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Happy Halloween! On October 31, it is time for spooky pumpkins, costume parties, horror movies and trick or treating. Then, the popular holiday is celebrated in the USA and many other countries. In this article, you will learn more about Halloween and its origins. We will also share some of the best party ideas for Halloween, so you can have an unforgettable night with your friends, family and children.

Halloween – Origin and History

“Halloween” is another word for “All Hallows´ Eve”, the night before the Catholic holiday “All Hallows´ Day”. Its background is not fully understood, but many historians suspect Celtic or Gaelic origins. At the very least, we know that the last day of October had a special importance in this culture. It was believed that on this day, the dead souls would rise and roam the earth.

The early Halloween was at least in part a pagan holiday that was celebrated with bonfires, fortune telling and costumes. In the 19th century, this custom was brought to America by Irish immigrants. In the USA, it was soon celebrated by all ethnic groups. Since the 1990s, Halloween has also become increasingly popular in other parts of the world.

Halloween Costumes

Whether you want to go shopping or craft your Halloween costume yourself – the possibilities are endless. Popular Halloween costumes for men include zombies, devils and movie characters like Freddy Kruger. When it comes to female costumes, many women like to combine spooky themes with revealing outfits: Sexy vampires, witches or evil nurses are a common sight at most Halloween parties.

Even the little ones can have their big night in October. Halloween costumes for children are available in every toy store. But why not get creative yourself? Making a Halloween costume together with your children is the perfect way to get into the right mood.

In addition to time-tested outfits, there are new costume trends this years: For example, the scary nun from the horror movie “Conjuring 3”, or the terrifying clown Pennywise. Fans of the series “Stranger Things” can put on their grooviest 80s outfit, and we will probably see a lot of female DC fans dressed as Wonder Woman this year.

There are also a lot of options for Halloween Makeup: from orange pumpkin faces, painted scars and warts to corpse paint worn on the Mexican Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead

Halloween Parties

Halloween parties are the perfect opportunity to show off your costume and meet new people. Of course, the drinks should also follow the spooky theme of this occasion: Apple Vodka, for example, looks similar to green slime, cherry liquor resembles blood, and there is hardly a more suitable drink for Halloween than the classic “Bloody Mary” with tomato juice and vodka.

Of course, you can also visit one of the many Halloween parties in the USA. For example, Florida’s cities like Cape Coral and Fort Myers offer ample opportunity to celebrate this fest – be it in bars, clubs or on a spooky cruise. Most shopping malls in Florida have their own Halloween activities for children: for example, face painting, balloon animals and trick or treating.

Halloween Parties - Halloween

Halloween Decoration

If you want to invite friends and family, you will probably want to create the right mood with a Halloween decoration: Spider webs, skulls, light-chains and pumpkins are just some possibilities.

Black curtains, candles with blood-red wax and cut out bats made from felt are perfect for your living room. Outside, you could place spooky scarecrows, lanterns or Styrofoam tombstones. But of course, you do not have to craft everything yourself. Many gift stores sell Halloween decoration in September and October.

Halloween – typical Food and Drinks

The spookiest night of the year is a perfect opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. Popular Halloween recipes include:

  • Hollowed out peppers with carved faces, filled with chili
  • Mini pizzas with toppings arranged as faces
  • Pretzel sticks in the shape of bones, with ketchup as blood
  • Oven potatoes with carved eye sockets and mouths
  • Halloween muffins with eyes made of sugarcoating and chocolate – a delicious Halloween snack.

By the way: Pumpkins are not only decorative, but can also serve as a bowl for spicy Halloween curry. Pumpkin soup is an ideal starter, and for dessert, you could make pumpkin pie. Blood orange juice has the right color for little vampires, and adults can enjoy a strong Halloween punch. If you really want to surprise your guests, you should serve ice cubes made with skull-shaped trays.

Halloween – typical Food and Drinks - Halloween

Halloween Pumpkins

The custom of carving pumpkins for Halloween is more than a hundred years old and goes back to the Irish legend of Jack O´Lantern. This folk hero was denied access into hell after tricking the devil, and now has to wander the earth as a glowing pumpkin.

