Halloween kicks off our holiday season. But coming up with family Halloween activities can be hard.
Ours is a blended family with complicated dynamics – but what’s uncomplicated is that we are always looking for fun things to do with the kids.
Whether it’s for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Valentine’s Day, holidays are a great time to find opportunities to spend with your loved ones. So we’ve put together nine great ideas to help you put together a great family Halloween. And don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest and check out our Halloween Board for lots more ideas!
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1. Pick Out Pumpkins
You can find pumpkins at lots of places this time of year. At your local grocery or hardware store, or local church or school sale. Or at a local pumpkin patch.
Especially for the younger kids, picking out pumpkins can be a real treat.
Also, don’t restrict yourself to just one pumpkin!! I love seeing photos of front doors with loads of pumpkins out front.
And any that you don’t carve can stay up until Thanksgiving – it’s a twofer!
2. Decorate them!
For centuries, people have carved faces into pumpkins as fall descends. The spooky look of a jack-o-lantern lit from within is synonymous with Halloween.
But these days there are lots of other ways to create Halloween pumpkins. I constantly notice beautiful pumpkins on social media that have been painted or otherwise decorated.
So think outside the box and have fun with it! If you ask kids to come up with ideas for decorating your pumpkins, I bet their creative minds will come up with some great ideas that will keep them entertained for hours!
3. Halloween Crafts
Making crafts can be fun for the whole family. And they don’t need to be complicated.
For example, how cute are these Quick Scrap Fabric Pumpkins? Emilee from MamaNeedsAProject.com says they are no-sew and super easy. I think they’re adorable and would make a fun project to make with the kids.
Pinterest is a great resource for holiday crafts – I’ve told you about my Halloween board, where I’ve saved a ton of ideas for you. Check it out and follow This Custom Life if you aren’t already. I am constantly adding new things I find.
4. Halloween Movies
I loved watching holiday movies when I was young. I didn’t care about which holiday, so long as it was a holiday!
But there are lots of great, fun for all ages, family Halloween movies. Here are just a few ideas:
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
The Addams Family
5. Make Costumes
I know, it’s so easy just to go to Amazon to search for the perfect Halloween costume. (don’t get me wrong – they have some awesome selections!!) But gone are the days when parents slave over hand-making their kids’ costumes.
When I was younger, my mom hand-sewed costumes for me. I was a black cat one year with a full black velvet(ish) bodysuit, a clown, and my favorite – a princess. I seriously still can’t believe she hand-made all of these costumes!
Thank goodness, today you don’t have to be an expert seamstress to make a costume with your kids. Trust me. I know how to sew, but I’m not sure what I create could actually be called sewing.
You can still get creative, though – and get your kids in on the action – without spending months on a costume. Last year, my stepdaughter went with a couple of her friends as 80’s girls. Their costumes were a matter of ordering some shiny leggings and legwarmers and then finding some definitely-eighties tops at the local thrift store. The girls did the rest with makeup and hair crimpers. And they looked great!
Whether your kids are young enough that you carry them from house to house, or old enough that you let them loose for the evening, why not have a little pre-trick-or-treating get together with some of their friends and parents. You can make some scary “adult beverage” treats for the grown-ups and serve up some fun, scary treats for all the little ones. A fun family Halloween party that everyone can enjoy!
But how great to keep kids from leaving a trail of caramel mess along their trick or treating route!
If your neighborhood has a lot of little kids and you want to keep their trick or treating more centralized, another great idea is to organize a “Trunk or Treating” party. Sarah from Unforeseen Journey has your complete guide to setting up a fun Trunk or Treat gathering and encouraging your neighbors to get creative with their trunks!
7. Baking Cookies and other scary treats
Whether or not you host a get-together, baking or making treats can be a fun family Halloween activity with the kids. Pick out something to do together. Let them help you pick out the ingredients at the store and talk them through the recipe. Then let them help you every step of the way.
If you aren’t inclined to bake from scratch, there are, of course, easy slice and bake holiday cookies you can get at the store. Or you could buy the plain sugar cookie dough and involve the kids in decorating the cookies. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple!
Pam from Life, Creatively Organized, suggested these cute Halloween pretzels as an easy treat to make with kids. I love that you can make ghosts, goblins, and ogres.
8. Decorate the house
I love to get our whole family involved in decorating for every holiday. With our custody schedule, it isn’t always possible to have the kids there when we decorate, but when we do, I like for them to be a part of the process.
Including kids is a great way to get them into the holiday spirit – no matter what time of year. You can get their ideas, and ask for their input on where things should go.
It not only makes them feel some ownership, but it gets them excited for holidays and provides a great opportunity for some family bonding.
Just don’t make it a duty for them – they won’t want to participate if they feel like they have to. But if you make it fun, they’ll look forward to it each year.
One of my favorite decorations is a full size skeleton I bought when we moved into our house. Every year, I dress it up differently.
Last year our skeleton was a “she” – and boy she was fancy, with strings of fake pearls, beads, and a fascinator headpiece. We even gave her a skeleton bird with pearls.
This year, we’re going for more of a “dad” look.
Follow us on Instagram for our most recent decorations and much more!
9. Go On A Ghost Tour
Many cities have some form of ghost tour highlighting some local “haunts.”
We live in Northern Virginia and there’s a great ghost tour in Old Town Alexandria. The tour guides dress up in 1700’s-era garb and bring lanterns as they walk you through various sites in the town that are known for having ghosts.
Depending on the age of your kids, it’s a fun evening getting into the “spirit” of Halloween, so to speak. So check out whether your city offers anything like this.
I hope this has given you some great family Halloween ideas.
It’s such a fun and festive time of year and I love finding easy ways to include the whole family in the holiday!
If you have any other ideas for how to include the whole family in celebrating, please comment below!
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