stowe, At Night, Lantern Tours in their 20th year for a walking tour of Stowe filled with history and ghost stories! Carry a candle lit lantern as you hear entertaining stories of the resident ghosts of Stowe. Hear compelling stories of early settlers and view Stowe’s historic buildings. Click HERE for more info.
Killington, VT –
- October 31st 9:00pm – Wobbly Barn Halloween Party - The legendary Wobbly Barn Nightclub opens its doors on Halloween for the best costume party in town! We're kicking off the Wobbly Barn Nightclub season with live music from the Krishna Funk Band. Plenty of tricks and treats to be had on the spookiest night of the year! Door proceeds benefit the Killington Volunteer Fire Department. Costumes are required for admission and it's worth putting some thought into it because there are big prizes on the line. Click HERE for more info.
Lake Placid, NY –
- October 31st 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Halloween Party - Friends, Family & Costumes Welcome. Click HERE for more info.
Happy Halloween! Have fun and be safe!