Halloween has always been my favorite time of year and has always been one of my favorite holidays. While 2020 has brought more than its fair share of challenges, we do not have to sacrifice all of the fun of fall and Halloween. We can enjoy a month of fun while still keeping our families safe. October is knocking on the door…time to get started with 31 days of Halloween fun!
Thursday, October 1 For those of you who are able to contain your excitement and wait until October 1 to put up decorations…good for you! I always jump the gun and decorate earlier, but if you waited, today is the day. Whether it’s farmer-chic or spooky ghouls, putting up some Halloween decorations inside your house is a great way to kick the month off.
Friday, October 2 What goes better with inside decorations than letting them spill right out your front door and into your yard? If you live near a great farm, or even some of the grocers and big-box stores, there is a wide variety of outside decoration to make your yard seasonally spectacular. Some of my favorites are hay bails, corn stalks, gourds, and mums, but there are no rules.
Saturday, October 3 While the weather is still warm, take this opportunity to go on a changing colors hike. My kids love collecting pine cones, pretty leaves, and acorns along with anything else they find along the way. Find a new great park to explore and take a picnic along. Make sure to save your finds for tomorrow!
Sunday, October 4 Take the opportunity to use some of your collected items from yesterday and make something fun that you can display. Leaf lanterns is one I absolutely love, but you can share some of yours as well by using the hashtag #detroitmom.
Monday, October 5 Story time! Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson has been on my list in past years, but it bears repeating. I gift this one frequently because I LOVE it so much. Make sure to get the DVD or watch on Amazon Prime, and download the app as well. My kids are endlessly entertained by it, and so am I.
Tuesday, October 6 If you haven’t done so already, break out your Halloween pajamas and settle in for a spooky family feature. I still look forward to my first viewing of Hocus Pocus every year, and my kids humor me and pretend they love it just as much. Some other great Halloween movies that our family absolutely loves are Casper, Hotel Transylvania, Goose Bumps, and The Addams Family.
Wednesday, October 7 It’s cooking time with slow cooker chili! Okay, I am admittedly not a cook, but I can manage slow cooker recipes, and this one is a win! I modify it a smidge by adding a can of corn, some mild jalapeno, and using a combination of pork and beef, but there really is no wrong way to do it.
Thursday, October 8 Time to be neighborly. Have your kiddos cut out pumpkin shapes and decorate some cards for the neighbors or a local nursing home. I know our elderly neighbors appreciate this gesture beyond measure and it’s a great way for you to teach your children about the joys of making others smile.
Friday, October 9 Time to play! Now that my kids are school age, they love games, and one of their favorites is bingo. Check out this site for free Halloween bingo card printables and use candy corns to cover the spaces. Play until the candy is gone.
Saturday, October 10 Cider mills are my all-time favorite! There are so many great ones in the area that it would be a sin to single any out, but if you haven’t made the trip out to Blake’s near Romeo, then you definitely should. There are so many fun things to do that you can make a whole day of it!
Sunday, October 11 One of the most nostalgic parts of my childhood was watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (or reading the book if you prefer). There is also a fantastic interactive reader app. Anything that reminds me of my childhood is wonderful, but watching my kids love it as much as I do is a bonus!
Monday, October 12 Mondays can be a drag, but why not add a little pep to your dinner by adding some fun and fancy spooky décor to your table? Amazon and the dollar store are great places for some inexpensive items, so feel free to go crazy!
Tuesday, October 13 Did you know that How the Grinch Stole Christmas has a prequel? It is called Halloween is Grinch Night and you can watch it on YouTube. It’s very cute, and the perfect short flick for right before bed.
Wednesday, October 14 Now that the weather is cooling off, it is a great time to get cozy and roast some marshmallows. I found some great Halloween fleece throws, and we like to sit outside making delicious s’mores. Don’t have a firepit? No problem! You can fake it by melting the marshmallows in the microwave for about 15 seconds (watch how much they puff up!), then light a fall scented candle.
Thursday, October 15 Time to give back. With the holidays coming, local food pantries are stocking up on necessities to be prepared for the demand. I love to take time as often as I can to teach my kids the importance of giving back. Now is a great time to take up a food drive in your neighborhood.
