- Decorate For Halloween The First Weekend In October: This allows you plenty of time to really enjoy the season. Gather your family, dust off the boxes in your garage and have a decorating party. Allow your children to decide where the decorations should go. Don’t be afraid to decorate inside as well as outside and don't worry about it looking pretty or coordinating with your decor. Have fun with it and let loose!
- Boo Your Neighbors: A tradition my family enjoys is "Booing" our neighbors. Booing is a lot like Secret Santa but for Halloween. Start the season by secretly placing a festive gift on a neighbors door step. Inside are a poem and a sign that reads, "I've Been Booed" with instructions on how to keep the fun going. Once you start, watch how quickly your good cheer spreads as house after house begins displaying their "I've been Booed" sign. It's fun to watch my children hold in their secret and listen to neighbors try and figure out who booed who. I have to admit though, it's hard to keep a straight face and not spill the beans, er...pumpkin seeds.
- Make Halloween Treats For Your Kids Lunches: There are so many clever web-sites offering a huge range of fun and crafty projects you can do with your children. Here's just one of our favorites.
1 package 2 1/2" foil baking cups
1 can vanilla icing
1 small tube green food coloring
1 package red licorice rope
1 package chocolate candy googly eyes
1 package mini M&Ms
1 tube black cake decorating icing
Cooking Instructions: Prepare vanilla cake batter according to box directions. Add 7 drops or more of green food coloring to batter and mix thoroughly to achieve desired shade.
Remove white paper separators from foil cups; pour batter into baking cups and bake in 350-degree oven for 17 to 20 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick into the center and remove it cleanly.
Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool completely.
In a small bowl, add 5 or more drops of food coloring to icing and mix until desired shade of green is achieved. Top cupcakes with colored icing.
To assemble cupcakes: Add googly eyes to top of cupcake. Cut red licorice rope into smaller strips to use as hair and small pieces to use as teeth. Add green M&Ms to make the nose; use decorating icing to make a mouth. Top black icing with red licorice pieces.
Substitution(s)Use mini-Oreos or white Lifesavers as eyes instead of chocolates; use black licorice rope instead of red to create hair and mouth.
Preparation Time: 10 minutesFor more great recipes check out Kaboos.com.
- Prank Your Kids and Your Husband: I love a good prank – well let me rephrase that – I love pranking others. So, I love this idea from MarthaStewart.com. Place a baby monitor in a carved pumpkin and as your family walks up to it make it "talk". You may have a tough time holding your composure once you see the looks on their faces. Carry this on through Halloween and let your children have the fun scaring trick-or-treaters.
- Choose A Family Costume Theme: Children love when parents dress up for Halloween and especially love when everyone is dressed in a theme they are familiar with. One year our family dressed in costumes with a Peter Pan theme. Our little guy was Peter, I was Wendy, my husband was Captain Hook and our daughter was the Indian Girl. It was a lot of fun; especially when Captain Hook and Peter started to sword fight.
- Visit the Pumpkin Patch: Find the coolest pumpkin patch in town and take your children. My favorite is our local pumpkin patch that is over-the-top country bumpkin. They have hay rides pulled by a tractor, pony rides, corn stalk mazes and of course lots and lots of pumpkins. We can easily spend a couple of hours there. I prefer to go in the evening when everything is lit up and we can bundle up in our fall clothing.
- Host A Neighborhood Pumpkin Carving Party: This is a great event if you have new neighbors or if you are new to you neighborhood. Invite your neighbors over, pumpkin in hand, for a pumpkin carving party. Give everyone a printed stencil; we have listed a couple of great sites below where you can print free stencils, serve light snacks and drinks and have fun! When everyone is finished carving take a group photo. Get everyone's e-mail address and send a copy out to everyone who participated the next day.
- Roast Pumpkin Seeds: I love roasting the seeds from our pumpkins. There are many recipes out there but I like this one. It's easy and traditional.
2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Rinse the seeds in cold water, rinsing away any fibrous strings. Pat them dry. Place clean seeds in a large bowl and add the vegetable oil and salt, stirring well to coat the seeds with the oil. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired.
- Have a Green Halloween: Looking for ways to make Halloween more eco-friendly? Here are some ideas form our FaceBook friend Corey Colwell-Lipson. Swap costumes with friends or neighbors and pass down costumes from older siblings. Check out National Costume Swap Day for more information. Discover new ways to make your Halloween green at Green Halloween. Who knows you may be inspired to start brand new traditions. Here's one that I think I'll do this year. Organize a post-Halloween neighborhood clean up. On the day after Halloween, get together with some friends and your parents and walk through the neighborhood picking up any trash you find.
- Watch Your Favorite Classic Halloween Movie Together: Depending on the ages of your children, pull out or rent your favorite Halloween movie. My children love Hocus Pocus with Bett Middler and Sarah Jessica Parker so, when it comes on we make it a Halloween Family Movie Night by popping popcorn, turning out all the lights sitting down together and chillin'.