I love everything about Halloween, from decorating the front porch to sipping apple cider, stocking up on my favorite candy and catching the classic Halloween movies that play on TV all month long. And it’s important to me that my family builds some fun Halloween traditions together, even if they don’t involve trick-or-treating. There’s still plenty to do if you want to skip that trip around the neighborhood, and yes, candy can be involved at every turn if you so desire. These five activities are fun for the whole family — and don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying the night as much as your kids!
1. Hold a pumpkin-carving contest
Getting up to your elbows in orange goo is the perfect bonding activity for the whole family. Clean and hollow your pumpkins together, reserving the seeds so you can roast them for a snack. Then everyone can get to work carving their perfect pumpkin (with adults helping the little ones, of course). Have the kids judge the adults’ handiwork, and vice versa. The winners get to have their pumpkins displayed in the most prominent spot outside… and everyone gets some candy to celebrate.
2. Host a costume fashion show
If your family is anything like mine, you have the remains of dozens of Halloween costumes in the back of your closet, wishing and hoping for their second chance at the spotlight. And this is it. Challenge your family to hold a fashion show using mixed and matched pieces from your old costumes. Make a playlist for walking down the runway, swap the red carpet for some creepy black felt, and pull out your old disco ball and strobe light. The results are sure to be spooky, silly and downright fashionable.
3. Have a spooky-movie marathon
My family always saved our epic movie marathons for New Year’s Eve, but Halloween offers a distinct advantage: candy. Stock up on all your favorite sweets, and have everyone pick the family-friendly Halloween flick of their choosing. From The Witches to Monsters, Inc., these movies are perfect for watching on chilly autumn nights when the whole crew can get nice and cozy inside.
4. Make a haunted gingerbread house
Why save your gingerbread house talents for winter? It’s even more fun to create an edible mansion when it’s supposed to look creepy. Get the family together to make cobwebs of icing, gummy candy Frankensteins, marshmallow ghosts and strawberry sauce blood decorations to adorn your haunted cookie house. The scariest part of your night will be deciding who gets to take the coveted first bite (I call roof!).
5. Play costume tag
Crisp fall evenings are perfect for outdoor activities, especially if you have a big yard or live near a park. And what better game to get the blood pumping than tag? But tag is even more fun when the person who’s it is dressed as a zombie, witch or cartoon character. Wearing your costumes to play injects some zany, silly fun into a game that’s already full of laughs. To level the playing field, have the grownups and older kids wear masks that make it a little harder to see — the kids can run after them as they lurch like monsters trying to get away.
This post was sponsored by HERSHEY’S KISSES.