Today, you can see this decoration in many yards, not only in America. You can easily make it yourself. All you need to do is cut off the top of your pumpkin and carve out the inside. Afterwards, you can cut a spooky face and place a candle or LED light inside. On the internet, you will find many Halloween pumpkins ideas and designs – from classic Jack O´Lantern patterns to funny templates. If you want create a colorful look, you should use acrylic paints.

Tip: To prevent the pumpkin from drying out quickly, coat the inside and edges with vaseline. Special sprays that contain hydrogen peroxide, water and citric acid also help to preserve your pumpkin.

Halloween in Movies and on TV

One glance at the TV program is enough to know: Halloween is a prime time for horror fans. Classic flicks like the Michael Myers films, “Friday the 13th” and “The Exorcist” are always ideal for a spooky night. In addition, Hollywood likes to release new horror flicks in October, and you will find a huge variety of scary movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Are you looking for Halloween films for children? In this case we can recommend the following movies:

  • Ghostbusters
  • Casper
  • Scooby-Doo
  • The Adams Family
  • Hotel Transsylvania

Halloween movies made by Disney are another popular choice for the whole family: e. g. “The Haunted Mansion”, “Monsters, Inc.” or the Halloweentown franchise.

Halloween in Movies and on TV - Halloween

Halloween for Children

On Halloween, many grownups wish they could be children again. For the little ones, this night is definitely a highlight of the year. Not only are they allowed to stay up late. On Halloween, many children also enjoy “trick or treating”, going from door to door in their costumes and asking for candy. This game has become so popular that it is now played in many other countries.

Looking for more activities for kids? How about a nightly walk on the spookiest of evenings – accompanied by a bone-chilling ghost story, of course. If the weather is bad, you can also play Halloween games at home: for example, egg and spoon races with ping pong balls painted like eyeballs; or “mummy”, a game where participates have to mummify each other with rolls of toilet paper. Another beloved classic is called “Sensory Bin”: Just fill a box with ingredients like grapes, dried corn and spaghetti. Tell the kids these are eyeballs, teeth and intestines, and let them feel around in the dark – a deliciously spooky game, especially for young children.

Halloween FAQ – frequently asked Questions

What is the origin of Halloween?

Halloween is influenced by many ancient customs, such as the Celtic fest “Samhain”. The Celts believed that on the last day of October, dead souls, demons and other otherworldly beings were particularly active. This helped strengthen the supernatural themes Halloween became known for in later times.

Is Halloween a Christian holiday?

In the Catholic calendar, Halloween or “All Hallows´ Eve” denotes the evening before the church fest “All Hallows´ Day”. It marks the beginning of the season in which dead saints and martyrs are remembered. However, for most people today Halloween has lost its religious importance.

Where is Halloween celebrated?

Halloween originated in Ireland and came to America in the 19th century. Today it is celebrated in many countries in the world – especially in the USA, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.

Where does “Trick or Treat” come from?

Today, children wear costumes and knock on the doors of their neighbors to ask for sweets, half-jokingly threatening them with a “trick” if they are turned down. Historians think that this game stems from a Celtic custom that saw poor members of society go from door to door to beg for alms. Rejecting them was believed to bring bad luck.

Why do we carve pumpkins on Halloween?

This custom goes back to the Irish legend of Jack O´Lantern who walks the earth at night, only armed with a glowing ember placed in a hollowed out turnip. When Irish immigrants came to America, they replaced the turnip with the widely available pumpkin. This decoration was meant to keep evil spirits away.

From February to April, most American college students get a well-deserved break from studying and exams. What better place to celebrate this new-found freedom than the Sunshine State with its warm climate and beautiful beaches? No wonder that Spring Break began in Florida as far back as the 1930s. Inspired by movies like “Where the Boys are”, hundreds of thousands of college students started flocking there for wild parties under the tropical sun – a tradition that is still alive and kicking today.

