It’s Halloween Season (I Mean Fall)!

As I write this, there are fewer than 90 days left in 2021. We all love the signs of the start of autumn — pumpkin spice lattes, flannel, and the real kickoff to leggings season. But in our house, Halloween is the best part of fall.

Halloween has a spirit that lives in our house the other 11 months of the year. We’re big horror movie fans, and even my toddler gets a kick out of watching the edited highlights on YouTube from “Freddy vs. Jason” (we’re team Jason). The Halloween/fall season also brings some special family traditions. Here are some of ours, plus a few from my fellow Boston moms! 

Corn mazes

Boston Moms recently shared a great guide to corn mazes. We’ve been to a few on the South Shore and love Sauchuk Maze in Plympton. There is so much to do there, from a cow train to a jumping pillow!

Pumpkin carving

Watching Food Network’s “Halloween Wars is one of our favorite family traditions. Teams compete in challenges to create a spooky display made of cake, sugar, and pumpkins. While we are not master carvers, we put on our own version of the show by picking out our pumpkins, deciding how to carve them, praying they come out the way the kids envision, and attempting to roast the seeds (we’ve been doing this for five years and have never been successful). 

Halloween breakfast

Start your Halloween morning with a themed breakfast — there is no shortage of ideas on Pinterest! Keep it simple with ghostly hard boiled eggs and monster face smoothies, or go all out with blueberry mummy muffins!

Spooky stories

Check out an assortment of Halloween-themed books from the library if you don’t already own a collection, and read them all month long!

“Hocus Pocus”

It’s a classic film for a reason — it’s family-friendly, it’s fun, and it remains timeless. “Hocus Pocus” die hards might enjoy scoping out some of the spots where the movie was filmed!

Family costumes

Planning family costumes is a great annual tradition that involves the whole gang. Lots of options for creativity! 

Couples costumes

Once upon a time there were Halloween parties the entire weekend of Halloween (remember those pre-COVID days?). My husband and I love a good couples costume. We were John Lennon and Yoko Ono a few years ago, and last year we were Squints and Wendy Peffercorn while trick-or-treating with our son.

Trunk or treat

Costumes are fun, but dressing up your car?! Trunk or treats are especially great for the younger children — it’s an easy way to limit the number of stops you have to make. 

Candy scavenger hunt

If the weather is poor or a pandemic ruins your regularly scheduled trick-or-treating plans, try a candy scavenger hunt indoors!


We love going on family hikes in the White Mountains, and the fall views make it extra special in October.

Adult trick-or-treating

I don’t know if it’s allowed still post-2020, but my in-laws were known for having some hot rum cider for parents walking around their neighborhood on Halloween. My father-in-law would also answer the door with non-treat items like eggs and onions. Who said it’s just for the kids?

“Reasons to be thankful” turkey

I made a thankful turkey with a styrofoam ball and some paper feathers on toothpicks one year for my stepkids — we each took turns writing things we were thankful for on the paper feathers. (And then I saw this bad boy on Amazon — also great!) There are lots of variations of this idea, and we always try to incorporate what we are thankful for all month long in November.

Are you catching those fall feelings? What do you do to celebrate autumn?

Courtney was raised a Navy brat, growing up in Washington, South Carolina, and Virginia before her family put their roots down in Florida. She studied at Loyola University New Orleans earning her degree in communications PR with a minor in English, and she earned her master's in marketing from SNHU. She moved to the Boston area in 2008, where she met and married her partner-in-crime, John. Mother of a 16-month-old, stepmom to two 12-year-olds (boy and girl), and dog mom to Abita and Riley, Courtney is raising her family with a love of the outdoors, scary movies, and lots of laughs. Courtney works in marketing/PR and events and lives on the South Shore. She has a passion for cooking and traveling. She volunteers her time as a Gold Award advisor for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and serves on the friends board to her local library. She loves days that start with coffee and end with champagne.