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