When I was a child I wasn’t really allowed to do anything for Halloween so I never went trick-or-treating or did any of the usual Halloween activities. Since having children I’ve thrown myself into it and we do quite a few different things so here are our Halloween traditions.
This is always one of our favourite Halloween traditions and it can get quite competitive. We have one pumpkin per person and everyone chooses their own design. Normally we like to go to a pumpkin patch to get them (Over Farm is our favourite because they have so much going on but there are lots of other places in Gloucestershire) but I was a bit slow out of the starting blocks this year and didn’t book. Instead, we are trying to go for a more eco/low-cost Halloween. We bought our pumpkins in Aldi when we did the shopping and they were a bargain at 99p each.
Pumpkin carving is a big event in our house, we all gather together around the table and carve them at the same time. To help get us in the mood, we listen to our Halloween Playlist on Alexa. (Get a 3-month free trial of Amazon Music with this link). We then hollow them out as much as we can and put all the insides into a bucket so that I can separate it all out to roast the flesh then make soup and roast the seeds for a tasty snack. Daddy Dino & The Unicorn tend to get all creative and freehand their designs whereas The Dinosaur and I use a template so that we can get a nice image. You could even make a whole day of it by trying these fun at-home Halloween activities.
Decorate The House
Once the pumpkins are decorated, they go outside the front door with the other decorations. Another Halloween tradition we like to follow is decorating the house, we don’t go too mad and we don’t make it terrifying. We tend to stick to child-appropriate decorations. We use the same decorations every year and maybe add one or two new items each year. This helps us to save money and reduce waste. This is what we have accumulated over the years:
- Glittery coffin with witches legs poking out
- Cat, ghost and pumpkin projector
- Zombie hand and sign
- Enter if you dare doormat
- Day of the Dead wreath
- Jewel encrusted skull
- Halloween table mats and spider web table runner
- Trick-or-treat signs
- Rubber bat
- Halloween lanterns
- Skull fairy lights
- Pumpkin tea light holder
- New for this year: knitted pumpkins (thank you, Mum!)
- New for this year: Pop-up coffin
Trick or Treating
Of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween if we didn’t follow one of the classic Halloween traditions: trick or treating! In 2020 we didn’t go and knock on doors as usual but we did go for a Halloween walk. The children and I dressed up in our costumes and went for a walk around our neighbourhood. Every time we saw a decorated house or a pumpkin outside or in the window, the children turned to me and said “trick or treat” and I gave them some sweets to go in their buckets. This way they got to go trick or treating, we got to maintain social distancing and we got our daily exercise.
Every year we ask the children what they would like to dress up as and we either make their costume out of things we already have, they choose a dressing up costume they already own or we buy a new costume that is then reused in the dressing up box. This year The Unicorn is studying the ancient Egyptians at school and will be going to school dressed up as an Egyptian at some point so she had a new Dinosaur Outfit“>dinosaur outfit will get a lot of wear out of it, to be honest, I’m amazed he hasn’t tried to sleep in it!
We love to watch a Halloween film together but nothing too scary so this roundup of non-scary Halloween movies for children is a perfect inspiration.
As I’ve already mentioned I like to make pumpkin soup and roasted pumpkin seeds for snacking with the pumpkin carving ‘waste’ but other fun foods that make excellent Halloween traditions are:
- Eyeballs & Worms (spaghetti & meatballs)
- Fingers (hot dogs)
- Spooky Sandwiches (sandwiches made with Halloween-shaped cutters)
- Swamp Pudding (lime jelly with gummy snakes and crumbled chocolate cake earth)
- Fruity Pumpkins (from The Mum Diaries)
- Halloween Cake Pops (from Casa Costello)
- Halloween Breakfasts (from Boo, Roo & Tigger too)
- Grazing Board (from Treasure Every Moment)
- Spooky Risotto (from The Mama Fairy)
We normally like to go to Spookyard at Over Farm but I was too late to book this year. Instead, we are going to be going to do The Scary Fairy Trail at The River Severn Fairy Trail. This looks as though it’s going to be a fantastic event because you get to explore the farm by torchlight, try and avoid the troll and work together to solve the clues and decipher the message. As a reward for all that hard work, we can relax around the fire, snuggle up in the blankets (kindly provided by the farm) and eat some delicious-sounding food from The Native Kitchen.