Our Favorite Halloween Traditions

Halloween is one of the best holidays! The colors, smells and activities are nostalgic!

It starts with fun decorations. We don’t like to decorate too creepy around my house, so instead we opt for the pumpkin adorned porch, scarecrows, and cornstalks (and I can leave these up for Thanksgiving).

We have a great time creating unique costumes! Dressing up brings you back to your childhood when you could throw on a cape and suddenly you were a superhero or put on a tiara and you were instantly a princess.  My favorite Halloween was the year we dressed up as the Croods (this was when my kids were young enough to go along with my ideas)!

What are your favorite Fall or Halloween traditions? There are so many fun things you can do to create new memories that your family will look forward to every year!

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN: My sister-in-law has little kids who are just getting to the stage when they understand holidays and the fun they bring, but don’t quite understand how long a week or a month is! To combat the constant question of “when it is going to be Halloween?” she came up with a calendar of daily activities to count down to the big day. Don’t get a case of anxiety…the activities are simple and take very little effort.  A few examples are watching a Halloween movie, “booing” the neighbor (a.k.a. leaving an anonymous treat on the doorstep), decorating sugar cookies, making a graham cracker haunted house, or playing Halloween Bingo.

BOOKS: Through the years I have gathered several Halloween books. I put them away during the year and bring them out during the month of October.  We have a great time reading the familiar stories about witches and goblins!

FOOD: Food can be a fun tradition! Around Halloween my mom would often make homemade rolls, soup and cinnamon rolls. We also like to make Meal In A Pumpkin (also a tradition from my mom!). It is basically ground beef, rice, and seasonings cooked inside a pumpkin.  The flavor of the pumpkin infuses into the casserole and is delicious! The cooked pumpkin is yummy with a little butter and salt and pepper. Donuts are also kind of an iconic Halloween treat, but have you ever made them yourself? We made spudnuts last year (donuts made from potatoes) and let everyone frost their own. My kids are still talking about these!

PARTY! One of my favorite traditions is our big Halloween Party. Every year my mom hosts a party for all of the kids and grandkids. She decorates with spiders and cobwebs, creepy music, and a fog machine. We all bring a “creepy” but yummy dish to share. Some of our favorites are “witches fingers” (chicken strips with a slivered almond for the fingernail), “cheesy brains” (a head of cooked cauliflower with cheese sauce on the top), “goblin teeth” (corn) and deviled eggs that look like eyeballs. We dunk for apples and do the mummy wrap (be the first to wrap your partner in toilet paper!). The party is usually a week before Halloween so it provides another opportunity for the kids to dress up. We keep our costumes a secret and it is always fun to see what everyone comes up with!  

EAT BEFORE YOU TREAT: There a couple of awesome gals in my neighborhood that sponsor a “Eat before you Treat” gathering. They pass out flyers inviting all the families in the neighborhood to a potluck dinner in their garage before they head out with their kiddos to trick or treat. It is a fun way to see creative costumes and catch up with our friends. They usually provide chili and everyone else brings sides and desserts.

HALLOWEEN NIGHT: One of my neighbors started a tradition that I LOVE! Instead of just giving out candy each year, she serves hot dogs and hot chocolate from her garage. On Halloween night, her front yard is the gathering spot for families and a great place for wandering teenagers to land!. If you drop by her house you will see the glow of fire pits, twinkling garden lights and the hum of conversation mixed with fun Halloween music. Such fun memories handing out warm food and chatting with friends.

Family traditions build memories and keep the past alive! Whatever you choose to do, make it easy and fun! So if you are in a pickle for some Halloween fun, try a little something new!  

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