I love Halloween, more now that I am a mom than before. I have such fond memories of Halloween when I was a kid. Thinking about my costume for months before the actual day. Walking for hours with my dad gathering as much candy as I could, then coming home and counting all the candy to see how much I got. Now that I have 2 children of my own I can relive those memories through their eyes and I love every second of it.
One thing that has changed since having kids is how we celebrate the weeks and days leading up to Halloween. As a family we’ve decided to make some healthy changes that still make the Halloween fun but just a bit healthier. I also have one new tradition that we are doing this year, and you can to. Just make sure you read until the end for the surprise.
Pumpkin Picking. I spent 9 years of my adult life living in south Florida. Pumpkin patches were made up in church parking lots, this is NOT how I wanted my boys to experience pumpkin picking. Thankfully we moved to the Philadelphia area 8 years ago so my boys have experienced how to pick their very own pumpkin off the vine. If you live in an area where you can grow pumpkins locally take the time to go to a REAL pumpkin patch.
Grow Pumpkins. All you need are a few seeds and a good amount of space to plant a pumpkin. How amazing is it to walk in your backyard and pick your very own pumpkin….pretty darn cool!
Pumpkin Carving. We do this either the day before Halloween or the day off. Now that the boys are a bit older and carving kits make it so easy to do it yourself that the kids enjoy making their own designs, and it’s easier on me too.
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds. This is my favorite part. I love roasting pumpkin seeds…just save a few before roasting so you can use them next year when planting.
Costume Making. I’ve always “tried” to make the boys costumes. Some years it just doesn’t work out for one reason or another but if we can make it I will. The kids even help out which makes it fun for them too.
Halloween Dinner & Snacks. Before we head out trick or treating I make a fun Halloween dinner. Something easy that we can quickly eat beforehand or have once we return. Some of my favorites are Chili, Goulash or Carrot Ginger Soup. I also like to have some sort of healthy and fun Halloween snack ready for the kids when they get home from school or even while trick or treating.
Halloween Breakfast. The morning of Halloween I love to make a fun breakfast which is usually something made with Pumpkin — Crockpot Oatmeal, Pumpkin Pancakes or Pumpkin French Toast.
Halloween Movie Night. Leading up to Halloween we always watch a fun Halloween movie with the kids. We make homemade popcorn and a fun healthy inspired dessert to have during the movie. Some of our favorite movies are Monster House, Casper, Gremlins and, of course, The Great Pumpkin.
Halloween Books. We always end our night with a fun Halloween story. Throughout the years I’ve collected many books that I can now share with my boys. Before Halloween head to your local library and collect some of your favorites. You can read them leading up to the big night and save your favorite for that evening. We have a new favorite this year – Halle Weenie! Have you heard of her? She is a new witch on the scene, but I know that soon she will be just as popular as all the other witches. Learn more about her and how you can win a copy for your family.
Halloween doesn’t need to surround itself around candy. You can focus on so many other things to make this holiday feel special.
Trina O'Boyle is a Drexel Hill, PA mom of two boys. This post is adapted from her blog, O'Boy Organic.