Halloween can be such an underrated holiday. Many people think that all you can do on Halloween is go trick-or-treating or visit a haunted house. But Halloween can be so much more fun than that. Similar to Christmas, you can start some extraordinary Halloween traditions with your family!
Also, Halloween doesn’t have to be terrifying. When you have small children, you need family-friendly Halloween traditions that are the perfect combination of mildly spooky and loads of fun!
Another fantastic thing about starting Halloween traditions is that you can make lasting Halloween-related memories all month long! With this complete list, you can look forward to having as much Halloween fun as your family can handle!
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Pick Out Costumes
When you think of Halloween, you think of dressing up in costumes. Many Halloween costumes can be pretty scary, but the great thing about dressing up is that you can be whatever you want!
When dressing up with your family for Halloween, you can either let everyone pick whatever costume they want or, you can choose a family theme.
If your children are pretty young and won’t care how they dress up, choosing a theme should be easy!
But if your kids are older and a little more opinionated, you can each come up with a family costume theme and then make a vote! Just create the rule that you can’t vote for your idea, and voting should go smoothly!
The second thing that comes to most people’s minds on Halloween is trick-or-treating. I know times have certainly changed since I was younger, and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood might not be feasible for every family.
But, that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out! If you live around your family, you can have a fun trick-or-treating party at someone’s house!
Another option you can check into is if your local mall or a shopping center is doing a trick-or-treating event. You go store to store, and the employees hand out candy! This is also a great option if your weather isn’t great in late October.
Boo Your Neighbors
“Booing” your neighbors is a great way to get your children involved in a pay-it-forward activity while bringing your neighborhood together for some fun!
To “Boo” your neighbors, you will first fill up a basket or festive bag with goodies. You can buy the goodies at the store, or you can bake some spooky treats at home!
Then, you’ll print out the free printables below, add them to the gift bag/basket, and deliver your fun surprise to your neighbor! Ensure you keep the mystery alive when you deliver your Boo basket, and avoid being seen!
Hopefully, your neighbors will keep it going, and you will see many “We’ve been booed” signs down your street!
Find Fun Halloween Pajamas
Similar to Christmas, it can be fun to take a family picture wearing spooky or silly pajamas on Halloween morning!
Like with the costumes, you can get your family matching pajamas or let everyone pick their own. Either way, it’s a fun way to start Halloween day!
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Decorate The House/Yard
Decorating your house for any holiday is so exciting. It’s a fantastic way to bring the family together and get into the Halloween spirit!
The great thing about decorating is that you can do as little or as much as you want! Plus, you can choose between having spooky or cute Halloween decor!
Look At Others’ Halloween Decorations
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to take a drive and look at Christmas lights. It turns out; this is also a fun thing to do for Halloween!
Many people go all out with the Halloween decorations in their yard. There is one house in our town that switches up its decorations every week for the whole month!
Where I live, there is a parade for almost every holiday. Growing up, I loved going to each parade and seeing the fabulous floats and cars, not to mention the beautiful horses that were always there.
Halloween parades are always a great time to show off your costumes and have some fun! If you are unsure if your town has a Halloween parade, you can usually find out on your city’s website.
Take A Hayride
Hayrides are such a fun activity that kicks off the start of Fall! If you don’t know what a hayride is, it’s usually a cart with bales of hay to sit on and a tractor to pull it around a path or field.
Often, you can find hayrides at your local pumpkin patch or farm. It’s always fun to bring thermoses of hot apple cider to enjoy while you’re on the ride!
For more outdoor Fall activities, check out this post!
Halloween Movie Night
What’s more fun than a movie night on a chilly evening?! With the copious amounts of Halloween movies out there, it’s easy to find some that are enjoyable for the whole family.
For example, some of our favorite family-friendly Halloween movies are:
- Hocus Pocus
- The Haunted Mansion
- It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
- Corpse Bride
- Nightmare Before Christmas
- Monster’s Inc
Important Tip: Always keep in mind that every child has different views on what is scary. If you haven’t seen a particular Halloween movie, always watch it first without your child to ensure that it will suit them.
Bake Spooky Treats
If you enjoy baking, now is a great time to make some Halloween goodies! Something that I always look forward to is baking and decorating spooky cookies or cupcakes.
Most kiddos love to decorate cookies. Grab your favorite sugar cookie recipe, some Halloween cookie cutters, and some fun sprinkles! There is no wrong way to decorate cookies, so it should be a blast for even toddlers to participate in.
Also, if you’re not into baking cookies, make some cute ghost cookies as we did in the picture above! These ghost cookies are a fast treat to make, and they are so delicious. We followed this recipe from the Food Network!
