25 Halloween Traditions
Halloween traditions have been around for over 2000 years, with modern customs drawing from Christian and Celtic roots. Keep reading to get a basic understanding about why we follow our current Halloween traditions in America. Along with a history of classic traditions, like jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating, you can also find a list of Halloween traditions that are slowly disappearing. Have no fear, because while some are disappearing, there are new traditions taking hold.
Check out our list of Newer Traditions which includes popular events like punkin chunking and going to haunted houses.
In addition to the above topics, there is also a list of old traditions from a time when Halloween was also about fortune telling to find the identity of your future husband or wife. The last section is my favorite because it covers making New Halloween Traditions and adding them into your family experience.
- Classic Halloween Traditions
- Newer Halloween Traditions
- Disappearing Halloween Traditions
- In Search of Love Halloween Traditions
- Make New Halloween Traditions
Classic Halloween Traditions
Halloween traditions play an important role in passing on cultural and religious history. They also allow families to strengthen their bond while creating important memories. Often traditions are passed on through generations of a family, giving members positive experiences to look back on. Another reason Halloween traditions are important: They are fun!
It’s believed that trick-or-treating comes from various Halloween traditions combined. Some of the customs which have affected American trick-or-treating may include souling, mummering and guising.
It’s a common believe that during Halloween, the veil between the living and the dead is at it’s thinnest. Ancient Celts thought that during this time the spirits of the dead could walk the earth and some wanted to go back to their old homes. Families would place food for the spirits to eat outside their home and chairs for spirits to rest in. Eventually this practice led to the poor stopping by to eat the food in exchange for whatever they could offer.
Going A Souling
Children and the poor would go door to door and be given bread and currant desserts called “soul cakes”. In exchange they would be asked to say prayers for the dead relatives of the family who fed them. In medieval Europe, the church encouraged members to participate in souling instead of leaving food outside for spirits of the dead.
Go on the Mummers
The old tradition of mummering is similar to souling, but with some fun thrown in. Mummers would dress up in disguises, typically covering their faces, and go door to door offering whatever they could for coins, food or drink. Mummers will do everything from singing, dancing and playing music to telling stories, jokes and reciting poetry.
Mummering is different from other Halloween traditions because it doesn’t just happen on Halloween. Going on the mummers can happen on any major feast day including holidays like Christmas and Easter. You can still catch a group of mummers on parade today if you get lucky.
Guising is similar to mummering except with more tricks thrown in. Scottish guisers were usually children wearing disguises who go door to door and trade “tricks” in exchange for a prize. Children would often go to affluent neighborhoods and tell jokes, play music, do card tricks, sing songs or trade other small talents for “treats”. The reward could include coins, apples, nuts, food or other goodies.
What Are You Going To Wear?
Wearing Halloween costumes is one of the ancient Halloween traditions that goes back 2000 years to the festival of Samhian. The Celts believed in the idea of trying to blend in with all the dead spirits wandering around. A common Celtic costume consisted of an animal head or skull worn over the person’s head and animal skins covering their body. This may sound like a strange practice, but keep in mind that during these times Winter caused fear, uncertainty and long dark nights.
The costume as a disguise continued to seem like a good plan through the years because people continued to fear ghosts, ghouls and other spirits on Halloween night. Whenever someone had to leave their home on Halloween night, they would put on a costume so the supernatural creatures wandering around wouldn’t pay them any mind. Go to our Halloween Superstitions page for more superstitious beliefs like this.
Costumes became one of the popular Halloween traditions in America around the 1950’s at the same time trick-or-treating rose in popularity. However unlike today, most costumes were made from items already found in the home. Today the Halloween tradition of wearing costumes is still going strong in America, with both adults and children participating. Modern costumes often have a mix of both store bought and hand made elements to them.
Jack-O-Lantern, Jack O Who?
One of the coolest and strangest Halloween traditions is the custom of the jack-o-lantern. So why do we cut open a pumpkin, empty out its guts, carve a face in it and then fill it with fire?
Well, it all started will the festival of Samhain. Back in the day in Ireland, Celtic druids and celebrants would carve open a turnip and place an ember inside. They did this both to keep the darkness away and to keep evil spirits at bay. Keep in mind, back then it was dark. Very dark, and Winter nights were long. Combine that with the idea that during Halloween the veil between the living and dead was at it’s thinnest and spirits were walking the earth.
Heck, I would probably have found comfort in carrying around a portable turnip light too! Oh, and if you are wondering:
Why turnips and not pumpkins?
