The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing to beautiful colors, and Halloween stores are popping up everywhere while the candy options are endless.
Fall is officially here and Halloween is just around the corner! How much do you know about this creative and thrilling holiday?
Do you have your own Halloween family traditions or are you still trying to find one that your family looks forward to each year?
Ann and I wrote this post so you could have everything you need to know about Halloween. It’s a great time to be with family and to enjoy the thankful meaning the season brings to each of us.
We’ve decided to break it down from its personalized meaning during this time of year to modern celebration ideas to helpful safety tips. Keep these Halloween “tricks” handy for when this time of year “creeps” upon you. 🙂
What is the meaning of Halloween?
Here’s the thing, Halloween can be perceived by some as a time to be “this” or “that” and go all out with the gory and scary. Some people take it to the next level….. and some just do cute things but there can be a balance.
Halloween can mean many things to many people all over the world. For us, it’s a time to focus on the season of Fall as a whole, with gratitude leading up to Thanksgiving (Ann’s very favorite holiday).
Fall and Halloween time, in general, is a “gratitude” season of the year. It is a time where we put extra emphasis on expressing our thanks, especially during our nightly prayer time.
We might not go all out and do the scary and gory stuff, but we do celebrate this beautiful time of year by doing some of the following:
4 Awesome Halloween Celebration Ideas for the Whole Family:
1. For the younger kids, go Trick-or-Treating on Halloween evening:
To start, make sure you have the following ready:
- Recite what they will say upon arriving at each door to get candy
Such as, “Trick-or-Treat” and “Thank you” (after all, this is a great way to teach thankfulness and manners as they receive kind gifts from neighbors)
Besides, “trick-or-treat”, do you have a family-friendly “playground” Halloween jingle that you recite as a family? Share it in the comments!
- Get the trick-or-treating bags ready to collect the candy
A candy bag, pail, pumpkin-shaped bucket, pillowcase (which holds more, haha), or craft your own fun and colorful bag by decorating a plain paper lunch sack or grocery bag.
- Be prepared for the Fall weather
Since we live in the midwest and it’s always either really cold or raining, we make sure the kids have gloves, hats, and are dressed warmly in their costumes. Sometimes we push our kids to pick costumes that are warm, haha. Parent-truth!
We also allow the costumes to be non-scary only so the kids don’t get scared or have sleepless nights (just a Timm household rule for when they were younger).
- Go over with each kid the rules for safe trick-or-treating
Here are some that we follow in the Timm household:
- Wear flame-resistant costumes and masks that allow for clear vision.
- Watch out for any props, like beards, wigs, and capes, that can get caught.
- Have everyone wear sturdy shoes to prevent twisted ankles.
- Always stay with your group and never deviate from the chosen route.
- Keep walkways and front stoops free of obstacles (candles, jack-o’-lanterns) that might cause someone to trip, and inspect all candy before the kids dive in.
2. For the older kids, volunteer to pass out candy throughout the Halloween season
Such as, volunteering at the schools, the church’s trunk or treats, the local zoo events, or town square celebrations. Our teens have a great time volunteering and look forward to doing this each year.
With Halloween, it’s hard not to think about pumpkins, gourds, mums, squashes, and more. Throughout the years, we’ve found the following pumpkin ideas to use for some awesome family time.
3. Use these easy pumpkin ideas that the family will actually enjoy:
- Visit a pumpkin patch
If pumpkins can be grown in your part of the world, try to find a pumpkin patch to visit. Many pumpkin patches offer fall festivals on autumn weekends – plus, you can choose your own pumpkins, or even pick your own pumpkin right out of the patch.
- Decorate with pumpkins
If you don’t feel like doing much with your pumpkins, they look great on their own – stack a pile of pumpkins by your front door, and you have an easy peasy harvest decoration.
If you want to get creative and avoid a big gooey mess, decorate your pumpkins – or gourds – with acrylic paint (they’ll withstand rainy days better). Sketch out your idea first, and then get painting. (Use any interesting features on your pumpkin – warts, etc. – for inspiration.)
And, if you’re feeling really creative, decorate your pumpkins with props – turn them into people with hats or accessories.
If painting is not your thing……
- Carve a pumpkin
Carved pumpkins won’t last as long as painted pumpkins (they rot much quicker), but it can be so fun to scoop out gooey pumpkin guts with your family!
Carefully use a sharp knife and sketch out where you’d like to carve. Then, get an adult to carve the top or bottom out, and scoop all the gooey pumpkin guts. (Save the seeds for a healthy snack!) Once the pumpkin is empty, have an adult carefully carve out the sketch. Then, add a candle (real or LED), and enjoy your glowing work of art!
- Roast pumpkin seeds
This is one of my favorites and so yummy! After you’ve scooped out all of the pumpkin seeds, separate them into a bowl and rinse well.
When the water is drained and any pumpkin flesh is rinsed off, toss the seeds in olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with salt and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. (Stir every 10 minutes, to avoid burnt seeds.)
Once the seeds are finished baking, let cool and enjoy.
Make sure to munch on your fair share of roasted pumpkin seeds: they’re filled with phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, and protein.
- Eat pumpkin goodies
This is the perfect time of year to eat pumpkin treats. You can make your own pumpkin puree, or buy your own at the store. (Stick with the 100 percent pure pumpkin puree and not the canned pumpkin pie filling.)
Turn your pumpkin puree into pancakes, cookies, cakes, pies, and plenty of other fall goodies.
What’s your favorite thing to do with a pumpkin?
Last but not least, and my FAVORITE Fall and Halloween tradition is to……
4. Have a big party near Halloween called Fall Fun Fest
This is my absolute favorite thing to do during this time of the year with the family. We have so much fun because we have a bonfire going with treats, glow in the dark stuff, and we sometimes dress up.
This gives us all a chance to wind down from the hectic schedules by using the bonfire as a place to gather, be thankful, and tell funny stories from our memories of the past.
We LOVE doing this as a family. These are the stories that we’ll keep sharing even after the Halloween fun has dissipated. So cool!
Ann and I have had so much fun with our kids throughout the years and even though they’re teens now, these traditions still live on and new ones always appear. These memories never fade and it’s truly a great time of year for everyone to reflect on their blessings, celebrate in their memories, and have some great family fun.
We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween year after year and make many memories with your family as we have with ours.