Make A Haunted Gingerbread House
In addition to baking Halloween goodies, it’s loads of fun to assemble and decorate a haunted gingerbread house!
You can buy premade gingerbread kits to make things easy, or you can even construct your house using graham crackers and frosting.
Visit A Corn Maze
If you have never been to a corn maze for Halloween, I highly recommend it! Corn mazes are exactly how they sound; a maze cut out of a cornfield.
Typically, a corn maze will have spooky decorations and people in costumes throughout. Also, if you have small children who aren’t ready for a maze yet, there are usually other activities meant for younger kids.
Visit A Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin patches are another Halloween tradition that I highly recommend starting! Quite often, you can find a pumpkin patch and a corn maze at the same place.
Pumpkin patches are so much fun because you get to choose your pumpkin straight from the farm. Walking through the patches looking for the perfect pumpkin is so much fun for all kiddos!
Plus, buying pumpkins from the farm allows you to choose the perfect size of pumpkins. Most times, grocery stores only have giant carving pumpkins, which can be too big for younger kids.
Pumpkin patches can also have little petting zoos with the farm animals. You can expect to see animals like goats, chickens, cows, and pigs. Sometimes even miniature pony rides!
Carve/ Decorate Pumpkins
If you choose to go to the pumpkin patch, you will likely come home with great pumpkins to carve or decorate. Carving pumpkins is another one of the most popular Halloween traditions!
Growing up, we always carved pumpkins. We had the kits with the more child-friendly carving tools, and we spent hours cutting out the most fantastic designs or faces.
These days, painting pumpkins is becoming a fun Halloween tradition, too! The greatest thing about painting pumpkins is that it’s much more suitable for toddlers and preschoolers.
Whether you choose to carve or paint pumpkins, you will want to put down something to help make cleanup easier. These floor mats are a lifesaver!
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Roast Pumpkin Seeds
If you choose to carve pumpkins, save those pumpkin seeds! Pumpkin seeds are so easy to roast, and they are a great fall snack!
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds:
- Rinse and dry the pumpkin seeds. Ensure you remove all stringy pumpkin goo.
- Toss seeds with olive oil and preferred seasonings. Salt and garlic powder are always delicious, but be careful not to go overboard!
- Evenly spread seeds out over a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Roast seeds at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Flip seeds every 5 minutes to ensure even roasting. They will be golden brown when ready!
An excellent thing about roasting pumpkin seeds is that there are so many varieties of flavors! A quick search on Google or Pinterest will give you tons of recipes, from sweet to savory.
Have A Bonfire
Bonfires are such a relaxing way to spend a chilly Fall evening. Plus, who doesn’t love a good s’more!?
If you don’t have a bonfire pit, you can also turn the lights down and use your fireplace instead. It works just as well!
Make Candied Apples
Candied Apples immediately make me think of Fall and Halloween. I’m not entirely sure why, but they do!
Candied apples are so versatile. You can make the traditional red candied apples with sugar and corn syrup; you can also use chocolate or caramel. Plus, you can roll them in toppings like nuts or candy!
Also, when it comes time to eat the apples, cut them before serving! I always hated eating candied apples because they were so hard to bite into, and then they got stuck all over your teeth. But cutting the apples into slices makes it a much more enjoyable treat.
Read Halloween Stories With Dim Lights
Telling scary stories is an iconic Halloween tradition, but it’s not always a great idea to do with children. We love to read silly Halloween stories instead!
There are many Halloween books for kids, but some of our favorites are:
- Room On The Broom
- Pete The Cat: Five Little Pumpkins
- Spooky Pookie
- 5 Minute Spooky Stories
- Spooky Wheels On The Bus
Make Halloween Crafts
There is an abundance of Halloween crafts out there. You can find anything from toddler crafts to teen crafts, and they are all fantastic!
One of our favorite crafts for little ones is to draw a ghost shape on some paper. Next, have your kiddo glue on some cotton balls to fill in the ghost shape. Finally, have some face shapes cut out of black construction paper, and have your kiddo glue those on top! So easy and tons of fun.
Have A ‘Monster Mash’ Dance Party
Having a dance party always brings on the giggles, especially if you are dressed up in silly costumes while you are dancing!
You can find kids’ Halloween music playlists on sites like Pandora or Spotify. And the great thing is that they are free to listen to!
And there you have it! I hope you found some wonderful Halloween traditions to start with your family. I know that you will treasure the memories you make together forever.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
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What are your favorite Halloween traditions to do with your family? Or, what new family-friendly Halloween traditions are you going to start this year? I would love to know in the comments below!