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20 Halloween Activities for the Family, Fun Facts, and more

Children in Halloween costumes cooking together at table

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It’s about to get Spooky!

HALLOWEEN HOLIDAY is observed on the 31st OCTOBER EVENING every year. The holiday, characterized by celebrations and superstition, has become the second largest commercial festival in the United States after Christmas and the most favorite festival for kids. However, while other countries also celebrate Halloween, it is not as big as in the US, even in nations where it began.

We have gathered enjoyable activities, facts, and information about Halloween that you don’t want to miss.

Keep reading!

Schoolboy making his own halloween pumpkin
Making your own Halloween pumpkin

What is Halloween?

Halloween is a holiday commemorated on the 31st of October every year. During this day, families engage in many fun and spooky activities. There is also a lot of creativity on Halloween, including carving jack-o-lanterns, crafting unique Halloween decorations, or making mysterious costumes. The spooky side of Halloween involves the spine-chilling excitement of taking trail walks through a maze of terror or visiting a haunted house. 

A Brief History of Halloween

It is not clear when Halloween originated. Some historians argue that the holiday began in the 5th Century BC, while others believe it started in the Middle Age. Despite these disagreements, historians agree that the holiday has religious and pagan roots.    

Samhain’s Gaelic harvest festival marked the end of the growing season and the start of winter in Scotland, England, and Ireland. Many Celts believed the barrier between the supernatural and natural world vanished on Samhein, allowing the dead to walk among the living.

In these festivities, people would dress in animal costumes, light fires, and tell one another’s fortunes. This holiday evolved when the Catholic Church turned the Samhain into a religious holiday and named it “All Hallows” or “All Saints Day.” The “All Hallows,” or today’s Halloween holiday, was moved from the 1st of November to October 31st evening.

How Halloween Came to the US

American colonists became the first people to bring Halloween to America. Most colonists were English Puritans who celebrated “All Hallows” before traveling to the new country. They continued with the Celtic religious traditions in the US despite being replaced by Christianity.

The Halloween traditions in American Colonies were influenced by diverse cultures causing them to meld and change. For example, all Hallow’s Eve was a “play party” period to celebrate the harvest. During these celebrations, people dressed in costumes and shared scary stories. These first Halloween parties brought about the Halloween celebrations we have today.

The History of Trick-or-Treat

The History of trick-or-treating is mainly linked to the old souling custom. During souling, the needy people moved from house to house begging for soul cakes. In return, they would pray for homeowners’ dead relatives.

The History of Jack-o’-lanterns

According to the traditional Celtic story, a man called Jack tricked the Devil. After the death of Jack, the Devil made him roam in the night with a lump of burning coal to light his path. Jack placed the coal in a carved-out turnip, a typical Irish vegetable, which would later be called “Jack of the Lantern.”

Scottish and Irish began to carve their version of Jack’s lantern and placed them near doors and windows to scare away Jack, among other evil spirits. Once the tradition landed in America, native pumpkins took the place of turnips, paving the way for today’s Jack-o’-lanterns.

The History of Dressing in Costumes

The tradition of dressing in costumes originated in Celtic and among European people as they sort to hide from returning spirits. People wore masks when living at home to confuse ghosts into thinking they were also spirits. They also placed bowls of food outside to keep the ghosts happy.

The History of using Black and Orange for Halloween 

The combination of Black and Orange colors is among the most recognizable Halloween symbols. Orange was used to symbolize the changing of leaves during the autumn season. The color is also linked to the Samhain bonfire traditions. Orange color also represents endurance and strength. On the other hand, Black symbolizes death or the cold winter season.

15 Halloween Fun Facts that you should know

  1. We celebrate Halloween on the 31st of October, and so it happens across the world.
  2. Halloween is the 2nd most popular commercial holiday in the US after Christmas.
  3. Americans spend about 10 billion dollars during every Halloween celebration.
  4. The trick-or-treating activity has been in existence since medieval times.
  5. Around 35 million individuals go trick-or-tricking during Halloween.
  6. The most fabulous Halloween parade occurs in New York annually.
  7.  The first Halloween in the United States was celebrated in the 1840s. However, the holiday is older than that.
  8.  The US president hands out candy at White during Halloween every year.
  9. The Halloween holiday dates back over 2000 years ago.
  10. Immigrants played a significant role in popularizing Halloween in the US.
  11. Most Americans spend on costumes, candy, and decorations.
  12. The heaviest jack-O’ lantern in the world weighed 2350 pounds. It was made on the 12th of October, 2020, in Half Moon Bay, California.
  13. Initially, people carved turnips over pumpkins.
  14. Before the invention of phones, Halloween cards were as popular as Christmas cards.
  15. Pumpkins are classified as fruit rather than a vegetable.