Of course, not everybody was happy about the masses of teenagers, the flow of alcohol and the lax morals that came with Spring Break celebrations. Over time, new regulations were introduced to keep hot-headed party-goers in check. These regulations as well as the legal drinking age of 21 have prompted many Spring Breakers to choose more distant places like Cancun or the Bahamas. Nonetheless, Spring Break in Florida is still an event that attracts a significant crowd. From your vacation home in Cape Coral, you just have to visit nearby Fort Myers to get your share of partying. However, if you want to experience the true Spring Break atmosphere, the places presented below are even better suited:



Today, Spring Break is a global phenomenon. However, it all started in Fort Lauderdale in the 1930s, when the swim team of Colgate University made the city their home during semester break. Of course, the days when 350.000 students took over Fort Lauderdale are long gone. Yet still, every March, the city turns into one giant party, especially at Las Olas Beach. The official ban on alcohol at the beach does not seem to deter party-goers.
For all those looking for wild, over-the-top parties, Fort Lauderdale is the perfect Spring Break destination. Loudspeakers at the beach are blasting music left and right, while well-off party guests are displaying their luxury cars. In the evening, the party moves from the beach to the bars and clubs of Downtown. Organizers like JusCollege sell holiday packages that include free entry into a club and a ticket for the party cruise.

the best places for spring break in florida


Thanks to its liberal vibes, Daytona Beach used to be a popular alternative to Fort Lauderdale. Nowadays, the same strict regulations concerning alcohol are in place. Despite this, Daytona Beach is still a favorite place for Spring Breakers, particularly because of the pleasant temperatures in March. Daytona Beach is also considerably cheaper than new party hotspots like Miami, Panama City or Cancun. What is more, the long stretch of sandy beach provides the perfect backdrop for wild parties.

Traditionally, Spring Breakers enjoy themselves swimming and surfing during the day before heading to the clubs and bars near their beach hotels. There is no curfew, so places like Razzles, Bank & Blues and the Ocean Deck Club pump the newest hits until morning. Granted, Daytona Beach is not the hippest Spring Break destination anymore. But many visitors welcome this trend. Fewer people also means fewer excesses and conflicts with the locals, better safety and a more relaxed experience. A good reason for motor sports enthusiasts to visit the city during Spring Break is the Daytona 500, America’s most famous NASCAR Race at the Daytona International Speedway. Fans of hot choppers and shining chrome populate Fort Lauderdale during Bike Week in March.


Miami would not be Florida’s coolest metropolis if it did not host its own Spring Break celebrations. At the end of the college term, the coast of South Beach turns into one big party area with loud music, drinking games and revealing dress code. Millions of people come to paint the town red, circumventing the alcohol ban with the creative use of water pistols.

If you have had enough of the beach life, you can dance to the sound of internationally renowned DJs at one of many pool parties. At night, it is time to join the crowd in the club. Fans of electronic music will love to hear that the Miami Music Week takes place during Spring Break. But of course, the local clubs also play Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae and other genres. For those who want to arrive in style, a lot of travel packages include a stretch limousine that will drive you to the club. Speaking of style: Miami is the perfect Spring Break place for everybody who wants to party amidst Florida’s rich kids. Naturally, this privilege will cost you a pretty penny, but the city makes it up to you with pleasant temperatures of around 26° C.


Unlike Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, this city in Northern Florida does not boast a long tradition as a party place. It was only in the 90s that students began to come here due to more relaxed alcohol and drug policies. The wild times seem to be over, however, and Panama City sees fewer and fewer Spring Breakers each year. Like everywhere else, drinking on the beach is prohibited and clubs are forced to close at 2 am.
This trend is welcomed by an older and more refined clientele looking for a place to party in moderation. During the day, white powdery beaches offer perfect relaxation. And if your hangover allows it, you can enjoy yourself riding go-karts and playing minigolf. After dark, La Vela, the biggest night club in the USA, satisfies the party crowd with costume and foam parties. If you are lucky, you might even appear on television, as MTW produces the reality show “Floribama Shore” in Panama City.


In this clip you can catch a glimpse of how Spring Break is celebrated in Florida.

Some people might have trouble getting into Christmas mood with outside temperatures of 25 degrees and no snow. In Cape Coral, however, this is no hindrance. While many home-owners decorate their houses in the festive season, few of them take it as far as Neil Monkman, creator of the “Planet Monkman” Christmas Village. Most Americans start decorating a few days before Christmas. Neil, however, needs a whole 5 to 6 weeks to prepare his extravagant show.

Amateur decorators might be satisfied to put a few lights on their roofs – but not Monkman. Every year, the native Floridian spends hours in front of the computer to plan his Christmas Village. Afterwards, he gets out the tools to turn his home into a dream world with colorfully lit reindeers and super-sized candy canes. Like many hobbyists, Neil started small. In 1999 he and his wife bought a string of holiday lights to decorate their trailer. Piece by piece, the collection grew, and in 2007 Neil first created the Planet Monkman on his new property in Cape Coral.

