Halloween is such a special holiday for us as a family – and yes, even as Christians. There’s just something about the season turning a little bit colder (even though global warming is, for sure, playing a part with much of the country still experiencing 80-90 degree weather…), all of the autumn decor, pumpkins, and spiced goodies baking in the kitchen. It’s pretty hard to not take it all in and feel the warm and cozies.
Ever since we were married we planned and prepared each Halloween season to be more of an experience. We love watching the classic horror movies and, of course, a few Hocus Pocus viewings in between. The year leading up to Greyson’s birth we would sit and plan out the movies we wanted to watch as the 31st approached and think up creative appetizers or cocktails that would be inspired be each night’s movie.
Every year that passes Greyson loves Halloween more and more. Even out of season he’s curious and takes interest in pumpkins, skeletons, and “spooky” things. Playing hide and go seek is a favorite – especially trying to find Daddy lurking in the dark passages of our apartment.
In it all, we’ve managed to add things here and there to keep each season alive and full of new experiences. Here are our family’s favorite Halloween traditions!
Also…feel free to follow our family’s hashtag #verydanielhalloween for all of our Halloween shenanigans!
Haunted Gingerbread Houses
We love a good gingerbread house during Christmas, but I love that there’s a haunted gingerbread house kit! I usually buy additional icing and candies to decorate with (the ones in the kit are never enough- it brings out our creativity each year). Greyson gets in on the action, too, but he’s mostly the master of eating said candies instead of actually decorating with them…how can I blame him?
If I could pick just one thing we do that I LOVE every single year it’s whipping up these fun appetizers and dinner ideas. We select our favorite movies and think up (thanks to Pinterest) meals that are inspired by that film. These were apps we made for watching Hocus Pocus. We made goat cheese and prosciutto “broomsticks” , chocolate “witch fingers”, and “dead mans toes” made from bacon wrapped dates and sausage.
- thin bread sticks
- green melting chocolate
- pretzel sticks and dipping containers
- chocolate covered almonds
Over the years our movie selections have included a lot more family friendly titles, but it’s nevertheless fun to do and have Grey be a part of it all. We would watch Curious George’s Boo Fest on Hulu and munch of these Rice Krispies pumpkins or have grey help in making pumpkin spiced cupcakes!
…or these mummified hot dogs and jalapeno poppers!
- Wilton candy eyeballs (just for decoration)
I have come to learn over the years that growing up on the east coast has spoiled me when it comes to fall. All of the traditional fall-esque things to do like apple picking are easily accessible and in-season. On the flip side, living in California for the past five years have taught me otherwise. I was originally disappointed to find out that apples weren’t even in season to pick in the fall out here so I had to be okay with harvesting other kinds of fruits like berries, peaches, and tomatoes. This website helps to find local “U-Pick” farms in California and I’m sure other states have something similar.
Visit a local pumpkin patch
This is an obvious choice for something to enjoy regardless of whether you have kids or not. I loved taking Grey to Underwood Family Farms when we lived in Ventura, but this year I’m on the hunt for local farms in the San Diego/La Jolla area that hosts pumpkin patches.