Don't you just love Halloween? It's exciting (costumes and sugar!) and scary (trick-or-treating in the dark!) ... and a little bit gross (pumpkin goo!). My parents started Halloween traditions with me, and my mom still calls every year to make sure we know when "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is on TV. Like me, I'm sure you enjoy discovering new traditions with your own kids, such "booing" and going to a trunk-or-treat event. Read on for nine Halloween tradition ideas, and don't forget to take lots of spooky pictures!
1. Visit a pumpkin patch.
Start the holiday out right with a visit to a pumpkin patch and pick out your own pumpkins and funky decorative gourds.
2. Toast pumpkin seeds.
Toast pumpkin seeds instead of throwing them out. They are chockfull of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, not to mention they make a great crunchy snack. Visit www.allrecipes.com for instructions.
3. Carve a zombie pumpkin.
We usually wait until Halloween Day to carve our pumpkins because we want them to look fresh. This year we'll also carve a few earlier in October so we can enjoy them before they wilt. Check out www.zombiepumpkins.com for more than 240 designs and templates for help carving your pumpkin with a cool face other than the usual grinning jack-o-lantern.
4. Boo your friends and neighbors.
Last year we ran to the front door to see who was there and found ... nobody. But, there were plastic cups full of Halloween-themed treats such as pencils, erasers, spider rings and candy. A note was left behind, and it turns out we had been "booed." We never found out who booed us, but we promptly went to www.beenbooed.com to print out our flyers and instructions on how to boo our own set of friends in our neighborhood. The kids loved waiting until dark to sneak over to their friends' houses and leave treats undetected.
5. Watch Halloween shows and movies.
Depending on the ages of your kids, watch a Halloween-themed or scary TV show or movie such as "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," "Coraline" or "The Haunted Mansion."
6. Have fun with Halloween colors.
Create lots of orange-and-black things such as painting your daughter's nails orange or black, eat Devil's food cupcakes with orange frosting or color Halloween pictures you print from www.halloween-coloring.com.
7. Create a homemade costume.
Check out www.thedailygreen.com's cool slideshow that shows 25 ideas for homemade costumes made from recycled materials.
8. Attend a trunk-or-treat event.
These are held in a parking lot or at a church, community center or school. Visit www.trunkortreat.homestead.com for ideas on how to decorate your car if you go the classic parking lot route.
9. Snap plenty of pictures.
I always take photos of my kids sitting in their huge piles of candy for a great scrapbook keepsake.
Watch out! Kerrie McLoughlin (TheKerrieShow.com) is the mom of five who will raid any candy stash.
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