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14 Halloween Traditions Your Family Will Look Forward to Every Year

Halloween is such a fun holiday, especially for kids. Spooky decorations, dressing up however you want, and infinite candy… Yes, please! But, as with most good things, there’s still room to make Halloween just a little bit better. If you want to make Halloween an even more fun and memorable time for your children, try adding a new tradition this year! This list of 14 Halloween Traditions is sure to give you plenty of ideas that will make your kids look forward to Halloween each and every year.

14 Halloween Traditions Your Family Will Love

Fun Halloween Traditions for the Family

Have a bonfire.
After it gets too dark to safely trick-or-treat, having a bonfire in your backyard can be a great way to end your Halloween.

bonfire halloween tradition

Bob for apples.
This classic Halloween activity is too often overlooked. It’s super fun, and your whole family can join in. Just make sure not to leave little ones unattended!

bob for apples

Play pranks.
Most families focus more on the “treats” during Halloween, but what about the “tricks”? Make your Halloween a sort-of second April Fools by pulling silly pranks on each other all day long.

pranks halloween traditions

Create your own trick-or-treat bags.
It may be easier to just buy a trick-or-treat bag from the store, but kids will have so much fun making their own! Before heading out to get candy, give each child their own plain, white pillowcase to decorate in their own unique way.

diy trick or treat bags

Give to an animal shelter.
Some animal shelters refuse to sell black cats and dogs on Halloween for fear that they’ll be injured due to superstitions. Other animal shelters use Halloween to promote their black cats and dogs in hopes to find more animals their forever home. Whichever stance your local animal shelter takes, they probably need a little bit more help this season! Take your kids to the store to buy pet supplies and donate them to your local shelter on Halloween each year.

donate to an animal shelter

Tell scary stories.
Find a book of scary stories to share or have everyone make up their own. This is also a great activity to do around a bonfire!

tell scary stories

Watch Halloween movies.
If your children are older, watching scary movies can be a great way to bond and celebrate the holiday. If your children are younger, there are tons of child-friendly Halloween movies that will get them excited for the holiday without giving them nightmares.

watch halloween movies

Remember deceased loved ones.
In many cultures, Halloween is considered to be the day in which the veil between the living and dead is the thinnest. Whether you believe this or not, it’s still a great time to remember and honor those in your life that have passed. Celebrate their lives and all that they contributed by making and sharing their favorite foods, telling stories about them, or even listening to their favorite songs.

remember deceased loved ones on Halloween

Throw a party.
Get friends and family together and throw a Halloween party each year. Play different games, listen to Halloween-themed music, and most importantly, have fun!

halloween party decor

Make Halloween-themed food.
Cookies in the shape of ghosts, caramel apples, homemade candy bars… whatever you can think of! Just make sure to include the whole family while eating the food AND making the food.

Halloween themed food

Go “boo”ing.
This is one of my favorite Halloween traditions. It’s basically like ding-dong-ditching your neighbors, except you leave them gifts. Print out a little note that says “You’ve been booed!” and attach it to the gift. The note should also explain that they should pay it forward by “boo”ing another neighbor!

go booing

Go to a theme park.
Most theme parks go through a complete makeover for Halloween, and it’s really fun to see! Take the whole family to go on rides, see Halloween-themed shows, and get scared by theme park workers dressed up for the occasion.

theme park

Trade candy.
After trick-or-treating, have everyone dump their bags of candy onto the (clean!) floor. Have each child sort through their pile and create three new piles: one for candy they absolutely love, one for candy they absolutely hate, and another for candy that they don’t care about either way. Then let each child try to trade off something from their lesser liked piles for something that they’d actually enjoy. Anything that can’t be decided upon goes to Mom and Dad, of course!

trade candy on Halloween

Give treats to those who can’t trick-or-treat.
Trick-or-treating can be super fun, but it’s important to keep in mind that other people can’t participate. Teach your children to keep others in mind on Halloween by giving candy or other treats to those that are less fortunate. Going to a nursing home, sending to a soldier overseas, and going to the children’s ward of a hospital are great places to start.

halloween candy

While Halloween may already be a fun holiday, the memories you make with your family will last longer than any bag of candy from trick-or-treating. Whether you try one of these traditions or many of them, your children will love having something extra to look forward to each Halloween.

For more Halloween fun, check out these posts:

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