The Ultimate Guide to Halloween Traditions

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Holiday traditions are so important to my family and Halloween is no exception. So let’s kick off the spookiest season of the year with the ultimate guide to Halloween traditions 2019. Halloween is my son’s absolute favorite holiday so each year, so 31 days straight, I try to pack in all the Halloween themed fun my family can handle. Some things are quick and easy – not too complicated – but fun all the same. Each other in mid-September we sit down as a family and write out what we want to do to help celebrate Halloween. We try to mix it up each year by adding in new things, but there some Halloween traditions remain the same every year.

The best Halloween traditions include:

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Creating a haunted gingerbread house

My kids L-O-V-E building gingerbread houses at Christmastime so they were thrilled when the found these haunted gingerbread houses to make. We usually try to make ours on the 1st of October to use as decoration for the month.

Visit a pumpkin patch

What screams Halloween more than visiting a pumpkin patch? They are some fantastic pumpkin patches local to NYC so my family and I try a new one each year. Does your family have a pumpkin patch tradition?

Carve pumpkins

The night we get home from the pumpkin patch it’s time to sit and carve our pumpkins. We usually use this carving set, but often my husband uses his drill to carve out our pumpkins.

Make handprint bats

One of our favorite traditions for any holiday includes making handprint crafts. Handprint crafts are simple for even the smallest set of hands and act as a great reminder for wonderful family memories.

Find a special Trick or Treat event

If my kids could trick or treat every day they would! Thankfully NYC has TONS of Trick or Treat events leading up to the big day. Last year our school hosted it’s first ever Trunk or Treat and honestly I can’t wait to do that again! Do you have fun Trick or Treating events in your area? Let me know in the comments.

Plan a costume party

Costume parties can be a great way to extend the Halloween season and don’t have to be hard. Some pizza, a few snacks, maybe a game or two and everyone’s favorite costumes.

Make a special Halloween dessert

Baking Halloween themed desserts is one of our favorite Halloween traditions.I’m always looking for fun new Halloween themed treats – do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?

RELATED POST: Halloween Baking Essentials

Make caramel apples

Caramel apples are my personal favorite. This year we decided to test out a caramel apple bar for a Halloween themed movie night. We can’t wait!

Eat candy corn

Love it or hate it – candy corn is a Halloween staple! How do you feel about it? Personally, I’m not a huge fan, but I don’t hate it either.

Bake an apple or pumpkin pie (or both)

Once again we are back to baking – can ya tell my family loves to bake together? Apple and pumpkin pies are our favorite type of pies. What’s yours?

Play a Halloween theme game

Family game nights are huge in our house. We try to make up our own games but this year we plan on playing Halloween Bingo.

Attend a local Halloween parade

At the beginning of every October, our neighborhood hosts a Halloween themed parade. It’s such a great time! Do you have a Halloween parade in your area?

Read a Halloween themed book for 31 spooky nights

Reading as a family is easily one of my favorite holiday traditions and the perfect way to get excited for Halloween!

RELATED POST: 31 Classic Halloween Stories

Take an evening walk with flashlights to see the decorations

My kids love to see how our neighbors decorate for Halloween. One Friday night before Halloween, we go for a walk through the neighborhood to check out all of the decorations.

Make a fun Halloween breakfast

Ghost pancakes, witch hat fruit kabobs or Frankenstein egg sandwiches are just a few things you could make for a fun Halloween themed breakfast.

Plan a fun Halloween movie night

Movie nights are H-U-G-E in our home and we make it a habit to watch one Halloween themed movie in October. Our family favorite is Hocus Pocus.

RELATED POST: Not So Spooky Halloween Movies for Families

Have a Halloween crafting session

Crafts are a great way to create family holiday traditions. Halloween is such a great time to test out a new craft.

Create a spooky mantel

Drink apple cider

Apple cider is the perfect pairing for any and all of your pre-Halloween activities.

Put up fake cobwebs

Decorating for Halloween is so much fun and adding fake cobwebs add a fun element to all of your Halloween celebrations.

Bob for apples

This classic Halloween game is a must do tradition every year to keep the magic alive.

Go on a hayride

Hayrides are a fun way to get in the spirit of Halloween.

Light fall scented candles

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin – mmm the best smell! Lighting a scented candle defintely sets the mood for your Halloween fun.

Go to a corn maze

Corn mazes are a great tradition to help you get ready to celebrate Halloween.

Attend Trunk or Treat

Like I said I LOVED our Trunk or Treat party last year. It was easily the highlight of Halloween 2018 and I’m already in full planning mode for this year.

Scare a neighbor

This is something new we are adding into the mix for 2019. We are going to make “boo bags” for our neighbors as a fun way to get them excited for Halloween.

Collect autumn leaves

My kids look forward to jumping in the leaves every Fall.

Final Thoughts

No matter what you decide to do, Halloween is another time dedicated to spending time as a family. You can do as little or as much as you want to help you get excited for the scariest day of the year. As I mentioned, my son is Halloween is obsessed so I go all out to help keep the magic alive while he’s still young. Does that mean you should too? No! You have to do what works for you and your family. I would L-O-V-E to hear what you do for Halloween? Please share your family Halloween traditions in the comments.


Happy Halloween!

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  1. Some great fun ideas here! Thanks for sharing 😉

    Halloween is my favorite season and I’m always looking for ways to stretch it out!

    1. I’m so happy you liked the post! Halloween is my sons favorite so I do everything I can to make it last as long as possible.

  2. I love the 31 nights of spooky books and Halloween theme breakfast. Unfortunately, where I live in the south if we went walking to the neighbors house at night with flashlights it wouldn’t end pretty :/. Great ideas!

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