Friday, October 16 Cooke time! I love doing cut-out cookie decorating with my kids, but don’t always have the time or patience. If you are a baker like I am, then pull out the rolling pin and get at it. If not, look for frozen pre-cut cookies you can bake and decorate at places like GFS or Costco, or get the festive tubes that you can cut and bake from your local grocer.
Saturday, October 17 With many kids doing virtual learning, they are probably starting to really miss their friends. Before the weather turns cold it’s a great time to plan a park meet-up to give the kiddos an opportunity to see their pals and blow off steam. Making sure to socially distance is important, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
Sunday, October 18 Time for a craft with stuff from around your house. These darling apple stamps make the perfect pumpkin! Make sure your kids don’t eat them when they are done.
Monday, October 19 Have you ever been BOOed? If not, start the tradition in your neighborhood. Basically, you put together a little Halloween treat bag for your neighbors, then wait until dark and put it on their porch with a note telling them they have been BOOed! See this link for directions.
Tuesday, October 20 Pumpkin spice and everything nice… What is fall without the flavor of pumpkin spice? Today is a great time to grab some pumpkin spice treats like pumpkin butter, pumpkin spice bread, or pumpkin spice cookies. Trader Joe’s is a great place to find some tasty seasonal treats.
Wednesday, October 21 Nothing breaks up the week like a Halloween treasure hunt. See the attached suggestions for doing one in your home, take it outside, or come up with your own ideas.
Thursday, October 22 With Halloween almost here, it’s time to get your costume ready. Take a trip to your closest Halloween store to get all of your last-minute costumes or accessories and take a dry run. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell in the packaging how well a costume will fit, or how practical an accessory will be until you give it a trial run, so go full-glam and maybe show them off to some family on Zoom.
Friday, October 23 While the Detroit Zoo may not be able to host their annual Zoo Boo, it is still open for visits. Take a nice afternoon stroll through the open exhibits and show the animals some love. If you can’t make it out there, get on their website and watch the animals live!
Saturday, October 24 Time for some family time and college football! What goes better with football than snacks? Pumpkin beer is one of my absolute favorites, so when I saw a recipe for soft pretzels made with pumpkin beer I was sold! These turned out fantastic, and were even great the next day as sandwich buns. They were much easier than expected and paired perfectly with a day of football.
Sunday, October 25 Petting zoos and hayrides…oh my! With many activities being canceled because of COVID, it is nice that some fun fall activities are still available. Make sure to buy tickets in advance and dress for the weather.
Monday, October 26 Time for a Halloween read-a-thon! There are soooo many cute Halloween stories that we have a hard time fitting them all in (especially with several on repeat), so why not have a night where you crush those mandatory reading minutes and get in all your favorite spooky stories at the same time? If you haven’t checked out some of these, make sure to add them to your list: Bedtime for Monster, Big Bad Bubble, The Haunted Ghoul Bus, Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.
Tuesday, October 27 Build your own haunted house. Take any dark room, a parent in a spooky costume, spooky music courtesy of Alexa, and a flashlight, and let your imagination take over. Warning: messiness and excessive laughter to follow!
Wednesday, October 28 Trunk-or-Treating is one of my new favorite trends. Schools, daycares, and other local organizations have stepped up to help keep kid festivities safe and enjoyable. It is an outdoor activity and social distancing is fairly easy! Check around you to see where you can find one, or start your own.
Thursday, October 29 If you have kept up with this list then you have probably maximized your fun for the season, but if you still have some energy left, check out Cross Roads Village, Greenfield Village, pumpkin farms, cider mills, and other local happenings in your area for more ideas.
Friday, October 30 Pumpkin carving is a great time, but equally enjoyable in our house is pumpkin painting. Letting the kids paint spooky faces helps the cute pumpkins last a little bit longer. Make sure to paint one teal to display on your porch if you are going to pass out allergy-safe treats as well!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31 Time for the MAIN EVENT! I hope that your local municipality allows for trick-or-treating, but even if they don’t, let your kids dress up and eat as much candy as they want anyway. Have a small get together and order pizza and make sure that you find a way to keep it upbeat!