Boo! Don’t be surprised, but Halloween is just around the corner and we’ve got some spooky and fun gift Halloween gift basket ideas to share with you. Whether you’re hosting an adult Halloween costume party or helping your kids get ready for trick-or-treating, there are lots of entertaining ways to enjoy the holiday.
1. Carve a Pumpkin Party
Adults and children alike delight in the Halloween tradition of pumpkin carving. A classic Halloween gift basket idea is to find a nice sized pumpkin and then gather together all the tools you need for carving: knives, stencils or templates, markers, candles, etc. You can tie the bundle together with fabric such as a small tablecloth.
If you are looking for gift basket ideas for Halloween for children, specifically, you may want to make the pumpkin carving easier. Cut the top off and scoop out the seeds thoroughly. You can even wrap the utensils you’ll need later in a Halloween-themed dish towel and put it inside the pumpkin so that in essence, the pumpkin becomes its own basket!
I have a friend who really loves Halloween – it’s her favorite holiday above all others! She hosts an annual pumpkin carving party for her friends in her backyard (she lives in LA). Everyone comes in elaborate costume and by the end of the evening’s festivities, everyone votes on the best carved pumpkin. She is already planning for this year’s event.
Tip: Don’t waste the pumpkin seeds! They are a delicious and healthy snack. Be sure to get the pulp completely off first. You can boil the seeds in salted water for 5-10 minutes or so, lay them out to dry on a dish towel, then toss on a cookie sheet with butter or olive oil and some salt and pepper, and roast at a high temperature until golden brown.
2. Halloween Boo Box
This gift basket idea for Halloween will please revelers of any age! Perfect to send to a family if you can’t be with them for the holiday. In our autumnal colored keepsake box, we nestle five spooky but adorable hand-iced cookies: two ghosts, two black cats, and one BOO, with an eerie chocolate haunted house beside them. Charming and delicious all at once!
Tip: If you like to bake, consider making your own cookies to pass out to trick-or-treaters! There are many cookie cutters available in Halloween-themed shapes and it’s easy to make colored frostings with food dye. You can make them a day or two in advance and keep them fresh and sanitary in little plastic bags tied with orange and black ribbon.
3. Candied and Caramel Apples
So many apple varieties are harvested in the Fall that apples have come to be emblematic of the season. A sweet Halloween gift basket idea is to bring or send the ingredients to make candied apples. Generally, tart apples are the best to use when you want to candy them: the tartness helps balance the sweet of the candy. You’ll need plenty of sugar, corn syrup and red food dye. Be prepared for the process to take time and to be a little messy.
If you want to send a Halloween gift basket for adults, we recommend our grown up Applecaramelious! The caramel sauce is flavored with vanilla bean and made from goat’s milk for the most luscious and scrumptious Halloween treat ever. Because you can dip apple slices into the caramel sauce, this gift takes no time to prepare so it can be immediately enjoyed. We even include an apple corer!
Tip: When you send a gift that needs to be put together, it’s thoughtful to include everything you’ll need to make it. It will be appreciated, and so will you!
4. Create a Costume
These days there are plenty of stores that sell complete Halloween costumes for kids and adults: you can find some that are really well made if you look hard enough. Masks, wigs, vampire teeth, and fake blood are all readily available this time of year. A fun Halloween gift basket idea is to buy an outfit and gather together all the accessories into a container for presentation. Instant Halloween costume!
If you are so inclined, think about making a costume yourself. When I was little, my Mom used to create our Halloween outfits every year. Sometimes they were extremely elaborate and they were never ordinary. I decided to carry on this tradition with our own daughter, and also let her come up with what she wanted to be. Being not nearly as creative as my artist mother, I’m afraid to say we had mixed results over the years!
Probably our finest moment was the year that our daughter decided she wanted to be a question mark. We were impressed with her originality, especially in the context of her age mates who were going to be fairies or princesses, pirates or monsters. We wanted to rise to this challenge! We bought some foam and cut out a huge question mark (with dot), covered it in fabric that our daughter chose herself, sewed in all together (which took many evenings) and then strapped it on her front (over her shoulders and around her waist). It was truly adorable and completely unique. But unfortunately, everyone kept asking her “What are you?” so that by the end of the evening she wasn’t very happy about her costume choice.
Tip: If you want to make your own costumes, there are two roads you can take. The first is to plan it out in advance, shop for what you need and sew it together. This takes time. The second is to look around the house and create a costume from what you already have. This takes less time, although both approaches require a bit of inspiration and imagination!
5. Apple Cider
Cider is another way to take advantage of one of the best Fall fruits we have: apples! Ciders are making their way from farm stands to the markets and enjoying a hot apple cider is such an iconic Fall treat. To make the container look more like a gift, tie on a package of hot mulling spices with Halloween ribbon. Hard ciders are becoming more popular and the selections ever more interesting. Nothing makes a nicer gift basket idea for the Halloween season then a first press apple cider, hard or not!
Tip: When you are home, keep some mulling spices in water on your stovetop under low heat. It will make your house smell delicious!
6. Halloween Decorations
Whether you can join in the celebration or not, a fun Halloween gift basket idea is a box of cool or creepy decorations for the front door, the house or the party room. You can send a simple Fall wreath, a selection of colorful gourds, cobwebs, black and orange streamers, a colony of flying bats, a fright of ghosts, or a family of spiders to sit on the fireplace or decorate the porch! The options are endless.
Tip: Don’t go overboard when sending a gift with Halloween decorations. Sometimes less is more.
Halloween is the only holiday where it’s de rigueur to take on another persona and transform yourself for an evening! Have fun with it.