Family-Friendly Halloween Celebrations

Submitted by Becca M., Sprout Contributor

The chill is an the air – the smell of the apple cider, pumpkin lattes, the screaming crowds at football games and the leaves changing mean fall is officially here. It’s hard to believe that another summer has come to an end and fall is just getting starting. One thing that is very popular during fall is the famous holiday in October – I’m talking about Halloween. That would be Halloween that I’m talking about. You can start seeing creepy crawling things and spooky creatures in the stores for decorating the house inside and out with all different things. Halloween is beating Christmas out with the amount of money families spend on decorating and buying stuff for inside and for parties.

Keeping Halloween a family friendly holiday can happen if you put your mind to it and plan ahead. Schools and churches often host safe parties, so why can’t families do it by themselves inside their own in their own homes?

Keeping it safe means no scary freaky decorations and bloody stuff. If children are going to be attending the party keep the “grown up” drinks for another time and party. 5

Halloween is a great time to host a party that includes people all ages – adults, teen, kids and infants. Start a new tradition that will be forever remembered by the family and friends.

Instead of going trick or treating in your neighborhood, or a friend’s neighborhood, try hosting a “Halloween Block Party” with people living around you. Gather friends with children and bring them all together at your house for this fun evening.

The most important thing for this party is that everyone helps out. The host will provide either all decorations, or food and the space for making the atmosphere fun for Halloween. Friends and family members can bring small dishes of food to share and pumpkins for each of their own children. And gift bags and the most important TREATS for the kids.

Personally, I’m the baker out of my friends, so they can trust me to bring spooky and delicious food. But I know some of the good old dips and pizza are a favorite for a party. I recommend a mixture of heavy appetizers and sweets that should make all little monster belly’s happy.

What is a Halloween Party without wearing some crazy costume and make –up? Have a contest for the best Halloween costume. What you need is a bucket for the ballot box. I suggest those cute little plastic pumpkin buckets you can use for trick or treating. Leave pens and notecards near the ballot area so everyone can cast their votes.

What is a contest without prizes? You can have prizes prepared for the following categories: Best Adult Costume, Best Child Costume, Scariest Costume, Funniest Costume and Most Creative Costume. Throughout the night remind all guest to vote for his or her favorite costume.

Another fun idea is a pumpkin-decorating contest. You need acrylic paints, brushes, paint pens and other art supplies for decorating the pumpkins. Have a space ready for decorating. The garage or yard is a perfect place for the children to paint and decorate their pumpkins. You may want to have some older kids or adults supervise the painting/decorating area.

What is Halloween with all treats and tricks? At your Halloween party, you should have bags for the kids to collect lots of candy from each friend or family member. A fun idea is to get cloth bags at the local craft store and have the kids decorate their own bags. Then provide an adult a bag full of “treats” as they arrive at the party. That way, whenever the children are ready for treats during the evening, all they need to say is those famous three words – “Trick or Treat”.

Another fun idea for a family friendly Halloween is a Cupcake Walk Contest. The materials needed are cupcakes, music, plates, and prizes for the winners. I personally love baking cupcakes and trying to decorate them for a special party. Have the children decorate their own cupcakes, then have the cupcake.

Reading this may have you thinking, this sounds great but I’m on a budget. It this sounds like you, I suggest asking your guests to chip in and bring cheap gag gifts, prizes, candy, and other fun Halloween treats.

Have spooky a safe Halloween!