15 Spooky and Funny Halloween Quotes

  1. October was always the least dependable of months … full of ghosts and shadows – Joy Fielding.
  2. Halloween is not only about putting on a costume but also finding the imagination and costume within ourselves – Elvis Duran.
  3. Halloween is an opportunity to be creative – Judy Gold
  4. Darkness falls across the land; The Midnight Hour is close at hand – Rodney Lynn Temperton
  5. For a witch, you certainly don’t know much about how hauntings work – Colleen Houck
  6. I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner – Evan Peters
  7. When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween – Unknown
  8. She used to tell me that a full moon was when mysterious things happen and wishes come true – Shannon A. Thompson
  9. There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow by moonlight – Unknown
  10. Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen. Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween! – Dexter Kozen
  11. Trick or treat, a bag of sweets, ghosts are walking down the street – Unknown.
  12. Sticky fingers, tired feet; one last house, trick or treat!- Rusty Fischer
  13. “I witch you a Happy Halloween.” —Unknown
  14. “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” —J.K. Rowling
  15. “Wishing you a spook-tacular Halloween!” —Unknown 

20 Fun and Spooky Halloween Activities

1. Go Trick-or-Treating

During Halloween night, kids dress in their costumes and go around the neighborhood in groups under the supervision of an adult. They knock on neighbors’ doors and yell, “Trick or Treat?” The neighbors open the door and give out small treats or candy. Then, after thanking generosity, they go to the next house and try out more tricks or treats.

Kids greatly enjoy dressing up in unique costumes and trailing around the neighborhood, getting treats from as many people as possible.

2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Visiting a pumpkin patch is a classic Halloween activity and a fun family adventure. You can take photos with a giant pumpkin, a friend you found in the patch, or a unique pumpkin. In addition, going to a pumpkin patch allows your kids to learn and have fun picking their pumpkins.

3. Set a Spooky Table

 Help your kids to spiff up the dining table with DIY ghost leaves. Ask them to gather slightly dry leaves, paint them white, and add two black dots to signify eyes. They can also string them together to form a Halloween garland or glue them onto pumpkins as no-carve decoration.

4. Pick Fresh Apples

While picking apples is not a 100% Halloween activity, it is decidedly a great fall activity. Children have a lot of fun picking apples together and feel responsible and independent. Picking apples from trees is good, acceptable motor practice, especially for younger kids. You can check with apple-picking farms near you before venturing in.

5. “Spook” the Neighbors

This fantastic Halloween game can keep your kids happy and physically active. Ask them to stuff some goodie baskets with yummy treats and ask them to leave them at the front doors of your neighbors. You can also encourage the neighbors to do the same.

6. Enjoy a Halloween Movie Marathon

You can spend Halloween night, weekend, or the entire month of October watching the best, silliest, spookiest Halloween movies. Watching Halloween movies is a great tradition, especially when you get together as a group to watch scary movies.

7. Display some Candy Corn

The display of candy corn everywhere is a sure sign of Halloween. Who can resist the iconic candy as a Halloween treat? You can use candy to make decorations with it or display them in dishes. Don’t mind that most of the display will end up getting eaten.

 The first candy corn was made in the late 1890s. During this period, the tradition was prevalent and was referred to as “Chicken Feed” for the fall harvest treat but later was changed to “Halloween Candy.”

8. Decorate with Orange and Black

During Halloween, it is common to see numerous orange and black decorations. These colors have different meanings, and they also represent the transition from fall to the winter season. Halloween falls between the two seasons, making the orange and black colors a tradition.   Orange symbolizes warmth and the coziness of fall, while Black represents dark and cold winter days.

9. Make Halloween Costumes

 Making Halloween costumes can be fun, especially for older kids. Making your costume can allow your child to display their creativity and ends up with a one-of-a-kind outfit that suits their needs.

10. Plan a Creepy Food Party

This is a fun food-feeling game that kids and adults enjoy. The idea of this activity is to feel the dinner table with small upside-down boxes covering bowls of food and have guests guess what the foods are. 

The fun part of the game is that every box top has a hole and a label of a gross object rather than real food. The guest will put their hands through the whole to feel the food and determine what it is.

The gross object labels could make it easy for the guests to guess quickly what could be in the box. Examples of awful object labels and their representations of real food can include the following:

  • Fingernails –  Sliced almonds
  • Eyeballs – Peeled grapes
  •  Worms –  Cooked spaghetti
  • Rat droppings –  raw rice
  •  Toes- Mini sausage

11. Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Ask your kids to hide Halloween-themed things around the house and within the compound. Please provide them with a check sheet to cross off every item they find. The first person to see all the things will become the winner.

