Adventures,  Kids

This is Halloween: Our Family Traditions

Candy corn in a cauldron, creepy “decoration spiders” in our window, wearing pirate costumes, watching “The Nightmare Before Christmas” every other day, checking out everyone’s tricked out lawns and porches on our neighborhood walks… it’s W’s favorite time of the year! Most of the books and movies we’ve checked out from the library have been themed, including anything with Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, and Mummies. Scooby Doo episodes have been the most requested. He loves all the traditions, especially carving pumpkins (he designed every detail of his jack-o-lantern’s face that his father helped carve). We’ll still have Jer’s chili on the nights we go trick or treating.

Instead of a really large festival-type event, we looked for a small local pumpkin patch to support. We found it in Salem, with free admission! Left with a pumpkin for each of us to carve, plus a small extra one that W wanted to take home because it was so cute, haha. They got to play on bales of hay, check out some baby farm animals, sit on a tractor, and grab a lollipop before we headed home. We were still low energy after recovering from illness, so I really liked the simpler outing versus an all-day event that would be overwhelming for me.

We added a new activity this year: a Chocolate Halloween House Decorating Kit, which my Halloween-obsessed boy spotted at Costco and had to have back in September. Think the Halloween version of a gingerbread house! It was already pre-assembled, so the kids had a blast covering it with icing and candies, and picking on all the sweets immediately after we got photos. All the candies shaped like cats, ghosts, pumpkins, and fall leaves were a hit.

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, so we’ll be celebrating the entire weekend. We ended our many-years streak of family costumes, and the kids got to be whatever they wanted this year. The kids got to dress up a couple of times already at the ward’s Trunk or Treat for an early taste of candy and dressing up, and the school parade with a class party. Thanks to our wonderful Aunt Julie who let us borrow a home-made bat costume for F, and my family who gifted W the pirate costume of his dreams on his birthday. I only had to make one costume this year for my daughter! L wanted to be a “Rain-wing dragon” from the Wings of Fire book series, so I added spikes, a tail, and wings in a sparkly scaly fabric to a hoodie. She requested a matching skirt to go with it, and I have yet to add pockets to make it complete.

There were some magically decorated trunks at the Trunk or Treat, so we’re hoping to put a lot more thought and effort into it next year- this time we just loaded the trunk up with our carved pumpkins! At the beginning of October, I switched out pillows, put a couple of pumpkins on the bookshelf, added the “BOO” flag to our piano, and divided up my golden poppies into 2 small vases. Apparently that didn’t count as decorating for my son. He wanted spiders!! Those decorations will only be up for a day this year… woops! The dog got to the plastic spiders the first time we left the house without her to go to church for a couple hours; poor thing vomited it out. I put the decorations away for safety, and kind of forgot all about it in the craziness of this month. Our neighborhood is really into the Halloween decorations, so W encouraged us to decorate and I had to tell him maybe next year we’ll go all out! He calls his favorite house on our street “the Spider House” since they put a giant spider web with giant furry spiders crawling onto it looking like they were attacking the house.

It meant so much to W when he helped me put our own small fake spider webs up. I watched him admire them for a long time! The kids got a head start on the Harry Potter movies, and W’s best-loved is “The Chamber of Secrets” because of the giant spiders. After they finished watching it, the next day he built the Hogwarts Castle out of magnet tiles and put plastic spiders in it to recreate and play out some of his favorite moments. Getting to do all of these fun things with my husband and kids is helping me look forward to them in this new season. What traditions do you have for Halloween?

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