It’s because there were no pumpkins in Ireland. After the Irish potato famine migration, jack-o-lanterns became one of the Halloween traditions in America, and turnips were changed to pumpkins.
The Tale of Stingy Jack
The fiery turnips were called jack-o-lanterns because of the old Irish story about Stingy Jack. According to the story, Stingy Jack was a real jerk who was usually drunk and liked playing tricks on everyone. One day Jack was able to trick the Devil into climbing up a tree and he then used crosses to trap the Devil in the tree. Stingy Jack then forced the Devil to make a deal in order to get released from the tree.
The Devil agreed not to claim Stingy Jack’s soul when Jack died. Knowing he would never go to Hell, Stingy Jack continued to act like a horrible person, basically behaving like a jerk for the rest of his life. Eventually, Stingy Jack died and couldn’t get into Heaven because had been cruel and mean to other people his entire life.
Unsure what to do, Jack travelled to Hell and visited the Devil. The Devil refused to let him in, keeping to his promise and he told Stingy Jack to spend eternity wandering about forever in the dark. Stingy Jack became very afraid and told the Devil he couldn’t leave because it was too dark to see the way.
The Devil hurled an ember from the burning fires of Hell at Stingy Jack and sent him on his way. Eventually, Jack placed Hell’s ember inside a turnip and used it to light his way. To this day, Stingy Jack still wanders the dark with his jack-o-lantern looking for a place to rest.
The Irish began hollowing out turnips and adding a light inside to keep Stingy Jack and other restless spirits away. After the Irish immigrated to America, they brought many Halloween traditions with them including the jack-o-lantern. However, the American Halloween tradition eventually changed to pumpkins instead of turnips.
Halloween Parades – Take it to the Streets
We know more about some Halloween traditions then we do about others. Halloween parades is one of the Halloween traditions that historians mostly have to guess at. It is believed that the origin of Halloween parades may come from the Celtic druidesses roaming through the countryside while chanting loudly on Halloween night. The druidesses would chant to scare away any wandering spirits that found their way through the veil on Halloween night.
Fast forward to how parades became popular Halloween traditions in America, and you might be surprised. In America, Halloween parades actually began because pranking and mischief had gotten out of control.
By 1920, Halloween pranks had gotten so out of control that Anoka, Minnesota decided to do something about it. They were the first city to say this has got to stop! So naturally they organized and threw a parade. Anoka got everyone involved. Police, Fire Departments, schools and even the Anoka National Guard.
They invited everyone and had a giant bonfire. It was a huge success and they have made it an annual event ever since! They took troublemaking and turned it into and opportunity for community unity. Someone should make a movie about Anoka and their Halloween parade triumph.
Using Halloween parades to successfully transition from pranks and troublemaking to festive community gatherings spread through America. In fact today there are still tons of Halloween parade celebrations, but the largest by far is the New York’s Village Halloween Parade with around two million spectators.
Newer Halloween Traditions
Newer traditions are more recent, when you consider the origin of Halloween 2,000 years ago, Halloween traditions in America that have spread throughout the country. These are becoming popular Halloween traditions for families, friends and fans of the holiday to take part in each year. Many of these activities are fun for the whole family and some, like trunk or treating can be added to your current celebrations.
Go on a Ghost Tour
Ghost tours have been around for awhile but they haven’t caught on as well as other Halloween traditions. However, they have become more popular lately and they are a fun way to tour your local area. A ghost tour can also be called a “Ghost Walk” if it’s a walking tour. Ghost tours can be given using trolleys, carts or other vehicles and are often a combination of walking and driving.
Basically ghost tours are sight-seeing tours that focus on haunted locations or places with a haunted history. Instead of giving you normal tour guide information, they tell you historical hauntings, frightening histories and spooky stories throughout the entire experience.
There are also ghost tours which focus on ghost hunting and the paranormal while touring. These tours may offer special equipment to wear while touring and participants can go to known haunted locations or “active” paranormal sites.
Haunted houses are believed to have started in 19th century London with Marie Tussaud’s wax figure “Chamber of Horrors”. Later, the first haunted attraction on record was an Edwardian Fair “Ghost House” in the UK that opened around 1915.
How did haunted houses become popular Halloween traditions in America?
The answer may surprise you.
During the early years of Halloween in America, haunted houses became popular as an activity to distract from all the pranking. An activity to give troublemakers something to do around Halloween time. However, the real reason they became big in America is because of Walt Disney and the Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion opened in 1969 and was hugely successful. Soon haunted houses were springing up every Halloween, often as fundraisers for charities.
