Five awesome Halloween family traditions. It’s just like being a kid again.

I love traditions, especially in the fall. Like when the kids have a “Let’s put ourselves to bed” night, or my favorite “Let’s let mom sleep in and then serve her breakfast in bed and then leave with dad for the day so she can go to Homegoods alone for hours and hours.”

But we’re talking about fall and Halloween traditions in today’s column! With the holidays approaching, it’s the perfect time to initiate some inventive and bonding traditions that are fun and memorable. Here are a few to get you started. (But you can use those others I mentioned above any time you want. Just a suggestion.)

#1 Fall-themed Activities

October is completely packed with fall activities in and around greater Portland including corn mazes, pumpkin picking, haunted houses, cider donuts, harvest festivals and wagon rides. Choose one (or all) of these activities and make it a point to go every year. Kids love consistency, especially in the form of fun. Making memories, people.

#2 Halloween Decor

My 5 year old daughter is a legit party planner in the making and every holiday or special occasion requires a litany of home and outdoor decorations. You can hit up the specialty Halloween pop-up stores, but personally, I think those dollar stores offer a treasure trove of holiday frills for stuff like black web netting, fake spiders and Styrofoam grave stones. The kids love decorating together as a family and it may not be Martha Stewart perfect, but it’s perfect to them and that makes me happy.

#3 Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

I’m not sure why, but this tradition sticks out most in my Halloween memory bank. Maybe it was the thrill of sticking our bare hands into the goopy pumpkin center or simply watching them brown up in the oven. Either way, eating roasted pumpkin seeds (don’t forget the salt) is one of my favorite childhood memories. Healthy, too. Thanks Mom.

#4 Frightful Family Photos

I’m not a big Halloween-dresser-upper, but what’s more hilarious than a costumed family portrait? Don your trick-or-treat getups (parents, you can whip up a cowboy or spa lady easy enough) and snap some pics. The sillier the poses, the better. Every year, you can put into a frame and display it with the other nutty Halloween décor inside your home. Go double duty and use the photo for your Christmas card, why not?

#5 Post-Trick-Or-Treat Movie

What’s worse than trying to convince your kid that, in fact, the 4lbs. of sugared treats overflowing out of their plastic pumpkin collection pail is enough and it’s time call it a night? To accomplish this, you must have something fun and exciting waiting for them at home. After trick-or-treat, head straight to the couch for a family Halloween-themed movie like “Charlie Brown’s It’s The Great Pumpkin”, “Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, or even “E.T.” and “Harry Potter”. Check out the 2020 lineup for Freeform’s (formerly ABC Family) “31 Nights of Halloween”  and get your DVR ready! Hey, you already have the movie candy.

It makes my heart swell to know that my kids will take these memories with them through adulthood and maybe even incorporate them into their own family’s traditions someday. Enjoy the season!

We love hearing about your family traditions! Share with us your favorites and inspire other families to create some new ones of their own. Happy Halloween!

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