I love Halloween! The beginning of Fall, pumpkins, candy, costumes and family fun. Every year we gather together as a family and celebrate the season with what I like to call “Monster Mash.” I choose a different theme to base our food and activities on, but no matter what the theme, we always carve pumpkins, dance to Halloween music, and watch a Halloween movie. This year I did a graveyard theme to go along with the long awaited new season of The Walking Dead.
Pumpkin Carving – we have carved pumpkins a number of ways over the years. When our budget was tight, we would purchase one larger pumpkin and each of our four children would be in charge of designing and carving a specific part, such as the mouth, eyes, nose, etc. If we had enough money for each kid to have their own pumpkin, we allow them to choose their design and can either project it onto the pumpkin with a projector or can freehand it. The older kids can complete their entire jack-o-lantern independently, the youngest always gets daddy’s one-on-one attention and assistance. The first year our youngest carved a pumpkin, I looked to see my husband almost falling out of his chair with laughter. Our little guy reached his little arm in the pumpkin to grab a handful of guts and then gagged at the squishy, wet glob. It was quite funny. He did out grow this and can handle the guts with no problem.
Themed foods – of course, Pinterest is the best resource for anything you want to look for. I can come up with many things on my own, but sometimes I turn to the creative site for new ideas. This year I found a few great pins for foods to go along with my graveyard theme:
JELL-O Worms (not from Pinterest, but was still very good)
As for the punch, you can really do anything. I have made “Pumpkin Guts” by mixing a scoop of vanilla ice cream with orange soda. I have also made “Monster Blood” by mixing lime sherbet with a lemon-lime flavored soda. This year, I made “Zombie Brain Juice” by mixing rainbow sherbet with white grape juice, lemon-lime soda and a little orange soda. You can really do anything. If you get stuck, just look up some ideas.
Halloween Music – We love to turn up the volume on a few seasonal favorites then sing and dance as we eat and enjoy each other. And, if you have ever seen me or a couple of the genetic versions of me, then you would enjoy the spastic movements we call dancing! One of my favorite memories was of my now thirteen year-old when he was about 7. He was a werewolf for Halloween. He put on his mask and hopped onto our ottoman and danced along to the music. I forgot to mention he was in his underwear! It is a priceless, sweet memory.
Some of our favorites are:
- Purple People Eater
- Monster Mash
Halloween Movies – Our number once family favorite is Hocus Pocus, but there are a couple of others that we could rate as a favorite for the season:
- Little Monsters – 1989 movie that is a classic
- Monster Squad – 1987 movie and another classic
- Scooby Doo
Every year when I announce our “Monster Mash” the kids become excited. They love this fun family night, even my teen daughter and boys!
Try some of these, or create your own and let me know what your favorites were and how your kids liked it.