The modern day haunt industry is big business and can make and spend a lot of money to provide the best scares in their community. There are also many smaller charity haunted houses that pop up to provide fun and raise money each year.
In the last decade, some haunts have taken it to extremes trying to provide next level scare experiences. There are haunts that are over an hour long, allow physical contact with patrons, have full body water immersion, contact with real roaches, different humiliation experiences, along with every other scare experience you can imagine. Many of these haunts are closed down now, but some are open with long waiting lists to get in.
The moral of the story is to read the warning signs while waiting in line for a haunted house and to take the signs serious if they sound extreme. If the sign says the monsters can touch you, it’s not the old-timey haunted house you’re used to. You might even want to get out of there.
Punkin Chunkin, which gained popularity in the 1980’s, is definitely one of the newer Halloween traditions. In case you aren’t familiar with it, the entire purpose is to hurl pumpkins as far as possible in order to win. Hurling pumpkins has evolved from human throwing into using huge mechanical devices and pneumatic air cannons as pumpkin launchers.
The joy in punkin chunkin can be found in watching the innocent gourd fly through the air and then shatter into a million pieces. As you can imagine, punkin chunkin is a spectator sport and there are events all over America around Halloween.
If you still aren’t sure about adding punkin chunkin to your list of possible future Halloween events, let me explain it a bit more. Punkin Chunkin is what happens when steam punk collides with pumpkins. Air cannons, giant sling shots, trebuchets and catapults that measure up to two stories high are common objects used to hurl pumpkins. To get a better idea about the equipment and science involved check out Wired’s article on punkin chunkin.
While hayrides aren’t limited to Halloween events, they have become one of the more popular Halloween traditions. Haunted hayrides in my area often require waiting in long lines and can even get sold out for the night. The exact origin of haunted hayrides is unknown, but it’s likely farmers took classic hayrides and spread them into the Halloween season.
Now, pulling tractors have been replaced with other vehicles as needed and the scare factor has been taken to the next level. What makes haunted hay rides so spooky is the feeling of exposure and vulnerability as a tractor slowly pulls you through the darkness.
Hay rides are a great Halloween tradition because you really get to experience the season with all your senses. They are outside so you feel the dirt and hay crunching under you feet. There are seasonal smells and often the cool, crisp air blows against your skin. So many experiences are done inside, often in front of a screen so it’s great to get everyone outside for something fun and seasonal.
Trunk or Treating
Trunk or treating started out through the Utah churches in the late 90’s and has been picking up steam ever since. It’s one of those Halloween traditions that popped up out of nowhere and will probably stick around for a long time. To summarize, it’s like a tail-gaiting party but for kids. At trunk or treating events, cars fill up a parking lot and the kids collect candy from everyone’s trunks.
However, this event has turned into a real tradition with families elaborately decorating trunks and filling them with creative Halloween designs and candies. There is mild controversy and a list of pros and cons that comes with trunk or treating (and everything else nowadays).
One of the cons is that kids get the candy without the work of walking through neighborhoods. The convenience and social aspect are two of the pros of trunk or treating. In my opinion, many of the complaints against trunk or treating become void if you don’t completely replace trick-or-treating with this new tradition. You can do a little of both, or alternate activities each year.
After all, many trunk or treating events are done during the day and on weekends, so why not let the kids enjoy a little of both. If safety is your fear, take them to trick-or-treat only at a few of your good friend’s homes so they can experience the fun.
Disappearing Halloween Traditions
Not all traditions will stay around forever. It’s natural for some Halloween traditions to become obsolete like many of the love related traditions below. Others may only be fun for a few years because they are only good for certain age groups. Below are some Halloween traditions in America that are slowly disappearing from popular culture.
Bring Back the Popcorn Balls!
The popcorn balls I grew up with were the size of softballs with a sweet caramel colored glaze throughout the entire ball. They were delicious, but rarely homemade… Hah, I’m not as old as you thought.
Popcorn balls were extremely popular around the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Evidence of this can be found in written works and social commentaries from this time. The hay day for Halloween popcorn balls came around the 1950’s. At this time you wouldn’t even consider throwing a Halloween party without serving up popcorn balls for your guests.
Besides being delicious, another reason popcorn balls were so popular at this time is because they were given out to trick-or-treaters. …Gasp! Yes back before we feared our neighbors would poison and razor blade the kids, children got items other than pre-packaged candy for Halloween.
