Autumn is my absolute favorite season. Leaves changing, a crisp chill in the air, pumpkin everything, cozying up in fluffy blankets, carving pumpkins, decorating the house and so many fun family activities to do! I look forward to Halloweentime and all the seasonal traditions we have created as a family. Here are some of our favorite things to do as a family during the fall season. We hope it will inspire you to do the same (if you don't already!)
Do a Family Craft
My kids are still relatively young (currently 10 & 7), so crafts are still a special activity for us. I have had to modify my craft selections to elevate the excitement over the years. It constantly changes when it comes to what is considered a "cool" craft for them to do as they get older, but a winner every year and honestly great for all ages is Painting a Pumpkin. Adults even love to participate in this one! Big or small pumpkins. Creativity flies. Sky is the limit when it comes to design: spooky, silly, traditional, cutesy, designer, modern, abstract just have fun! This giant "Caramel Apple" Pumpkin my daughter and her bestie made at age 8! Doesn't it look so cool??
Here is a cool tutorial for pumpkin painting that had some fun traditional Halloween characters. Here The wonderful thing about this activity is that it also lasts all month if you keep them out of the heat. We put them on the porch in the shade, on the mantel, backyard, or tabletop.
Source: Aubree Originals
A few other Family Crafts we love:
Decorate Halloween Cookies
My kids have been decorating sugar cookies for Halloween & Christmas since they could walk. I love to watch the progression over the years of decorating skill and style. Part of this tradition, is that we invite a few friends over and I have a long table filled with piping bags of royal icing colors, baked sugar cookie shapes, and festive sprinkles. Being a trained chef, of course I feel obligated to make this stuff from scratch, but don't put that pressure on yourself unless you love doing it like me. Premade cookies and frosting are totally fine! It's more about having fun, making memories and enjoying a special treat!
Make your life easier with lots of disposables (tablecloths, paper plates, etc.) Make sure you have some plastic wrap for kids to take home their decorated goodies!
Here is my favorite recipe for sugar cookies. I have been using this recipe for at least 9 years and its perfect in flavor, texture and ease! Find it Here
Halloween Movie Night
We have these at least once a week (in fact, it's not even October yet and my kids have already insisted on about 4 of these movie nights already! HAHA!) I guess the traditions are growing strong with them. Makes my heart happy.
Usually Halloween Movie night consists of: a Halloween type movie, popcorn, sometimes hot cocoa (must regulate the sugar consumption in this house haha), lights low, Halloween lights on the mantel turned on (blankets optional but perfect when the weather gets chilly.) Always a perfect evening and we all enjoy it so much. I try to incorporate a new movie every year if I can, to add to our Collection.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
This is probably a no brainer for most families, but I'm going to share it anyways because it's a total family favorite! If you live in an area that has a farm or patch that has more than just pumpkins, I highly suggest making at least one trip there during the season.
We have many pumpkin patches around us, but our family's favorite is about a 40 minute drive and totally worth it. (it gets so crowded on the weekends that we only make the trek during the week.) It's called Bates Nut Farm.
We love it because they not only have a huge pumpkin patch with heirloom Cinderella pumpkins, squash and gourds, but they have pony rides, tractor hay rides, corn maze, food vendors farm animals and a huge store filled with their specialty: NUTS! A mass variety of nuts, jellies, dried fruits, candies, décor, and more! (because it's inland of our beach town it stays pretty warm there even in October so we try to save shopping in the store for last because of the wonderful air conditioning! Haha! Here are a few fun photos from last year.
Bake A Seasonal Treat- Together!
Being a classically trained chef, clearly I am going to encourage you all to get your kids in the kitchen. It's a critical life skill, in my opinion. Knowing how to cook for yourself can prevent your kids from growing up eating too many processed meals. It also give kids so much confidence to be able to create something that actually tastes good! They learn about sanitation/cleanliness, organization, knife skills, etc. I could go on and on about all the amazing benefits of cooking with kids. What pulls on my heart strings though is the memories of baking together. I remember doing that with my mom and I love doing it with my own kids now. It stays with them and with you! This is a fun tradition and the options are endless as far as what to bake.
Here are two favorite recipes we love to make! Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter Maple Icing and Apple Bundt Cake. My kids and I are actually going to make the pumpkin bread today. Try them out! It will make your house smell heavenly too...
Click on image for recipe links.
Throw a Halloween Party!
Come on...you gotta know that a holiday like Halloween needs a PARTY! Some years I admit, we do adult only parties which don't obviously include the kids. But most of the time they are family friendly and they are such a special part of American childhood! Halloween parties are a BLAST! Even if you don't like to dress up and you aren't a big costume person, the vibe at Halloween Parties are awesome! They don't have to be huge and elaborate. They can just be having a few friends over and enjoying the company. This year we designed some fantastic Party Boxes to make hosting a fun Halloween party a breeze! So get partying, people!
Click on the images for details
My family can get really into Halloween. We've thrown some epic parties in the past. My mom and sister would go all out with décor, food & music. Those are always my favorite past Halloweens. How can you not love Halloween??
Well, thank you for letting me share a glimpse into my family life. I hope this gives you some fun activity ideas to enjoy this season with your own family. Feel free to share your favorite family traditions during Halloweentime! We'd love to hear others stories. Cheers!