11 Fun Halloween Traditions You'll Want to Steal

11 Fun Halloween Traditions You'll Want to Steal

Many families’ fun Halloween traditions go way beyond the usual trick-or-treating.


By: Leah Maxwell

If you celebrate Halloween, chances are it looks a lot like how most people celebrate Halloween: kids in costumes roaming the streets, parents sneaking candy while no one’s looking, and a few choice evenings spent reacquainting ourselves with our favorite Halloween movie characters. But what really makes the holiday memorable from year to year -- what we get the most excited about as the date approaches on the calendar -- are the more unusual, more personal traditions that make our celebrations unique: the special foods we eat, the special activities we do, the special ways we come together with our family and friends.

Below, 11 women share what makes their family’s Halloween celebrations special every year. (I’m already planning which ones to try out myself.) Read on and then share your favorite Halloween traditions in the comments!

1. “We will be celebrating the book fairy, who will come the evening of Nov. 1 and leave books in exchange for 90 percent of candy. We’ll let the kid pick a few favorite pieces and then ship the rest off somewhere unknown!” -- Daisy, Chicago

2. “Our town has a ‘pumpkin walk’ -- everyone carves pumpkins and then they set them out along a path in the woods with tea lights in them. The walk starts at dusk (for smaller people) and continues when it’s totally dark. It takes about 10 minutes to wind your way through the woods past all the jack-o'-lanterns, unless you meet the woman of the woods, who tells her tales spookily, or the fabled goat man (I don’t believe he exists) on the way...” -- Christine, Greenbelt, Maryland

3. “We always have chili for dinner no matter what the temperature is. It’s usually cold but sometimes it’s 80 degrees out.” -- Samantha, Wheaton, Illinois

4. “My husband counts the number of trick-or-treaters we have. I don’t know why, but he does it every year.” -- Lisa, Little Rock, Arkansas

5. “Our neighborhood serves dinner! It’s at the same house every year, but we all share the expense. Chili dogs [and] hot cider … Seven of us put in for the food (usually 200 dogs and buns), but anyone who trick-or-treats our neighborhood is welcome to eat. And everyone does fire pits in the drive and sits out. You rarely go to a door. Everyone is out and waiting.” -- Christina, Columbus, Ohio

6. “Making snowmen? It always snows for Halloween here. My mom always made our costumes big enough for our snowsuits to go under. I ordered a big dinosaur costume for this Halloween. Warmth is priority. We also have mini pizzas made to look like jack-o’-lanterns.” -- Emily, Calgary, Alberta

More from P&G everyday: Why I Dress Up for Halloween With My Kids

7. “We take our dogs to a costume parade at the botanic garden. So many dressed-up dogs; it’s the best.” -- Sara, Chicago

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8. “We are way into the Switch Witch. [My daughters] each pick 10 pieces of candy that they can choose to eat all at once or parcel out over the week, and the rest is placed outside. The Switch Witch arrives in the middle of the night, takes the candy, and replaces it with a gift. They don’t get to ask for anything in particular; she decides. So far they’ve been blown away with her trades. ‘How did she know we wanted this? We didn’t even write her a letter!’” -- Clio, Los Angeles

9. “I make my kids cute/gruesome Halloween lunches for school in the weeks leading up to the holiday proper.” -- Wendy, El Cerrito, California

10. “We started a Halloween block party last year. We order a ton of pizza, people bring a few other things, and then we all trick-or-treat together. Easy. Fun. The kids are entertained and able to hang until it’s dark enough to go trick-or-treating.” -- Megan, Orange County, California

11. “We throw a costume, pumpkin-carving, and school fair–visiting party for my son and his cousins. I try to fit in as many Halloween snacks, crafts, and games as I can. Last year we had a ghost hunt with tissue paper ghosts, a jack-o’-lantern ‘barfing’ guacamole, cookies that looked like severed fingers, and brownies with eyeballs peeking out of them. This year we are keeping it a little more lo-fi … but I think I might have the kids each paint their own papier-mache sugar skull.” -- Holly, Los Angeles

What are your favorite Halloween traditions?


Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/kirin_photo



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