This was before my time, but it sounds awesome to get caramel apples, popcorn balls and other homemade delights instead of bagged candy bars. Ultimately, the change in trick-or-treating habits led to the decreased popularity of popcorn balls.
The first known written recipe for a popcorn ball can be found in an 1861 edition of the “Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia”. So, even though popcorn balls have been around a long time, modern cookbooks rarely include recipes for them.
I say it’s time for popcorn balls to make a comeback! They are inexpensive to bake and you can even change the sizes and shapes to make them more exciting.
Popcorn balls can also be elevated with flavors and spices like any other classic recipe. For example, you can make dark chocolate marshmallow popcorn balls, lime and habanero popcorn balls, sea salt and toffee popcorn balls and any other flavor you can think of. The possibilities are endless.
Don’t let this Halloween classic die off. I’m going to be the change I want to see in the world by making popcorn balls this Halloween for friends and family. One thing I know for sure, they will be surprised when I show up with these classic treats.
Pillowcase Treat Bags
Using pillowcases as giant treat bags may deserve to be on a list of dying Halloween traditions, but that doesn’t mean they are dead yet. Back in my day, graduating to a pillowcase treat bag was a sign of rebellion, optimism, maturity and youth all at the same time.
It meant you were old enough and mature enough to say forget that cute plastic pumpkin bucket, I’m going for a boring old pillowcase this year. At the same time came the optimism and hope that is only found in youth, because every kid with a pillowcase imagines they might be able to fill it. Heck, I left the house dreaming of getting it filled half way before the end of Halloween night.
There is hope for this Halloween tradition because it’s trying to make a comeback through customized pillowcases and personal decorating of them. There are do it yourself pillowcase treat bags with drawstrings, fun colors, spooky designs and different sizes. Even Martha Stewart has tips for making fun ghost pillowcases on her website. The days of the plain white pillowcase may be dead, but pillowcase treat bags are still trying to hold on as a tradition.
If there is one reason to bring back this Halloween tradition, it’s for the glorious moment at the end of the night when you get to dump all the candy from your pillowcase onto the floor. It’s epic! Hey, I had my parents and older step brothers around, so I was always excited to get a big supply of candy for the house.
Free Range Trick-or-Treating
Trick-or-treating is one of the Halloween traditions that has been gradually changing over the years. Roaming the neighborhoods for candy without parents is disappearing all together. In my time by fourth grade we were trick-or-treating with a couple friends and had no parent chauffeurs along for the ride.
The time we started trick-or-treating was usually determined by when everyone’s parents came home from work to help them get dressed. As we got older, trick-or-treating start times were determined by the setting of the sun and porch lights. When most people turned off porch lights, it was time to go home.
I remember going out alone a couple years because there weren’t any close friends living near me. (Well, I had one friend who lived close, but his family was very religious and handed the kids pamphlets about being sinners for celebrating Halloween… so he couldn’t go with me.) Going alone was fine because I could run into different groups of friends and jump in with them for awhile.
Now, in order to increase safety some places have added quite a few rules to the tradition of trick-or-treating. In fact, some communities are assigning specific trick-or-treating times and designating days other than Halloween night for going house to house. For example if Halloween falls on a Monday, trick-or-treating for the city may be assigned to 6-8pm on Sunday evening.
Some places are even banning teenagers from trick-or-treating and making it a misdemeanor to take part in this Halloween tradition. When I was a kid trick-or-treating was not a crime. It’s safe to say that the days of free range trick-or-treating are a dying tradition. Good or bad, freely wandering around to collect candy on Halloween night is looking unlikely in the future with the new rules and regulations popping up in communities all over.
Same Decorations Year After Year
I’m going to admit right now that this is one of the Halloween traditions I still follow. Back in the day there were no pop-up Halloween superstores and no internet to order all the awesome decorations we have access to now. My mom pulled the same Halloween decorations out year after year and only added to the collection if she found something really cool.
Now, decorations are so easy to come by (which I love) that you don’t want to pull out the same ones. Why bring out the same old decorations from five years ago when you bought so many spooky items since. In fact, there are so many amazing Halloween items that I end up setting up Halloween themes in different areas of the home just to showcase them.
So I get it! I’m not saying things should go back the way they were, but there was something special about seeing the same ceramic jack-o-lantern as a family symbol of the holiday each year. Having all the same family decorations every year is definitely a dying Halloween tradition, but we can still keep it alive by choosing a few good ones to pull out every year.
An update about my mom. She still decorates her house with some of the same items used when I was a kid, and it’s great. She has added decorations a little here and there each year, but the ones that have survived are still put out each year.