12. Potion Making

Potion-making is just the perfect activity for kids during Halloween. Select several ‘messy’ things to make the potion. For instance, you can give the kids paints, glitter, different colored waters, soap, and PVA glue, among other things, and ask them to create a Halloween potion of their liking.

13. Put the Body Together Competition

This is a tremendous outdoor Halloween activity for the entire family. Create two sets of body parts using cardboard and stuffed clothes, and pop them in a shredded paper bag. Create teams and let them compete to put together the body. The fastest team wins.

14. “Thriller”’ Dance Party

Come up with a Halloween playlist. You can play musical chairs or incorporate some monster freeze dance. Some of the Halloween songs that you can include in your list include the following:

  • Thriller – Michael Jackson
  • Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.
  • Monster Mash – Bobby Boris Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers
  • Time Warp – Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Halloween Theme – John Carpenter
  • This is Halloween – Danny Elfman
  • Werewolves of Landon – Warren Zevon

15. Halloween Relay Race

This fantastic Halloween activity permits your kids to enjoy the outside weather. All you will require is two witches’ brooms and two equal teams. Ask each group to provide a representative to run to the end of the garden and back while riding the witches’ broomstick. They should then pass the broomstick to another team member and repeat the action. The first team to complete the relay is declared the winner.

16. Ghost Hunting

Ghost hunting is nothing more than a hide-and-seek game, but with a little twist. This game is easy and requires no equipment. Pick a ‘ghost hunter” and ask them to count up to 100 as the “ghosts” hide.   The ghost hunter then should begin hunting the ghosts. Every ghost captured becomes a ghost hunter too. 

17. Read Halloween Stories

Reading is always a great learning activity that children can enjoy and equally learn. Find some interesting Halloween books and read them throughout October. Reading the stories will cause your kids to understand what the holiday is about and give them ideas of how they can celebrate the spooky holiday. Reading together also provides precious time for family bonding.

18. Go for a Family Drive

You can plan for an exciting family drive away with family and friends this Halloween holiday. Dress up in fancy costumes and enjoy the evening watching and hearing festivity around your hometown. You can end Halloween by eating at a restaurant or cooking outside as you enjoy the night view.

19. Prepare some Delicacies

Festive times cannot be complete without festive dishes. You can visit local farmers’ markets and buy fresh produce to turn into amazing delicious treats. You can never go wrong with autumn-inspired delicacies. Add some autumn-inspired foods like pumpkins, fruit salads, and mushrooms.

20. Host a Pumpkin Carving Competition

Halloween cannot be complete without pumpkins. You can turn Halloween night into a fantastic family event by setting up a pumpkin carving competition. Let everyone in the family participate in the contest and let the most fantastic carving carry the day.

Halloween Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most popular Halloween Candy?

Chocolate candy tends to be the most popular Halloween candy. Nevertheless, there are other Popular options that people choose from, such as sour, fruity, and a combination of chocolate candies.

Which kid’s costumes are popular on Halloween?

The most popular costumes for kids, which are less scary, include princess and superhero costumes. Feel free to be as creative as possible this Halloween.

Which Scary movies are best for kids to enjoy during Halloween?

You can start a scary movie tradition this Halloween with the following movies:   Halloween Town, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Muppets Haunted Mansion, and Hocus Pocus. These movies are perfect for younger kids since they are not too scary.

Why is it beneficial for your kids to celebrate Halloween?

You can become anyone during Halloween, something that fosters kids’ creativity.
It encourages kids to play with their favorite mythical stories’ archetypes.
Halloween is an excellent time for families and friends to come together.
It promotes physical activities and getting away from the addictive screens.
Halloween teaches children generosity and sharing.

What do we celebrate during Halloween?

We celebrate two historical events during Halloween: One Samhain, which means the end of summer or harvest season. Secondly, to commemorate All Hallows’ Days, this represents two Christian festivals.

What are the traditional Halloween characters?

Some familiar Halloween characters include mummies, vampires, ghosts, spiders, black cats, skeletons, witches, vampires, and monsters. You don’t have to use too scary characters for your kids. Focus on playful aspects and more fun if your kids are too little.

Final Thought:

Halloween is a beloved holiday amongst many, both young and old. Everything about it is fun! The list is endless, from Jack O’Lanterns to costumes, trick-or-tricking, ghost stories, and lots of candies! Besides fun, Halloween enhances kids’ imagination, teaches them self-expression and independence, and helps them overcome fear.

From Kids on the Yard, we Witch you a spooktacular Halloween!

May you get more treats than tricks!

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