10 Halloween Family Traditions To Try this Year

Make this Halloween the most fun ever for your family

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. What's not to love about candy, costumes, parties, and spooky chills? We have a few family traditions we do every Halloween to help celebrate the season and create some fun anticipation. However, I've heard of a few more traditions from friends that I would love to adopt. You certainly don’t have to do all of these, but pick one and plan some additional fun for your family this Halloween season.

1. Get in the Mood - Watch the Classics. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Need I say more?Watch it on ABC TV or rent it. If your kids are a little older, try another classic, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” I love Jack Skellington and we like to light the fireplace and curl up on the couch together to watch this spooky tale. (The kids and I made Jack Skellington Cupcakes. It wasn’t hard, see how.)

2. Show Your Spirit. One of my favorite parts about trick or treating is seeing how everyone spooks out their house. I love the creativity. Whether you prefer fall elegant to grotesque to friendly ghosts and monsters, let's see your Halloween spirit and get the whole family involved in decorating this year. Here are some fun Halloween craft ideas that the family can work on together for decorations.


3.  Read Bedtime Stories. We love to read Halloween stories in anticipation of the big day.DesignMom.com and her family have a tradition of reading Halloween stories by candle light. I love it! We're going to read by the flickering flames tonight. Check out my list of 10 Best Halloween Books for Kids to start reading. Older kids might like reading chapters of Goosebumps or Bunnicula books.


4. Boo Your Neighbors. This fun Halloween tradition is growing in popularity so be the first to start it in your neighborhood as a way to connect. To start, make up a Halloween goodie bag for a friend or neighbor. Ring their doorbell then leave the goodie bag at their house with a poem and sign telling them they have been "Boo'd." Kids love to ring and run! The neighbor is supposed to reciprocate and "Boo" someone else on your block. Read this post for additional Halloween Boo instructions, ideas for the goodie bags, and links to download free printable Boo poems and “We’ve Been Boo’d” signs.


5. Family Halloween Costumes. I always envied families that created a theme for their Halloween costumes each year. We’ve only been able to do it once. My kids have very strong ideas about what they want to be each year for trick or treat. However, one year my husband was a Mad Scientist, I was Igor, my son was Frankenstein, and my daughter was a spooky, black lab cat. It was a blast to have us all trick or treat together in matching costumes. If you can convince everyone in your family to go with a theme, it’s a lot of fun and makes for great family photos. Check out these 15 Family Themed Halloween Costume Ideas for inspiration.


6. Bake Halloween treats. There is nothing like Halloween to inspire some creativity in the kitchen. Check out these Halloween cupcakes and Spooky Scary Cheesecake recipes that are easy for kids. They'll be a hit at any Halloween party. 


7. Pumpkin Carving Party - Invite friends and family over to carve pumpkins. Pick a theme, provide the cutting tools and decorating material, and of course, Halloween-themed snacks. Here are some party ideas to get planning.


8. Throw a Halloween Costume Party - Hosting a Halloween party at your house doesn't have to be hard. Here's all the information you need on easy ideas for Halloween Party food, decorations, and games, including a video clip of easy Halloween party ideas that I shared with ABC TV Chicago.


9. Pumpkin Fairy - Don't want your kids to consume all of their Halloween candy in one night? Schedule a visit from the Pumpkin Fairy who trades fun toys and trinkets for your kids' candy stash. Here's what you need to know about the Pumpkin Fairy Tradition.


10. Day of the Dead Dinner. Technically it's the day after Halloween but every year we celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead in our house honoring and remembering our loved ones who have passed on. We set up an area in the house where we display photos of the people and pets we want to remember. To celebrate at dinner, we usually make one of our loved one's favorite meals and we share our favorite memories of Grandpa or our pets who have died. It's a nice way to keep memories alive and remember what we liked best about those we miss. Read how to celebrate Dia de los Muertos with your kids.

What Halloween traditions do you enjoy with your family? Have you ever had a family costume theme? Which one?

For more fun Halloween recipes, crafts, traditions, and party ideas read the Halloween section of my blog ChocolateCakeMoments.com or check out my Halloween Board on Pinterest.


Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.

Vinny Chase October 04, 2012 at 11:33 PM
This may make some people mad but i want to share an old Chase family Halloween tradition passed down four generations. Every Halloween my Dad and I would go out after everyone was done trick or treating and would smash all the pumpkins we could. I passed this down to my kids as well. It's a lot of fun and good bonding time with the kids.
Stevie Janowski October 04, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Vinny that is criminal. Much like the case of Dean Fealy. Is vinny your mob name?This happened to me once last year and eggs were also thrown at my house. You better not come near my house Mr. Chase I will be ready this year.
Vinny Chase October 04, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Stevie it's all in good fun, and a family tradition, similar to watching the same movie for xmas every year etc. As for the eggs, lets just say i turn the other way...
Brian L. October 05, 2012 at 04:11 AM
I do hope you're joking. That's nothing like watching a movie. Smashing something someone took the time to make, perhaps with their own children, for your amusement isn't right, it's destruction of personal property, albeit an inexpensive piece of property. They also have to then clean up your mess as well. Just because you claim it a "family tradition" doesn't make it harmless and right.
qui me amat October 05, 2012 at 05:24 PM
That is a terrible family tradition. You call that good bonding time with your children? Kind of scary to me (that you feel that way) and not something I would want to teach my children.
Ana Draa October 05, 2012 at 05:32 PM
And my family's tradition is to lovingly carve pumpkins to enjoy for as many days as we choose. You're right to celebrate your family's traditions ends where my family's rights begin. Your kids would be better served being taught to respect property that does not belong to them. P.S. Why don't you alert the Libertyville Police department where you family will be "celebrating" this year so they can "bond" with you too!
brian blanchard October 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Guido McGinty October 06, 2012 at 04:29 AM
There are too many humorless scolds here.
Guido McGinty October 07, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Buy a clue. Then buy a sense of humor.
qui me amat October 08, 2012 at 10:52 PM
On my block, the parents like to take their kids trick-or-treating pulling a wagon with a keg of beer on it. They drink their beer while the kids go up to each house. The moms like to have slushy alcoholic drinks. I though Halloween was for the kids. They are just setting a poor example for their children. It took everything I had not to go out there and say something to those parents. I just don't answer the door anymore.
neec October 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Great idea!!! Definitely makes trekking around in the cold more bearable. Thanks, qui me amat!
qui me amat October 09, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Try hot chocolate! The kids could enjoy that too.
Roger Goodman October 09, 2012 at 08:13 PM
My tradition is sitting on my front porch smoking a cigar and drinking scotch and getting bitched at by fat moms for setting a bad example for children.
Guido McGinty October 09, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I can get on board with that tradition.
Guido McGinty October 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Instead of a wagon, they should put together a bar on wheels and make the kids pull it with a rope. The kids need to burn off the junk food anyway. Win win.
Walter White October 09, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Don't worry, Turtle and E will stop him before he gets too drunk and high on, well, E.
John Brinkmann October 09, 2012 at 09:35 PM
might be best to not give out your address Roger---I dare say many dad's might alter their usual trick or treat route to join you
Stevie Janowski October 12, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Also what kinda name is Qui me Amat? you a terrorist? Jk but really if you live in america you might wanna rethink that one.
qui me amat October 13, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Stevie Janoski: You really shouldn't call people terrorists. If you had googled my screen name and translated it from Latin to English you would see what it means.
Stevie Janowski October 13, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I aint gonna google your name I could care less what your dumb name means, just saying it looks like something of a terrorist
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