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Fall Festivities: Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween With Your Family

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Halloween Activities—When I was a kid, Halloween meant all-night sugar highs, handmade costumes, and outdoor neighborhood trick-or-treating … ah, the good ole days! Treats were mainly candy, and the tricks … well, let’s just say, toilet papered trees caused many parents distress! Today’s fall traditions include family-themed costumes, pumpkin carving, and Halloween parties for kids (and adults).

Celebrating Halloween With Your Family

Carving and Decorating Pumpkins

Have you ever wondered how your neighbors create amazing, meticulous jack-o-lanterns? They’ve become so intricate and there are even entire festivals dedicated to this art form.

I used to think my neighbors were artistic geniuses. Their pumpkins featured spiders, cats, amazing pumpkin faces, witches on a broom, and more. Then I discovered the secret carving trick: stencils! You can carve with a knife or with a drill. There’s no need to be a genuine artist. Use a pen or exacto to score through the stencil. Then carve along your marks and voila.

Making Halloween Treats

After you carve your pumpkin, roast the seeds. Toss them in a bowl with cooking oil. Season with salt and cayenne pepper for a spicy treat or cinnamon sugar. Spread them thinly on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.

Smores are a wonderful bonfire treat. Other traditional treats include caramel popcorn balls, rice crispy treats, and homemade sugar cookies. For a Halloween party activity, involve the kids in decorating cookies.

Playing Halloween Party Games

Today trick-or-treating isn’t often an option, so go to a party. If you’re the planner, remember the Halloween party games! Carnival party games are definitely a Halloween tradition: bobbing for apples, throwing darts at fortune filled balloons, tossing rings over bottles, horseshoes, etc.

For safer games, try “pin the nose on the pumpkin”. Play it just as you do Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but use an actual pumpkin. Decorate your pumpkin with eyes and a mouth for reference.

Halloween piñatas make the perfect candy dispersing game. Fill your piñata with treats, and non-candy items. Yoyos, spider rings, matchbox cars and tops make fun filling.

Dressing Up in Family-Themed Costumes

One of the most fun, new Halloween traditions is dressing up as a family. If you’re looking for Halloween costume ideas, consider dressing up the entire family. Group costumes are popular in Halloween costume contests like the one we have each year at

Dress up as an entourage of Smurfs, pirates, superheroes, or characters from a movie or series like Harry Potter or Sesame Street.

Going to a Pumpkin Patch

A trip to a pumpkin patch is an event your kids will always remember. Just like picking out a Christmas tree, selecting a pumpkin is just as magical. Hay bail mazes, hot chocolate, Halloween treats, and hay rides are fun for kids of all ages.

What are your Halloween traditions? What does your family like to do to celebrate Halloween? What will your Halloween plans include this year?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

This article was submitted by Jennifer Scheffel of She writes about party ideas for folks of all ages, decorating tips, party recipes, and of course, spooky and inspiring Halloween party ideas.

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Jennifer Scheffel loves to share her ideas on celebrating once in a livetime events as well as making every day special. She writes about party ideas for kids of all ages, money saving and frugal living tips, party recipes and planning tips.

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