In Search of Love Halloween Traditions
You might be surprised to find out that Halloween has a history as a romantic holiday filled with opportunities to find your future sweetheart. In both Ireland and Scotland there were many Halloween traditions, mostly done by young women, with fortune telling to catch a glimpse of your future wife or husband’s face. Many of these love related Halloween traditions have become less popular or died off completely, but we are going to breathe a little life into them here today.
Hazelnuts, Let em Burn
Originating from Celtic Halloween traditions, Scottish women could burn nuts to determine how their relationships would turn out. There are quite a few versions of this, but basically you get yourself some Hazelnuts or Chestnuts. If you were a single lady, you would take Hazelnuts and designate them to represent the names of any love interests you have. Once you have organized all your possible lovers, it’s time to toss them in the fire.
The lady would toss all the nuts in the fire and could determine her future husband based on the results. Each nut represents a specific romantic interest. If one nut burns to ashes and the others only pop, the ashes nut is your future husband. If one pops and the others turn to ashes the one that pops is your husband, and so on.
Another version of this defunct Halloween tradition is for those already coupled. For a couple you would take two chestnuts which represent the couple, toss them in the fire and then watch to see if your relationship is doomed.
If the two nuts stay near each other burning in the fire, your relationship is safe and will last for eternity. However, if one nut cracks, pops away, or jumps out of the fire completely, the relationship is going to split up. I’m guessing you go best two out of three if that happens.
One of the old Scottish Halloween traditions involved hanging a wet sheet to find out your future husband’s identity. However, like all ancient Halloween traditions, and scary movies, there were rules that had to be followed. Overall, it was fairly simple for a woman to find out who her future love would be on Halloween night.
First, the Scottish lass would wet her sheet and then take it home and hang it by the fire. The next step involves a bit of trickery, which is to be expected on Halloween night. She would lay down and pretend to sleep, but actually she would be keeping an eye out for an apparition to come and dry the sheet.
If successful, she would catch a vision which looked exactly like her future husband as he dried the sheet. So simple!
If it didn’t work, it meant she probably fell asleep without realizing it.
Apple Peel Toss – Drop It Like It’s Hot
The apple peel toss was one of many Halloween traditions about fortune telling and future loves. Popular in New England, a young lady would peel an apple in a single long piece. Next she would take her apple peel and toss it over her shoulder and then check if the peel landed shaped like a letter of the alphabet. That letter would be the initial of her future husband.
I could see this being a fun game for teenage girls, plus it might get them to snack on some apples.
Mirror Gazing, Not Creepy at All
I’m fairly sure this custom has lost its popularity because it’s one of the scarier Halloween traditions to do alone. The basic idea is to stare into a mirror in order to see your future husband’s reflection behind you. However, there are quite a few versions of how this custom should be done.
One version requires the woman to go into a darkened room alone on Halloween, and gaze into a mirror while holding a candle. I don’t know about you, but if someone appeared behind me, the last thing I’d want to do is marry them!
Another of the true love Halloween traditions says the woman should take an apple with her into this dark room and cut it into slices. Next she should use the knife to pick up each slice of apple and eat them one at a time while gazing into the mirror. When she gets to the last apple slice her husband’s image will appear over her shoulder asking for that final slice of apple. How creepy!
The high risk crowd took it even further. They claimed that to see their husband’s face it was necessary to walk downstairs, backwards, at midnight on Halloween… while looking into a mirror. It seems like this would only work it your future husband was the local doctor.
According to the October 22, 1899 Washington Times article, a young lady must be alone in the dark with an apple and only a candle to light her way. If this “woman has the courage she may gaze upon the face of the man the gods have chosen for her.”
This talented woman must eat the apple while walking backwards down cellar stairs at midnight. She must let the apple core fall on the bottom step. Then she can raise a small mirror, which she wore around her neck, over her shoulder. At this point, she will see the face of her future husband. I’m guessing you only try this one if the other ones didn’t work.
Find a Walnut Tree
There are so many ways to hallucinate your future love on Halloween night, it’s hard to choose just one. If you live near a walnut tree, I recommend this as your choice of fortune telling Halloween traditions this year. Plus there is a record of this one in the Oct. 31 Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger from 1914, so we know it works.
According to the newspaper, you need to walk out in moonlight on Halloween night to see your future husband. Next, find a walnut tree and walk around it three times while shouting “Let him that is to be my true love bring me some walnuts.” At this point your future love will appear gathering nuts for you at the base of the walnut tree. Try to remember his face as you run for your life!
