13 Ways to Celebrate Halloween with Kids


Here in the Mock household, we love any reason to celebrate! Fall is one of my favorite times of year because it is the big kick-off to a long, fun festive season. I try to make the whole season festive and fun for my daughter, but let’s face it, it’s partly for me too because I’m just a big kid at heart.

Celebrating Halloween With Little Ones

1. Visit a Pumpkin Patch or Fall Celebration

There’s so much to do in and around Dallas this time of year! It’s almost as if everywhere you look a pumpkin patch is popping up and each city is planning a fun celebration. Here’s a guide to the best pumpkin patches, carnivals and fall activities in the Dallas area.

2. Carve or Paint a Pumpkin

Or if you’re like us, do both! We like to carve a pumpkin as a family the night before Halloween. Our daughter picks the design, I draw it on, and Daddy does the carving. We also try to paint a few pumpkins throughout the season, always including one that goes with my daughters costume. For instance, we did a Mickey Pumpkin the year she was Daisy Duck, and last year we made a unicorn to match her unicorn costume. This year we tried glow in the dark pumpkins and painted on them with glow in the dark puff paint from the craft store. This is also a great option for those who don’t want to go through the hassle of carving a pumpkin and pulling out the sticky pumpkin guts. Draw a jack-o’-lantern design in glow-in-the-dark paint and bam, all set for the trick or treaters.

3. Give the Kids a Glowstick Bath

This is my daughter’s favorite Halloween tradition. We wait for the sun to go down and then I fill the bathtub with bubbles and glowsticks and she takes a bath in the dark! It’s always a big hit and a fun spin on an everyday mundane routine.

4. Gather up Some Halloween Books

Head to your local library or book store and grab some festive Halloween books. For older kids, check out a mystery like Magic Tree House: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve or have them start the Harry Potter series. For younger kids, our favorites are: Room on the Broom, Click Clack Boo, Corduroy’s Best Halloween Ever and If You’re Spooky and You Know It. 

5. Decorate for Halloween

Time to pull out the cobwebs and plastic spiders! Hit the craft store and let the kids pick out a few fun decorations. Go for some things that you can mix and match for the rest of the fall season, like silk leaves and orange pumpkins. We like to display photos of past Halloween costumes and framed Halloween artwork as well.

6. Watch Your Favorite Halloween Specials

I live for It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! It is one of my favorite holiday specials of all time. If Hocus Pocus is more your jam, you can watch it and a lot of other Halloween specials on Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween. Check the Freeform schedule here.

7. Tell Spooky or Funny Halloween Stories

We like to play “Popcorn” and take turns telling the stories. I’ll tell a little bit and then say “popcorn,” and my daughter adds the next part. It’s so much fun for the whole family. Another good way to play is by making “Story Stones.”  Paint some Halloween-themed pictures, like a haunted house, a monster, or a perfect pumpkin on flat stones. Flip them over as you tell the story to help you come up with ideas as you go along.

8. Bake Halloween Treats

Break out your favorite pumpkin and apple recipes, and let the kids help you bake some treats. Share them with the neighbors or your kids’ teachers. We also like to make monster cookies with colored frosting and candy eyeballs! This year I’m anxious to try this Halloween Chex mix too

9. Make Halloween Crafts

Just take a minute to check out Pinterest. There are a ton of ideas for Halloween crafts out there! A few of our favorites are Footprint Ghosts, Soup Can Bowling, and Apple stamp Pumpkins. We have my older daughter’s first ghost footprints on display, and I can hardly wait to do the same with her little sister next year.

10. Plan a DIY Costume

Get the kids involved. Brainstorm their vision of the perfect costume and have fun creating or tracking down the perfect pieces to make it complete. It’s way more fun than purchasing one off the rack, and it will give you some great memories for years to come!

11. Donate Old Costumes

If you have used costumes in good condition that don’t work for the dress up trunk, think about donating them to children in need. Talk to your local church or women and children’s shelter about donating these items or check out ‘Ween Dream.  It’s a nonprofit organization based out of Louisiana. You can send them good condition costumes or purchase a costume for a child in need across America.

12. Make Slime

We use the trusty Elmer’s Glue recipe: ½ TBSP baking soda mixed with 5oz of Elmers Glue. Add food coloring of your choice. Mix together and then add 1 TBSP of contact solution. Mix again and enjoy! This year we tried it with Glitter Glue and Elmer’s new Glow in the Dark Glue instead of food coloring. It was a blast!

13. Eat a Halloween Dinner

Make a fun “Night of Halloween” Dinner of Mummy Dogs, a Boo-rito Bake, or Candy Corn Pizza. Carve a jack-o’-lantern face into orange bell peppers, stuff them, and bake them up for a healthier side dish. Make Halloween punch by pouring orange or lime soda over sherbet. Or celebrate the whole month of October by spreading out these and other delicious options. There are plenty to choose from on Pinterest!

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate Halloween, just make sure you have fun! Your kids won’t remember the extravagant fancy costumes or how much candy they got, but instead, the fun you had as a family. How does your family celebrate Halloween?


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