9 Awesome Halloween Traditions for Young Families

Cool, crisp, Fall is upon many of you! Me, not so much. Summery days in the Bay Area ebb and flow into late October. Two years ago we dressed up in our Halloween costumes (Game of Thrones!) only to have to strip out of half of the attire in 98 degree heat.

The colors start to change a bit and some days offer us a glimpse into Fall, but either way, I still just get gleefully giddy over the idea of Fall!

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Once October 1st hits, I am super ready to put up all my Halloween decor. I love Halloween. I love everything about it!

The dressing up. The decorations. The traditions.

It is only mid-September and I already have all of our Halloween costumes ordered and am brainstorming how to outfit the kid’s wagon for the big events! Yes, eventS! Our neighborhood does a Goblin Walk the Friday before Halloween for all families with kids under 10, and then we spend the weekend ‘halloweening’ it up with pumpkin patches and Halloween parties, before the main event on the 31st (which is absolutely insane in our ‘hood).

Whether your community does it big or small – you can set your own fun family traditions for Halloween! Some ideas below:

1) Pick Out Costumes Together

I really like to do ‘family’ costumes, but I realize that is not feasible for everyone – especially the parents who want nothing to do with dressing up. There are also plenty of kids who really don’t want in the whole family thing and have lots of ideas of their own. However, while I can swing it, the clan-halloween costume it is! I asked Wes a few ideas of what he might want to be before I moved forward as he will be the hardest to convince. Picking out themes and costumes together can be a fun activity in itself. If you are crafty – perhaps creating your own costumes would be even more fun!

2) Decorate for the Holiday

Decorating for Halloween doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you are really good at planning ahead, buy everything for Halloween that goes on sale the day/week after the holiday and use it for the years to come! This is how you can end up with great deals from places like Pottery Barn!

For those of us who doesn’t plan 364 days into the future, you can hit up places like Marshalls or the Dollar Store for some cheap, awesome decor. You can also have some fun being creative as a family to make your own, like spider webs, tissue ghosts and cardboard gravestones in your lawn!

Places like Home Depot, the Party Store and other chains have a lot of goods that vary in price! Take care of your decorations for the years to come by storing them in plastic storage bins that seal – save yourself time and money next year!

3) Family Halloween Movie Night

Pick a night or two for family halloween movie night! Get the popcorn, candy corn or other fall treats ready and cozy up together for a night in being spooked! If your kids are too young for a full-on movie, perhaps just a little segment like Room on the Broom or Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin might be fun enough!

4) Find A Great Pumpkin

Hitting up a farm or pumpkin patch to pick-out a pumpkin is a lot of fun! Though, if you don’t have the time or energy for such an outing, even visiting your local grocery store to find a jack-o’-lantern can be a good time! Kids love having some say in finding the right one. You can jazz up this event with festive outfits, warm cider, or apple candy treats!

5) Carve or Paint Pumpkins

I really, really love carving those complicated pumpkin designs you can get from kits. However,

due to the weather here, carved pumpkins mold and fall apart in a week or two normally. 🙁 I’ve had some real disgusting orange disasters on my doorstep. Even though I love how they look with a candle inside, I realize it is better to go the painted route these days. Especially with the kids being so young – painting is just more fun and easier for all to be involved. Whether you choose to carve, paint, sticker it up, or otherwise decorate your pumpkins – just have fun! Listening to some fun fall or Halloween music can be a lovely add on for this activity!

6) Reading Halloween Stories

This one is a great one because Halloween books are perfect for every age group – there are baby and toddler ones, to older kids (or this selection) and spookier ones for young teens! For older kids, it might even be fun and interesting to learn about the history of Halloween, witches, or other ‘scarier’ things!

Getting into Halloween books doesn’t have to cost a fortune, hit up your local library to check out some books or try a used book store for other options! It could also be a blast to listen to audible books while in the car together – fiction or nonfiction!

7) Halloween Crafts

Doing Halloween crafts – even something as small as spooky stickers or decorating a ‘pumpkin’ cut out of construction paper can be a lot of fun with young kids. For some more ideas, visit Michael’s craft store or visit some other crafty blogs like this one!

8) Halloween Party

Not invited to a Halloween party this year? No problem – have a small playdate with friends from school or the neighborhood and bob for apples, do a Halloween craft, incorporate some other fun Halloween activities, and listen to some spooky music! You can hang some tissue ghosts as decor and have some Halloween cookies as a treat! It doesn’t have to be a huge deal, but adding some festivities to the mix around this holiday can be another fun excuse for your kid to throw on their new costume once more!

9) Trick or Treating

The big hoorah!

Trick or treating can be a blast as a family!! Get into and get out there with wagons, strollers or carpool around bigger neighborhoods.

I get it – not every family is totally into it. My dad took me every year with two of my girlfriends (as far as I can remember, other than my brother who came in and out of the trick or treating picture – it was always the same crew!). My mom was never into it, and that is okay! Find a parent, grandparent or friend who is down with the routine and let your kids get on board with scoping out the neighborhood candy scene! Go over all the safety rules first, and make sure to set your rules for candy intake ahead of time – but most of all have fun!

Check out these super, super cute trick or treat bags! Or, these totes buckets!