160.000 lights not only illuminate the house, but also the extensive yard. The tech-freak needs 30 control panels and a whopping 3–4.000 cable ties. With such a high-tech display, many visitors ask how he is able to pay the electric bill. Surprisingly, the costs are moderate, as each LED light is only active for a short amount of time.

One thing is certain: Assembling the Christmas decoration helps Neil stay fit. Walking from light to light, the 56-year-old often covers 6 miles on a single day. And Planet Monkman is not just a feast for the eyes, but also for the ears: In the evening, the colorful lights are flickering to the rhythm of Christmas songs and Rock tunes. This precise syncing of light and music is called “Sequencing” – painstaking work that can take up to 2 weeks. Neil says he got the idea when he was watching a beer commercial with Christmas lights dancing to the sound of music.

Of course, such perfectionism does not come without frustrations – and blown fuses. But these setbacks do not deter Neil. And he does not display the Planet Monkman for his own gains, either. The money he receives from visitors is donated to charity: In 2018, for example, the donations were used to equip K9 police units with much needed bulletproof vests.

If you want to see the Planet Monkman for yourself, you have to drive to 1938 NE 20th Street in northeastern Cape Coral. Note, however, that this attraction is very popular. On some days, up to 200 cars stop by at the Monkmans to see the Christmas Village – and to hear it, as the Planet Monkman has its own radio station. The show lasts from 6 to 10 pm. Afterwards, both the Monkmans and their neighbors take a well-deserved break from all the guests. If you want to know how the Planet Monkman is created, you should visit Neil Monkman´s Facebook page. There, Neil posts technical updates as well as pictures and videos of Cape Coral’s most sophisticated Christmas decoration.

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Four times a year, Cape Coral turns into an El Dorado for motorcycle fans. The Cape Coral Bike Night takes place on the second Saturday in February, April, October and December. And not only active bikers are among the 12.000 people who visit this event every year. The Bike Night is also perfect if you just want to admire polished choppers, for example on SE 47th Terrace. During the event, this street is partially closed, except for motorcycles. Here you can see them all: Harleys, Indians, Ducatis, Yamahas – often custom-made and polished to perfection for this special date. The bikes of JBA Custom Cycles are particularly popular with fans and have already won many prizes at the Daytona Bike Week: the original event that inspired Cape Coral’s Bike Night.

All the renowned manufacturers have stalls where hobby-mechanics can find the newest motorcycle gadgets. More than 50 shops offer accessories and leather clothing, while food stalls take care of hungry bikers. If you are lucky, you might even win prizes such as Harley-Davidson gift cards at prize games. No matter where you look: Extravagant vehicles are displayed everywhere: among them transparent bike trailers and good old Skanky, a car that is often seen on Cape Coral’s streets.

The Bike Night would not be complete without its exciting competitions. Motorcycle patriots will love the Harley-Davidson Race. And if you want to see true skills in action, the Slow Bike Race is a must. Here, the slowest driver to reach the finish line wins – a remarkable balancing act.

There are not only biking competitions, though: The Big Kahuna Bed Race and Parade is a fun event for the whole family: Participants race against each other in double beds that have been turned into makeshift cars manned by teams of four. Afterwards, the prize money is donated to charity. The Dixie Road House organizes rodeo contests, and the roaring of engines is accompanied by the sound of live-music. Starting at 6 pm, Rock ´n Roll, Heavy Metal and Country bands are playing on the main stage. In the past, the event has already attracted famous groups like Quiet Riot and Candlebox.

You missed the Cape Coral Bike Night? No problem. Just drive across the Caloosahatchee River. Here, the Fort Myers Bike Night is held in November, January, March and May, giving you ample opportunity to admire beautiful motorcycles. Harley-Davidson is the official sponsor, but owners of all brands are welcome. Like in Cape Coral, live-music is blasting from three stages in Downtown Fort Myers, starting at 6 pm. So far, the Bike Nights in Cape Coral and Fort Myers have been an amazing success. With ever-growing visitor numbers, there will be even more attractions in the years to come.


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