When I was young, my parents started Halloween traditions that hold a place in my heart today. Mom still calls every Hallow’s Eve to ensure we are watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Like me, I’m sure you enjoy discovering new traditions with your kids while honoring past ones. Read on for ten Halloween traditions to consider.

Visit a pumpkin patch

Start the holiday right with a trip to a real pumpkin patch. There you can choose gourds to decorate and display. Visit pumpkinpatchesandmore.org to find a patch near you.

Carve the pumpkin you purchased from your patch visit

Perhaps wait until Halloween day to carve your festive fruit. Check out zombiepumpkins.com for more than 240 designs and templates to help with carving a more unique countenance than the usual grinning jack-o-lantern.

Prepare a tasty snack

After you’re done working on your masterpiece, toast the leftover pumpkin seeds instead of throwing them away. This crunchy snack is chock full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also a wonderful option to give to trick-or-treaters. Head to allrecipes.com for various takes on the treat.

Ring and run

A new trend has taken flight called Booing, in which a phantom leaves a treat and a note on someone’s doorstep before disappearing to avoid getting caught. Kids will love waiting until dark to sneak over to their friends’ houses to leave treats undetected. Treats might include plastic cups filled with Halloween-themed items, such as pencils, erasers, spider rings or candy. Explore beenbooed.com to learn how to boo your friends and neighbors.

Watch Halloween shows and movies

Depending on the ages of your kids, watch a themed or scary TV show or movie like Coraline or The Haunted Mansion.

Make use of holiday hues

Get your clan’s creative juices flowing by favoring things in orange in black. For example, paint your daughter’s nails orange and black, eat Devil’s food cupcakes with orange frosting and color holiday printouts from halloween-coloring.com.

Dress up

For inspiration, check out pinterest.com for ideas for homemade costumes made from recycled materials.

Attend a trunk or treat

The event lets a community celebrate the fall holiday together. Trunk or treats are usually held in parking lots, or churches, community centers or schools in the case of inclement weather. To participate, adorn your car’s trunk with holiday trinkets and props, and pass out treats. Read local magazines and call a few places where people tend to congregate to see if your area has a trunk or treat planned. See trunkortreat.homestead.com for ideas on how to decorate your car.


Gather your costume-clad clan for trick or treating through your neighborhood, or head to the mall if the weather stinks. Some families leave one parent at home to hand out candy while the other takes the kiddies out. Whatever your style is, make sure you keep the routine year after year to instill tradition.


End the holiday with a miniature sugar coma for you and your kids. I love watching my children count and trade candy, then eat their way through each stash until Thanksgiving. I also take a picture of my kids sitting in their huge piles of candy for a great scrapbook keepsake. Before indulging, however, confirm that all candy wrappers are properly sealed. And of course, limit daily sugar intake to a healthy dose.

Marshmallow Ghosts
Marshmallow Ghosts

IngredientsMarshmallows Chocolate chips Lollipop or popsicle sticks Styrofoam Decorating gelDirectionsStick marshmallows onto the lollipop sticks, and place in freezer for about 15 minutes until cold. While the marshmallows are chilling, slowly heat one cup of chocolate chips on a simmering heat in a double-boiler, stirring constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove the marshmallows from the freezer and dip them lightly in the melted chocolate for a thin coating. To lend a mummy look to the marshmallows, swirl them so layers of white wrap around the confections. Dunk marshmallows to make a twisted peak on top for ghosts. To make other dunked marshmallows reminiscent of Frankenstein, smooth the chocolate with the flat part of a spoon. Use a block of Styrofoam in which to stick the marshmallow pops for cooling in the refrigerator. After the treats harden, add faces with decorating gel. Paint eyes and mouths directly on the marshmallow characters.YieldNutrition

Gravestone Brownies
Gravestone Brownies

Ingredients3/4 c. all-purpose flour 3/4 c. cocoa powder 3/4 tsp. salt 15 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 1½ c. sugar 2 tsp. vanilla extract 3 large eggs ½ c. semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips) Gravestone ingredients: Gray construction paper Scissors Toothpicks TapeDirectionsPreheat oven to 325 °F. Whisk the first three ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a standing mixer or bowl, whisk the melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until combined then slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into a greased and parchment lined 9x13 baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Cool, cut into bars with a serrated knife and top with gravestones. To make gravestones, cut gray construction paper into stones and decorate as desired. Place a toothpick on the backside of the stone, attach with a piece of tape and poke the gravestone toothpick into the brownie.YieldServes 14Nutrition

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