6 Halloween Traditions to Create Spooky Fun Memories

by | Sep 10, 2018 | Kids, The Lists | 0 comments

Halloween is one of those holidays that kids naturally gravitate towards. After all, it’s all about fun, imagination, decorations, and candy. What’s not to love, right?! Many families trick-or-treat but there are many more ways to make the most of this creepily fun time of year. Consider adding one of the following Halloween traditions into the mix for novelty and excitement.

1 – Deliver Spooky Fun to Friends with Boo Bags

Halloween Traditions

When we first moved to our neighborhood, we received a Boo Bag for the first time: a surprise bag filled with Halloween trinkets. My son fell in love with these surprise bags and even, now, as a preteen, this is one of the Halloween traditions that he wants to continue.  

How to Do it Yourself

There are many ways you can do this but the basics are simple: put together a bag of Halloween goodies or make some Halloween treats. Leave them on the doorstep of a friend. Then, ring the doorbell before sneaking away so no one sees you. Don’t write your name on the gift.

When my kids were younger they would dress up in their costumes and follow the protocol but once their friends found the bags, they would come out of hiding and visit for a bit.

This is perfect for younger kids but you can change up what you give so that it works for people of all ages. One note – if you are going to give homemade food as a treat, make sure to let the recipients know who it is from so they feel safe eating it.

2 – Create Ambiance with a Halloween-Inspired Theme

halloween traditions

My kids can hardly wait until October 1st to start getting our house a bit spooky…or eerie…or just Halloweenish. Add a little structure to decorating and you’ve created a Halloween tradition the whole family will remember.

How to Do it Yourself

Pick a room – or your entire house if you are so inspired – and choose a theme to base your decorations around. Think monsters, ghosts, pumpkins, or, for older kids, you may choose to do something scary. Assign parts of the room and make everyone responsible for creating decorations or planning the layout.

With young children, this may mean having them draw ghosts to stick on the wall or helping them to wrap spider webs around trees. As your children get older, they can be responsible for coming up with their own decorations around the theme.

You could even make this a contest for older kids – two people decorate one room and two others take another room. Let an outside consultant (aka neighbor or friend) be the judge.

The idea is to have fun creating with your family…and maybe you’ll learn some new decorating skills along the way.

3 – Create Together with a Pumpkin Decorating Contest

One year my extended family held a pumpkin decorating contest and my kids have begged to do it ever since. This an easy way to record your kids changing tastes, abilities, and style.

How to Do it Yourself

Depending on the age and dispositions of your family, you can turn this into a contest or leave it just as a fun activity.

Each year, dedicate an afternoon to pumpkin decorating. You can pick themes or just let everyone go at it. Set up a table with the supplies needed: glue, sequins, pom poms, Sharpies, google eyes, etc. beforehand. If your children are young, you may want to teach them how to plan their design before going to work.

Play Halloween music during this time and set up some cardboard “walls” so the finished designs are a surprise. Really play up the unveiling of the pumpkins and let each person talk about the inspiration for their design and how they created their masterpiece.

Afterwards, set your decorated pumpkins in a place of honor and make sure to take a family photo with the pumpkins. As they get older, your kids will love to see their old designs as well as how much their skills have evolved over the years. This is one of those Halloween traditions that easily grows along with your kids. 

Halloween traditions

4 – Mark the Occasion with Pumpkin Picking Out Day

Halloween traditions


One of my favorite memories is when we took my son to a pumpkin patch when he was about three. He wanted to buy every pumpkin and kept loading them into our wagon to take home. We trailed behind him, covertly pulling out the pumpkins when he wasn’t looking!

How to Do it Yourself

Whether you go to a bonafide pumpkin patch or run up to the grocery store to buy a few pumpkins, you can create lovely memories by making the day an official Halloween Tradition – introducing Pumpkin-Picking-Out-Day.

Along with picking out the pumpkins, celebrate the day by going on a family picnic. Usually October brings wonderful weather and is perfect for spending a few hours eating, playing outside games, and just hanging out.

Consider bringing a few food or drink items that add to the tradition such as donuts and cider, apple pie, pumpkin muffins, or any other food that you’d like to see on an autumn menu.

5 – Cuddle Together during a Scary Movie Marathon

Halloween tradition

When I was a kid I watched this movie that scared the  out of me – you guys would make fun of me if I told you the name – so I never evolved into a horror movie fan. But, I still enjoy this version of a scary movie marathon.

How to Do it Yourself

This is just what it sounds like – movie nights inspired by Halloween and or scary themes. And whether you do it as a marathon close to Halloween or space out the movies during the month of October doesn’t matter. Simply pick some great “scary” movies and consider adding some Halloweenish snacks.

If your kids are young or they don’t like scary movies – mine don’t at all – then just pick some Halloween cartoons – Barney: Halloween Party, Bugs Bunny’s Halloween Hijinx, Arthur and the Haunted Tree House.

We like to watch non-horror but a bit “creepy” type of movies such as: Ghostbusters (the original and the newest one), Goosebumps, Gremlins, The Goonies, and E.T.

If you already have a family movie night, this is an easy Halloween tradition to start. 

6 – Inspire Excitement with Boo For You Surprises

halloween traditions

Another fun Halloween tradition to consider starting is Boo For You Surprises.

There’s something exciting about surprises. This is an easy way to leverage the surprise factor to create a Halloween tradition that is open-ended enough to grow with the kids or change based on interests and time.

How to Do it Yourself

Write each of the three words – Boo For You – on three separate envelopes. Decorate them with Halloween stickers or paper. Inside each envelope, include a note with hints about a fun surprise Halloween activity. This doesn’t need to be anything elaborate of fancy, just something a bit out-of-the ordinary and Halloweenish.

Each weekend leading up to Halloween, let the kids open one of the envelops and have fun participating in the activity together.

Here are a few activities and outings you can use as your surprises:

Halloween Traditions Go Beyond Costumes

Halloween traditionsNo matter what you choose to do to mark Halloween, take a few pictures so you can look back over the years and talk about the Halloween traditions you shared together.

Have some spooky fun!