Halloween is our favorite holiday! We compiled a list of fun Halloween traditions you should start this year if you aren't already doing them. These traditions are great family Halloween traditions or you can do them as a couple or with friends.
Halloween Tradition #1 - Trick or Treating
If you're wondering why we go trick or treating, history says it's a Celtic tradition. People would dress up as evil spirits to defend themselves against the evil souls that were believed to roam the Earth when you go from one year to the next year.
Children and poor adults would go to people's doors and ask for food or money in exchange for prayers and songs. It is fun to learn about the history of Halloween and the meaning of Halloween.
#2 - Carve fruit cup jack-o-lanterns
Every year on October 1st we have our Halloween Kick-Off, as we call it, where we watch Beetlejuice and carve and eat fruit cup jack-o-lanterns. We love making these as a way to start to celebrate Halloween.
#3 - Make a Halloween Gingerbread House
We haven't done this before, but we're planning on doing it this October! These are so spooky and fun.
#4 - Carve jack-o-lanterns
Carving jack-o-lanterns is one of our absolute favorite traditions. We always carve them on Halloween afternoon or Halloween night. We love to print out stencils and carve something new every year.
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#5 - Pick your pumpkins at the pumpkin patch
If you're in Utah, our favorite pumpkin patch to go to is Mabey Farms. It is so fun to visit a pumpkin patch and choose your pumpkin. We like to go early in October before the pumpkins get picked over. This is one of our favorite Halloween traditions!
#6 - Light fall scented candles
My favorite is Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin. It is the quintessential fall smell and we can't get enough of it.
#7 - Watch Halloween movies
In our home we're super into Halloween movies. We look forward to watching them all year and watch tons all October long. I love Halloween traditions like this that are easy and don't require a lot of prep work.
#8 - Bake Halloween treats
I love watching a Halloween movie and eating a Halloween treat. These Spooky Ghost Vegan Bounty Bars would be perfect to snack on while watching Casper.
#9 - Make jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers for dinner
These are a super festive dinner! It would be fun to have these every year on Halloween before going trick-or-treating.
#10 - Watch Halloween episodes of your favorite TV shows
This is a fun activity to do while eating candy corn. Eating candy corn is one of the big Halloween traditions in America. Our favorite Halloween episodes to watch are the Friends one and the Lizzie McGuire one.
#11 - Draw jack-o-lantern faces on clementines or mandarins
This is a healthy little snack that is good for putting in lunches or just having at home. This is such an original idea and I love it!
#12 - Pumpkin bowling
Games like pumpkin bowling are so simple, but so fun! We can't wait to do this with our twins when they're a little older.
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#13 - Listen to Halloween music
We love to go for a drive to see all the pretty fall trees and turn on our spooky playlist of Halloween songs.
#14 - Bake pumpkin seeds
Baking pumpkin seeds is a really good way to use up the seeds after you carve your jack-o-lanterns.
#15 - Dress up in Halloween costumes
Dressing up on Halloween in a costume is so fun. Adam and I don't dress up anymore, but we dress our kids up. They were Harry Potter and Hermione Granger for their fist Halloween! See their costumes here.
#16 - Bake pumpkin cookies
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a classic fall dessert!
#17 - Exchange Halloween cards
Adam and I have done this since the first Halloween we were married. We love writing each other notes and giving each other cards.
#18 - Color Day of the Dead sugar skulls
We have a sugar skull coloring book that is so fun to color in. We make them really colorful and they are so beautiful. It would be fun to teach your kids about the Day of the Dead while coloring these.
#19 - Make caramel apples
Caramel apples are so delicious! We always ate them growing up, so they have a special place in my heart when it comes to October.
#20 - Read Halloween children's books
Some good ones that I recommend are:
- Happy Halloween, Little Critter!
- The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat
- Room on the Broom
- Pete the Cat: Trick or Pete
#21 - Go to a trunk-or-treat
A trunk-or-treat is where a bunch of cars go to a parking lot and decorate their cars for Halloween and pass out candy. This is nice as opposed to trick or treating because the cars are close together, so kids don't have to walk very far.
#22 - Go on a hayride
Hayrides are so nostalgic. A lot of pumpkin patches have hayrides, so it's fun to find one that does.
#23 - Paint pumpkins
If carving pumpkins is too messy or too much work for you, painting pumpkins is a great alternative.
#24 - Check out your neighbor's Halloween decorations
Some people are so creative and have awesome outdoor Halloween decorations. We love when people put headstones on their lawns.
#25 - Go to a haunted house
Honestly, this is too scary for me, but I know some people love going to them and getting scared.
#26 - Make a Halloween craft
Crafts are really fun, especially to do with kids. This spider web one from Buggy and Buddy is so cute!
#27 - Decorate for Halloween
We always decorate on October 1st so that we can enjoy our decorations all month long. It's fun to add a new one every year or two.
#28 - Go to your local Halloween events
In our area we have a Halloween ski lift ride, a pumpkin festival, a scarecrow walk, and more.
#29 - Bob for apples
Bobbing for apples is a classic Halloween activity! It would be fun to do at a Halloween party for kids or adults.
#30 - Walk through a corn maze
We love corn mazes! They're a great way to get out and enjoy the crisp fall weather and go for a little walk.
#31 - Do a Halloween puzzle
We love to do puzzles all year, so October is a great time to do a Halloween puzzle! You could do this while eating Halloween treat or while watching a Halloween movie.
#32 - Bake Halloween Shaped Sugar Cookies & Decorate Them
We always use our pumpkin shaped cookie cutter and use orange frosting on them! Here's our vegan sugar cookie recipe. You'll need a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter.
#33 - Boo someone
When you boo someone, you leave a paper that says "we've been booed" and some candy or treats. They're supposed to put the sign on their door so the other neighbors know they've been booed. You also give them a paper explaining that it's their turn to pass it along and boo someone else. If you're looking for Halloween traditions to do with your kids, this is a really fun one!
#34 - Drink apple cider
Growing up we always went to an apple orchard and got fresh apple cider. Halloween just isn't the same if I don't have some apple cider to drink while watching Hocus Pocus!
#35 - Make soul cakes
Soul cakes are little round cakes with a cross through them. They are a Christian tradition to commemorate the dead on Halloween, which is also known as All Souls' Day or All Saints' Day. Those are some of Halloween's other names. Another one is All Hallow's Eve.
What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions?