How do families celebrate Halloween?
The best Halloween family traditions get you into the Halloween spirit and help you feel connected with friends and family. Have fun, scare yourself a little, and create lasting memories with the Halloween activities in this spooktacular list.
1. SPOOKY SNAPSHOTS
First, I STINK at printing photos. But, I make an effort for this one occurrence.
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Every year, I print off last year’s picture of the kids in their costumes. Then, I add it to the stack and display past photos as October decorations.
The kids LOVE seeing what they wore in previous years. Plus, it keeps the past alive and shows their growth.
2. INDULGE IN THRILLING (OR NOT-SO-SPOOKY) MOVIES
Our kids are young, so we prefer family-friendly options for now. And there are so many choices!
Make a caramel apple bar to go with your movie night and you’re set for a super fun October family night! Check out any of these!
- Hocus Pocus
- It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
- Curious George Boofest (our favorite)
- Nightmare Before Christmas
- Monster’s Inc
Related Post: Free Fall Bucket List Printables for Kids & Moms
3. VISIT A PUMPKIN PATCH: CLASSIC TRADITION
Visit the pumpkin patch or cider mill for fall goods, petting zoo animals, and apple cider.
It’s the perfect way to spend a Saturday in October! Plus, this usually makes for a gorgeous ride out in the country.
4. CRAFT JACK-O’-LANTERN MASTERPIECES
No Halloween is complete without carving and decorating pumpkins!
We like to set a huge tarp on the floor (in the picture above) and go to town. It makes the cleanup SUPER easy!
5. EMBRACE THE SWITCH WITCH
Does anyone else get SO MUCH CANDY around Halloween?
It comes from everywhere when you have kids. We decided to tame the candy overload. So, we found the idea of the Switch Witch and her naughty (and hungry) bats.
The kids leave out some of their candy on the night after Halloween. The witch stops by in the middle of the night to replace it with a small non-candy prize.
Last year, both kids chose to offer candy to the witch. They enjoy her silly story, and they still keep their favorite candy pieces. Yet, it greatly cuts down on the amount of candy.
This website has a cute poem that we read before we do it!
Expert Tip: Save the bright candy pieces for Xmas gingerbread houses later. It saves you from having to buy candy then!
6. GET TOASTY BY THE FIREPIT
Our neighbors host an annual fire pit s’mores night.
Kids adore it, and parents enjoy brief chats amidst the Halloween hustle.
Use Halloween ice breaker questions for added fun.
*Check out this article about Fun Fall Date Ideas for other ways to use your firepit!
7. SERVE FUN & HEALTHY SNACKS
There’s a lot of really fun food that’s also healthy for Halloween. Try any of these for a great snack!
8. TRY REVERSE TRICK OR TREATING
Next, a great way to promote giving is by starting a “boo” tradition! Have the kids make small goodie bags and drop them off at neighbors’ houses! Grab the free “boo your neighbors printable.
They’ll enjoy doorbell surprises and feel good helping others.
9. VISIT A FALL FESTIVAL
October is FULL of local festivals and parades. So, check your calendar and take advantage of what your local community has to offer.
Then, make it one of your Halloween traditions to hit one festival every fall!
10. GET CRAFTY
Devote a few hours every year to making a few easy and spooky crafts that the kids can put up around the house.
Check out these paper plate spiders and other fun crafts HERE.
11. ENJOY AN ANNUAL PUMPKIN STROLL
On a pre-Halloween night, we take a neighborhood walk and count how many pumpkins we see on doorsteps.
Not only is it a great active time together, but the kids get really into it.
For more fun hunting for things, try the free Halloween Scavenger Hunt for Kids.
Related: Free Nature Scavenger Hunts
12. CELEBRATE DAY OF THE DEAD (Dia De Los Muertos)
Do you have a loved one that has passed? Steal a page from the “Day of the Dead” and put up a photo and candle of your loved one. Perhaps even make something that he or she used to love to eat.
Then, spend a few minutes remembering the good times with family.
13. CRAFT A SCARECROW
Next, try this fun and easy family activity every year.
First, find simple materials from a thrift store. Then make a scarecrow to put out in your front or backyard.
The kids will love seeing it every time you come and go! Plus, you can take a picture of it every year and document how your scarecrow evolves.
14. DIVE INTO HALLOWEEN BOOKS
Related Post: Best Halloween Kids & Young Adult Books
15. HOST A COSTUME CONTEST
Invite friends over and have a yearly costume contest! Make your own homemade costumes every year, or do what’s easiest.
Hold votes for the:
- most creative
- best dressed
- the scariest
- and the cutest.
16. ENJOY A TRUNK OR TREAT
We stumbled upon a neighborhood trunk or treat several years ago. Families had decorated their car trunks and were passing out candy.
It became a fun (and easy) Halloween tradition for our family.
Pro Tip: It’s perfect for young kids! Most Trunk or Treat events are earlier in the evening. Hit one up and then you can still get your toddlers to bed on time!
17. CELEBRATE HOCUS POCUS NIGHT
Watch both movies and then play Hocus Pocus Trivia.
You can also:
- Decorate with broomsticks, cauldrons, and potions.
- Invite friends to come dressed up as a Hocus Pocus character.
- Have a variety of witchy-themed food and drinks.
Also, check out the New York Times bestselling book, Hocus Pocus A.W. Jantha.
Pro Tip: Tell your kids that you’ll watch the movies once they read the book. Great motivation!
Related: Best Kids Books That Are Movies
18. HALLOWEEN “THIS OR THAT” QUESTIONS
Play a quick and fun questions game. Choose between two Halloween-related topics.
Grab the free Halloween this or that printable.
Also, try out Fall This or That Questions.
19. HOST A HALLOWEEN-THEMED TRIVIA NIGHT
Invite friends and neighbors, split into teams, and play spooky trivia.
Elevate it with Halloween decor, snacks, and prizes for winners.
20. WOULD YOU RATHER: HALLOWEEN EDITION
Ponder the best Halloween Themed “Would You Rather” Questions. Use them at a party or at the dinner table.
If you love these, use this big list of Would You Rather Kids Questions.
21. PLAN A FALL VACATION
If you have a long weekend, plan a small getaway or family staycation.
We go on a camping trip each October. The weather is beautiful. It’s relaxing (we sleep in cabins). And we read spooky stories around the campfire at night.
22. MAKE A HALLOWEEN BUCKET LIST OF FAMILY TRADITIONS
Create an annual Halloween activity checklist. Prioritize your family time and discover new Halloween family traditions.
23. DECORATE YOUR HOME OR YARD
Our neighbors go all out when decorating for Halloween. And everyone wants to visit their house to trick or treat!
Put up lights, inflatable decorations, and play spooky music. Make your house “the house” for Halloween.
24. SEND HALLOWEEN CARDS
Send surprise Halloween cards and treats to distant family. We love it when they reciprocate!
Find tons of free printable Halloween cards!
25. ENJOY A SPOOKY MEAL
Another favorite family Halloween tradition involves food! We make mummy dogs every year, before we trick or treat.
It’s an easy meal that’s also a little spooky!
To Consider With Halloween Family Traditions
Do you LOVE traditions?! You’re at the right place! Check out my ebook “The Best Guide To Family Traditions” – 260+ Ideas To Build A Remarkable Family Bond. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years are ALL included!
And remember, make the holiday fun and festive for your family, but also make sure it’s fun for YOU! Anything too elaborate or only pleasing to others won’t be worth it!
What are some Halloween traditions your family loves? We’d love to know!
Next, add to your Halloween traditions with fun Candy Trivia Questions and Answers.
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