It's October, and time to get spooky! As the leaves are falling, and everyone is drinking pumpkin spice lattes, you can start getting into the Halloween spirit. If you are looking for ideas for Halloween fun, you have come to the right place.
Halloween has always been mine and my daughter's favorite holidays. When she was little, we wore matching costumes almost every year, and as she got older, we had fun going to haunted houses, corn mazes, carving pumpkins and more!
There are lots of great things to do with kids for Halloween, and getting them to use their creativity to make Halloween costumes, snacks and crafts can help them have something fun to do now that summer is over.
Origins of Halloween
You can also learn more about the haunted history of Halloween, and read about its origins. In case you don't know, History tells us:
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.
This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
Halloween came to the American colonies with early settlers, and the earliest traditions have to do with wearing costumes to ward off evil. However, as the holiday became more secularized over time, some of the dark origins were forgotten in favor of fun and kids' activities.
According to The Pioneer Woman,
Eventually, the games, mischief-making, and hunt for sweets all melded together into trick-or-treating, and the whole thing became more about community than anything else. By the time the 20th century rolled around, it was an essentially secular holiday centered on neighborhood get-togethers and parties.
Learning about the history of Halloween can be fun for kids too, as they see the origins of one of their favorite holidays. This is a great way to show kids that history can be fun and interesting, too. You can teach them where there traditions come from, and legends about ghosts and spirits.
There are traditional Halloween costumes that are popular every year like ghosts, devils, witches and black cats. However, many kids like to dress up as their favorite TV or movie characters, or like characters from games or books. Every year, there are different costumes that may be favorites, so it is important to shop early to get the best costumes before they sell out.
According to The Everygirl, here are some of the hottest costume trends for 2023:
Ariel from The Little Mermaid
Rihanna at The Super Bowl
Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour
Daisy Jones and The Six
Katniss from The Hunger Games
Ellie from The Last of Us
Jobu Tupaki from Everything Everywhere All At Once
Tanya McQuoid from The White Lotus
Kourtney Kardashian in the “Travis I’m Pregnant” meme
Beyoncé from the Renaissance Tour
Carmy from The Bear
Mabel Mora from Only Murders in the Building
Olivia Rodrigo + “Vampire”
Sarah from Outer Banks
Carrie from Sex And The City
Top Gun: Maverick
Gwen from Across the Spiderverse
Twitter vs. Threads
You can steal one of these ideas, or create your own from Halloween history, pop culture, or your favorite cartoon characters. It is fun to exercise your creativity and dress up as someone else for a night. You can always put a creative spin on favorite costumes too.
If you do a group costume, it can be fun for a Halloween party, or a group of kids going trick-or-treating. We have done group costumes in the past, and they were always a blast!
One year, we did zombie Disney princesses, and had a blast with my oldest daughter doing all of our matching zombie makeup. We went out as Ariel, Elsa and Moana, only in zombie form.
Watching scary movies, curled up with some popcorn is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit. Many movie channels will add special movies, just in time for Halloween. Some of our long-time favorites include Interview With A Vampire, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Monster House.
The newest Ghostbusters is also out on Netflix right now, and we had a great time watching that. Ghostbusters Afterlife is well worth watching, and will have kids and adults alike rooting for this great cast of characters.
According to IMDB,
Running out of options and money, single mum Callie sets foot in the small town of Summerville, Oklahoma, with her two teenage children, Phoebe and Trevor. And now, there is no turning back. As the family attempts to settle in the dilapidated house of Callie's eccentric late father, unexpected secrets hidden in plain sight, mysterious equipment, and a strange vehicle rotting in the barn seem to relate to the area's puzzling seismic activity, and something even more shocking: the long-forgotten Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man Incident in 1980s New York City. But there hasn't been a single ghost sighting since the bizarre events of Ghostbusters II (1989). Is history repeating itself? Will Phoebe connect the dots, give her grandfather a voice, and discover the family's connection to the original Ghostbusters (1984)?
If you are looking for some other movies to watch this Halloween season, you can look for classics and new movies alike to make your hair stand on end. Or, if you want a series to watch, you can always check out American Horror Story. Each season tells its own story, and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
You can also check out this list from Good Housekeeping of the 80 Best Halloween Movies of All-Time. Here are the first 5, so you can get an idea:
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Watching a scary movie is always a great weekend activity either for yourself, or with the kids. You can curl up with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn and have a great time!
As you get ready to celebrate Halloween on October 31st, you can find fun, scary activities to keep yourself and your kids entertained every day of the month.
What are your favorite Halloween activities or traditions? Let me know in the comments!