If you find yourself trick or treating on the road this Halloween season, here are some great ideas for helping you celebrate in the great outdoors. Just because you're away from home doesn't mean you can't deck out your surroundings in fun (or frightful!) decorations or enjoy some devilishly good treats! Follow these tips for enjoying a most spooktacular Halloween camping trip!
Decorate Your RV and Campsite
Make it known that you are open for trick-or-treating business by decking out your campsite in fun and frightful decorations. Dress up your woodsy surrounding with some of these easy Halloween ideas that are both wicked and welcoming.
- If you have a fifth wheel, decorate the front end cap Frankenstein style. Using a lime green tarp, drape it over the front of your fifth wheel and secure it on all sides. Cut out Frankenstein hair, eyes, teeth, and stitches from white and black trash bags. Tape them on and watch everyone delight when they walk by and see a giant Frankenstein fifth wheel.
- Take down your flamingo or red Solo cup string lights and replace them with ghost-shaped string lights. When they’re lit up at night they’ll look like they’re floating.
- Buy a plastic door cover and use it on your RV’s door. Or create a DIY one using construction paper. Decorate it with a scary face, bats, pumpkins, candy corn, whatever you wish.
- Save those empty milk jugs and create a stunning display of pathway lights by filling the empty jugs with a string of lights. First draw a pumpkin face on the front of each one with a black Sharpie marker. Then cut a small hole in the back of each jug. Stuff a strand of lights inside each jug. Line up the jugs and plug them in to light the way for your trick or treaters.
- Hang witch hats around your campsite for a wicked fun decoration. Using fishing line and a needle, thread a piece of line through the point of each hat. Attach a safety pin to the fishing line on the inside of the hat. Use this to attach a lightweight glow stick or battery-powered tea light inside the hat. Hang them from trees or your awning.
Make Halloween Recipes
While you’re busy carving pumpkins (see below!), decorating your campsite, and brewing up some frightful campfire stories, you’re going to work up an appetite. So make some dreadfully delicious Halloween snacks that everyone will be dying for! Give these easy recipes a try!
About 10 jalapeño peppers
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
½ tsp. garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 scallion, chopped
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
- Slice your pre-washed jalapeños in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, scallion, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Fill each jalapeno half with some of the cheese mixture.
- Unroll your Crescent Rolls. Do not break them into triangles. Instead, keep triangles together and pinch the seam between them together.
- Use a pizza cutter to cut each rectangle into four even pieces lengthwise.
- Wrap one or two dough pieces around each pepper. Leave room for the eye balls.
- Bake in a pre-heated 400° oven for 10-12 minutes.
- Add the candy eyeballs immediately after removing them from the oven.
Pumpkin–Shaped Cheese Ball
8 oz. of cream cheese (softened)
8 oz. vegetable cream cheese (softened)
2 Tbsp. Ranch-flavored mix
3 green onions (diced)
1 red pepper, finely chopped (save the stem!)
2 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
- Combine both cream cheeses in a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the Ranch-flavored mix.
- Add the chopped and diced red pepper and green onion.
- Stir in one cup of the shredded cheese.
- On a sheet of plastic wrap, sprinkle about ¼ C. of the remaining shredded cheese.
- Place the cheese ball mixture on top of the shredded cheese. Then take the rest of the shredded cheese and sprinkle it on the top and sides of the cheese ball.
- Wrap it up tight with the plastic wrap.
- Using 4 rubber bands or kitchen twine, wrap them around the cheese ball so that it makes 8 sections (the bands or twine intersect in the middle). This will give it the pumpkin look.
- Refrigerator at least two hours, but overnight is best.
- When you’re ready to serve it, remove the bands/twine, unwrap it, and place the red pepper stem in the middle of it.
- Serve with yummy crackers!
Caramel Apple Nachos
4 large Granny Smith apples (washed & dried)
½ package of caramels (unwrapped)
1 Tbsp. water
½ package white chocolate chips
½ C. miniature chocolate chips
1 Heath candy bar (crushed)
- Slice each apple into 8 equal pieces. Arrange them onto a serving plate.
- Melt caramels in a microwave-safe dish with 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave in 25-second intervals until they’re just melted. Drizzle over the apples.
- Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 25-second intervals until just melted. Drizzle over apples.
- Sprinkle mini chocolate chips and the Heath bar over the apples. Serve and enjoy!
S’mores Fluff Dip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened and divided
1 C. powdered sugar, divided
3.5 oz. marshmallow fluff
½ C. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ C. cocoa powder
¼ C. mini marshmallows
- In a medium bowl, mix together 4 ounces of cream cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar, and marshmallow fluff on high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Set it aside.
- In a separate bowl, whip together ½ cup of powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla on high until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. Set it aside.
- In another bowl, blend together 4 ounces of cream cheese and cocoa powder on high until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add whipped cream to the bowl and mix on low until cream and chocolate are completely incorporated, about 3 minutes.
- To assemble: Add the marshmallow and chocolate dips to a large serving bowl, alternating between the two. Use a knife or spoon to swirl the two colors together. Top it with the mini marshmallows, if desired.
- Serve with graham crackers.
Carve RV-Themed Pumpkins
What’s a Halloween campsite without some great-looking hand-carved pumpkins? And since you’re spending this Halloween in the great outdoors, why not go for RV-themed designs on your pumpkins!?! Forgo the cute jack-o-lantern faces and instead create awesome pumpkins that reflect your surroundings. Create a pumpkin that shines like the night sky by carving stars all around the outside of it. Or create a pumpkin bonfire with multiple pumpkins (12-15) that have flames carved into them. Stack them in a bonfire shape with wood pieces as a border and light them from within so they resemble a burning campfire. If you’re feeling really crafty and want a challenge, carve an RV and a tow vehicle out of two separate pumpkins (one round for the tow vehicle and one oval on its side for the RV). Carve windows and doors out of them and then use toothpicks to secure small gourds for the wheels on both of them. A gouging tool can be used to outline the doors.
Tell Scary Ghost Stories Around the Campfire
A great way to get in the Halloween mood is by gathering around a roaring campfire and telling bone-chilling stories that will make any camper jump. If it’s an adults-only crowd, grab a flashlight, pour some adult beverages, and let the frightful tale-telling begin. Here are a few scary campfire stories to help you get going. If you prefer to make up your own as you go, make sure you include these horror story must-haves to thoroughly scare the pants off of your listeners and make turning off the lights and going to bed that night in the woods almost traumatizing:
- fear (someone is after them)
- suspense (drag out the terror as much as possible)
- imagination (help your listeners’ imagination run wild with fear)
- mystery (Who is it? What is going to happen?)
I believe the most hair-raising stories are those that are believable. If it could actually happen, it’s all over for me! If you have little campers gathered around, tone the fright-factor down a few notches and tell stories of scary (but friendly!) ghosts who play tricks on people. Or make up a story of pirates who guard their buried treasure by haunting the area where it’s buried. For little ones, it’s best to leave the bloody, murderous stories behind and focus more on surprise and suspense. Go for thrillers, not killers!
Watch a Scary Movie
Michigan weather in late October is dicey. I can recall in my past 30+ years of trick or treating maybe a handful of years when the weather was nice. And by nice I don’t mean a balmy 70 degrees. I just mean not rainy, cold, or snowy. Yes, I said snowy. There have been many years when we’ve all had to throw coats, hats, and gloves on over our beloved costumes just so we didn’t freeze. While it looked like we were running from house to house to fill our buckets with as much candy as possible, we also ran just to stay warm! If your Halloween turns out to be rainy, windy, or snowy this year and trick or treating is out of the question, take the fun inside. Make some warm, buttery popcorn, heat up some apple cider, get out some candy, and settle in for a frightfully good time in front of your RV’s TV. Just be sure to lock your RV's doors!
For some little goblin-appropriate movies, pop in one of these:
- Hocus Pocus
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- The Addams Family
If you’re kid-less and looking for a good Halloween-night scare, watch any of these:
- the Halloween movie series
- The Exorcist
- The Sixth Sense
- The Conjuring
- The Shining
Do you celebrate Halloween in your RV? Do you stay at a campground that has spooky Halloween festivities? If so, tell us how you make it special! Share some photos of your ghoulish campsite on Facebook or Instagram for inspiration!