As you know, we really enjoy the Halloween season. There is just so much to do that it is very easy to get caught up running from one activity to another. It is also very easy to get overwhelmed by all the different options. And while some people like to spend the season out and about others prefer to remain nice and cozy at home. I’m here to help both types of people and the ones that sometimes like to go out and sometimes prefer to stay in. I’m really not sure why it took me so long to put this list together but without further ado, I present to you 13 ways to celebrate the Halloween season. You can do one or all of the things on the list. If you have a way that I haven’t included please let me know in the comments.
- Decorate – We have a shelf in our home that gets decorated for the season or holiday. We have been doing this since JustaBXgirl was tiny and include things that she creates on the shelf as well. Now that she is growing up she has taken over the shelf decorating and likes me to see it after she is finished. She painstakingly goes through each decoration and decides who fits where and who will remain in the box hoping to be chosen next year. I get to decorate the door and the corner of the landing we share with our neighbors. When the day comes that we have a front yard we will more than likely be the ostentatious neighbors with huge decorative displays on our lawn! One of my favorite ways to get decorations is to wait until the day after a holiday and then go shopping for things on clearance. Not only does this save money but by the time the holiday comes back around JustaBXgirl (and I) have forgotten about the new items and they become surprises waiting in the box to be used.
2. Pumpkin Picking – Tis the season to go picking. Apples and pumpkins get lots of love this time of year. Yup, if you live in a city then you can easily go to the local supermarket or fruit stand and buy a pumpkin BUT there is nothing like letting your city kid head out to a farm and pick pumpkins, go on hay rides, get lost in corn mazes, drink apple cider, and spend the day in the country air. One thing I learned this year is that most of these places only operate during the weekend which makes a lot of sense unless you’re someone like me that homeschools and wants to do things while other people are busy because I don’t like crowds!
3. Pumpkin Carving/Painting – Now that you’ve gotten more pumpkins than you needed pumpkin picking you need to do something with them all. Depending on the size of the pumpkin and the age of your little you might choose to use paint to decorate the pumpkins rather than carving. Personally, I prefer painting over cutting because I think the pumpkins last longer that way. If you choose to carve you can do things like guess how many seeds are inside, make pumpkin pie, and see how many pieces of candy corn you can stuff in the pumpkin until it spits them all out. If you choose to paint then you can set a theme and have the family coordinate their pumpkins to match or you can use washable paint and change the pumpkins’ faces daily.
4. Boo at the Zoo – I first heard of Boo at the Zoo before I became a mom. I remember staffing a promotional event at one about 12 years ago and thinking how cool it sounded. Fast forward to me becoming a mom and having to learn about fun things to do with a little. I was really happy to learn that The Bronx Zoo hosts one as well. And I say with great pride that we have visited it every year since JustaBXgirl’s first Halloween. Most years we go at least twice.
5. Read Halloween Books – We love reading. You can find me and JustaBXgirl with our noses in books year-round. The Halloween season gives us even more reasons to read. We read recipes for fun food like in the Hocus Pocus Unofficial Cookbook. You might remember that I shared it here last year. JustaBXgirl also likes to read Goosebumps books. Did you know they make Goosebumps graphic novels? There are all types of Halloween books to read. Some are scary, some are funny, some are whimsical, and some are warm and heartfelt. Whatever genre you like, Halloween has you covered!
6. Haunted Houses – JustaBXgrandpa got to check out Blood Manor earlier this month and has been telling everyone about it. Read our review then check it out yourself. There are also other haunted house events happening that might not be as scary if you’re looking for something more appropriate for younger littles. These events can get a little expensive so my suggestion is to find one that works for the entire family and make that one of the big celebrations for the season.
7. Tell Scary Stories – I believe anytime we can make learning fun we should. Giving littles the skill of storytelling is a gift that keeps on giving. Spending time together making up stories can be fun any time of the year. Add in the Halloween season and the stories can get really outrageous. This can be a fun activity to do at home or on the go. You can set the theme of the story or let the littles go wild. The best part is that you can do this a number of times and get different stories each telling!
8. Halloween House Hunt – One of our favorite things to do is to drive around and find places that have been decorated for Halloween. People are so creative. This is something that can be done in the daytime or nighttime. I will share though that most people don’t turn their animatronics on until the sun goes down so if you want to see the Halloween displays come to life you might want to wait until the evening time.
9. Costume Party – Everyone wants to do the Monster Boogie right about now. Why not host a costume party? In fact, why not have two? Have one for the littles and then another for you and your friends. I bet you can even play many of the same games at both. Who doesn’t want to bob for apples, make some mummies or pin the teeth on the vampire? You can set up a really fun playlist with Halloween hits. And you can add Mabel’s Labels Halloween Labels Gift Pack to the goodie bags. We love an excuse to get new labels!
10. Watch Halloween Movies – You could truly just sit home watching movies all month and still not see every Halloween or scary movie. A lot of us watch the same movies every year for the holiday but I’m challenging you to watch at least two new ones. And I’m making the challenge two movies because if you’re anything like me then you have already watched Hocus Pocus 2. This is one that can be done in a number of ways too. You can binge-watch a Halloween series like Michael Myers, watch really old horror films like The Blob, or check out family-fun Halloween-themed movies.
11. 31 Days of Halloween Countdown Calendar – Ferrero kicked off their campaign with a $25,000 donation to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We were able to get countdown calendars on their site until September 15th. I had never thought of doing a countdown to Halloween with a calendar as we do for Christmas. Now, I’m wondering why didn’t I. JustaBXgirl loves opening the doors to see what she gets. And we’re having a lot of fun recording what’s behind each door for you. Head over to my IG page to see what she’s gotten. This was a great value at $31 (whispers, you get over 31 pieces of candy) AND it supported a great cause.
12. Halloween Paint Party – When I used to host kids’ paint parties Halloween was a very popular time. We would have pop-up events for the kids to come out and take home a masterpiece AND a lot of parents would choose to host a paint party rather than a Monster Bash. The ideas of what to paint are endless. After the event is over the creations can become part of the decor. At home, we have Jack O’Lanterns, black cats, and witch hats all painted by JustaBXgirl on display this time of year.
13. Trick or Treat – You didn’t think I was leaving this off of the list, did you? All year long, we tell our littles don’t talk to strangers, don’t accept gifts from strangers, then Halloween comes and the rules go out the window. We let our littles get dressed up and go to strangers’ houses ringing doorbells to ask for candy from the strangers that answer! Trick or treating is probably JustaBXgirl’s favorite part of Halloween. Last year was the first year that she ever rang a stranger’s bell. In NYC, we normally go to stores to do trick or treating. Last year, we visited family and JustaBXgirl was able to go trick or treating with her godbrother and godsister living the suburban life.