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  • Writer's pictureJulie Hardy


HOA HALLOWEEN IDEAS FOR YOUR COMMUNITY For a lot of people, October is the best month of the year. It’s when the fall season starts to hit full swing, with gorgeous orange leaves, cool temperatures, and pumpkin spice everything. It’s also when Halloween comes around, and everyone seems to be in the mood for all things spooky. Homeowners associations are no different. While Halloween isn’t technically a holiday, it’s still a good time to break out that social events planner. After all, events are one of the ways communities can bring neighbors together. While the past 2 years have made events virtually impossible thanks to COVID-19, this year is different. If you’re on the lookout for some fun activities, here are the top ways to celebrate Halloween in your HOA. 1. HOLD AN HOA HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS CONTEST Decorating is one of the best ways to show your spooky spirit this Halloween. On-theme decorations such as jack-o-lanterns, banners, and string lights are a great place to start. But, if you want to foster some friendly competition, why not hold a decorating contest? Make sure to announce the details of the contest ahead of time. This way, homeowners have enough time to plan and buy the things they need. You should also come up with criteria for judging. The criteria should be distributed to all owners as well so they know what to expect. If your community has decoration rules — which it likely does — see to it that you remind owners of these rules. Just because you’re having a Halloween decoration contest doesn’t mean everyone can get a pass. Generally, decorations that pose a nuisance should not be allowed. It’s typically hard to get owners in a community to participate in these types of events. To encourage participation, consider offering a prize to the winner. You can also choose to leave the judging up to the members instead of the board. Each household can vote on their favorite with a rule that they can’t vote for their own entry. 2. ARRANGE A TRICK-OR-TREATING EVENT Trick-or-treating is a time-honored tradition in most areas, regardless of whether or not there is an HOA. Kids enjoy dressing up in costumes and knocking on every door on their street to ask for candy. You can leave this setup as is and only send out some safety tips to owners. On the other hand, you can arrange one big trick-or-treating event. To minimize the number of kids wandering the streets, reserve the community clubhouse and have everyone gather there instead. Kids can still dress up in costumes and get their candy from different booths. While this may not be traditional, it is a great way to gather everyone under one roof and have the kids interact with each other. 3. ORGANIZE A MOVIE NIGHT For many people, Halloween is the time to binge-watch horror flicks. Homeowners associations can take inspiration from this and organize a movie night. Add some popcorn and comfy seating, and you’re good to go! Communities with kids, though, have to keep the film ratings in mind. Some of the best kid-friendly Halloween movies to show include:

  • Hocus Pocus (1993)

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  • Monster House (2006)

  • Casper (1995)

  • Spooky Buddies (2011)

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

  • Coco (2017)

  • Coraline (2009)

  • Toy Story of Terror (2014)

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

  • Spirited Away (2002)

  • Paranorman (2012)

  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

  • The Book of Life (2014)

  • Halloweentown (2004)

  • Corpse Bride (2005)

  • Frankenweenie (2012)

4. HOST A COSTUME PARTY Costume parties may seem overdone at this point, but they are a classic for a reason. Kids and adults alike can come in their best Halloween costumes, participate in games, and scarf down some tasty treats. Add some music to dance to and some mood lighting, and you’ve got yourself a party. For some added fun, you can also crown a costume winner at the end of the night. Before voting, everyone in costume can strut their stuff down a makeshift runway with everyone cheering on. You can have a category for adults and a category for kids. Winners will then receive a prize (in cash or in kind, though the latter is recommended). 5. PLAN A PUMPKIN CARVING DAY Jack-o-lanterns are a staple of the Halloween scene. While you can buy pre-made ones, nothing beats carving one out yourself. To get everyone in the community involved, consider planning a pumpkin carving day. You will need quite a large space to accommodate everyone, depending on how many people you expect to attend. Everyone can either bring their own pumpkins and carving tools or the HOA can provide them. Make sure to assign safety officers to monitor the activity and prepare first-aid kits, too. Children should also always be supervised by adults. 6. ASSEMBLE A KID-FRIENDLY HAUNTED HOUSE Haunted houses can be very fun when done well. If you have the time and resources for it, your social events committee can assemble a haunted house for everyone to enjoy. You can even charge a small fee for visitors. Of course, you should keep your demographic in mind. For communities with a lot of kids or seniors, a milder haunted house may be more suitable. You can also switch this out with some fun carnival rides instead. 7. COMBINE ALL THE FUN If you want to make a splash this Halloween, why not combine all the ideas to make for a huge celebration? You can hold an HOA Halloween bonanza by hiring food trucks and carnival rides, planning games, organizing an arts & crafts table, and perhaps even a concert. Attendees can come in their best Halloween costume with a winner crowned at the end of the night. Of course, while this may sound great on paper, it takes a lot to achieve it. You need ample time and manpower, not to mention a sizable budget to get it off the ground. If you succeed, though, it will definitely be a community Halloween event for the books. THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL HOA HALLOWEEN EVENT Planning an HOA Halloween event can be stressful. A lot of vendors are most likely all booked up, and homeowners may have other plans in mind. As such, your HOA board or social events committee should start early.

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