If I Don’t Eat Dessert, I’ll Never Get Married!
Of all the obsolete love related Halloween traditions, I think this is the one we need bring back. Scottish women would eat a sugary dessert concoction of hazelnuts, nutmeg and walnuts before going to sleep on Halloween night. After falling asleep she would dream and see the sweet sweet face of her future husband. It sounds like a win to me.
Make New Halloween Traditions
Many Halloween traditions have become obsolete and others are slowly dying out each year. Traditions can be a positive influence because they have been shown to instill confidence and a sense of security. This can be important in an ever-changing world that can feel overwhelming at times. So why not start new Halloween traditions to replace them? Trunk-or-Treating is an example of a newer tradition that has successfully taken Halloween by storm over the last twenty years. Here are some Halloween traditions I recommend as possible additions to your festivities each year. Adjust them as you need to depending on whether you celebrate with kids, friends or family. The important thing is to have fun and keep the holiday special.
Horror Movie Marathon
Watching scary movies on or around Halloween is a great tradition and really helps get everyone in the Halloween spirit. There is a lot of flexibility with making scary movie nights or horror movie marathons, and there are many scary movies to choose from nowadays.
Some ideas for families are to pick a night for an adult/teen horror movie marathon and a different night for the kids spooky movie marathon. If you have kids make it a sleepover with tons of blankets, pillows and holiday treats. Age appropriate scary movies and snacks makes this a fun Halloween tradition for everyone.
Adults, you can watch them alone or even host a scary movie night with friends. One of my favorite Halloween traditions is watching horror movies for the entire month of October. It started with a small VHS collection and then DVDs, and now it’s all about setting the DVR, Netflix and getting scared.
Adults be sure to check out our Halloween themed horror movies for a great list of movies to watch this Halloween.
With the many devices and technology we all have available, it’s uncommon to spend much time in real darkness. In cities, you can go outside anytime at night, with or without moonlight, and it’s bright enough to see. Trust me, I frequently potty the dog at 2 am, and no flashlight needed even in the rain.
In ancient times, Winters meant long nights of darkness. This Halloween take yourself back to a time when darkness was actually dark. Invite your friends over and at midnight on Halloween gather together and turn off all the lights. Sit quietly in the dark and then tell scary stories. This can be a fun new Halloween tradition that’s unique to your family and friends.
Suns Out, Funs Out
Who says Halloween fun can’t begin when your day begins? Make it a Halloween tradition with your family or friends to have a Halloween breakfast. You can make spooky themed foods, holiday shaped pancakes, “bloodshot eye eggs” and more. The possibilities are endless with all the fun, spooky recipes online.
Another option is to keep it as a traditional breakfast but add a touch of pumpkin filling to the pancakes. It’s your tradition so do what you want and everyone will look forward to Halloween morning.
What’s With the Blue Pumpkin?
One of the newer Halloween traditions available is called the Teal Pumpkin Project. I have participated in this one for the last five years and it’s pretty fun. The goal of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to provide a safer, happier Halloween for all kids.
The project focuses on having the community pass out non-food treats on Halloween (along with candy if you want). These are for kids who can’t eat traditional candies because of food allergies and health issues. I usually buy little packs of Halloween pencils, erasers, bouncy balls, bugs, stickers or other similar items and put them in a separate bowl.
I like to get enough toy items so that any child (not just kids with food allergies) can decide whether to choose candy or toys. It’s surprising every year how many kids choose the toys over candy. Another thing that makes this fun for me is seeing what toys the kids like from year to year.
They have a great website, if you want more information go to the Teal Pumpkin Project here.
One of the best kept secrets in Halloween traditions is the existence of the Zombie Walk. Many cities throw zombie fests and zombie walks as a type of Halloween festivity. Sometimes local restaurants will cater the events and there might even be food trucks. Plan on showing up dressed as a zombie. At some point everyone attending who’s dressed as a zombie will walk through the streets on a fun zombie walk. If you can find a zombie walk in your area, it’s a fun tradition and older kids usually enjoy them.
Gather By the Campfire
Telling campfire stories is not a new thing, but you can still make it one of your new Halloween traditions. It doesn’t even have to be a campfire. You can just gather around your fireplace or even a Halloween candle. Get friends or family together and take turns telling age appropriate scary stories. Many adults haven’t done this activity since attending childhood summer camp, so it can be really fun. It’s also a wholesome way to spend quality time with each other. Plus what’s more fun than getting creeped out by scary stories around Halloween time.
Looking for more fun Halloween topics? Check these out: