I love this time of year with the cool weather, changing leaves, and of course HALLOWEEN! In putting this guide together last year I challenged myself to try some new things and see how many days I could maximize my family time by doing something fun and memorable. Check out my guide below and maybe get inspired for some new things to try with your family!
Sunday, October 1: My Halloween décor spills out my front door and into my front yard! Take the opportunity to visit your local farm, farmer’s market, or cider mill with your kids and stock up on a fun variety of mums, pumpkins, gourds, and hay and let the kids help you set up a photo-worthy porch!
Monday, October 2: Continue getting in the spirit by adding some fall decorations to your living space. My kids love setting up our Halloween village with items we add annually from Michaels (along with a variety of other treasures). We have also hit the jack-o-lantern-pot in the dollar section at Target, Kirkland’s, and Marshalls, to add to our collection.
Tuesday, 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 along a picnic.
Wednesday, October 4: Take the opportunity to use some of your collected items from yesterday and make something fun that you can display. Here is one I absolutely love but share some of yours as well on our Facebook page.
Thursday, October 5: Storytime- I know this is a story that I mentioned last year, but it bears repeating and is one I gift frequently because I LOVE it so much: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. Make sure to get the DVD ($5 on Amazon) and download the app as well. My kids are endlessly entertained by it, and so am I.
Friday, 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.
Saturday, October 7: Take a quick trip to your local retailer and help your kids find the perfect Halloween attire. My kids usually keep them in the rotation year-round, but they get heavy wear during the month of October. Carters, Target, and Gymboree have a darling selection, but if you are looking for something more personalized make sure to check out Etsy.
Sunday, October 8: Cooking time- 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.
Monday, October 9: Time to be neighborly. Have your kiddos cut out pumpkin shapes and decorate some cards for the neighbors. I know our elderly neighbors appreciate this gesture beyond measure and it’s a great way for you to get to know the people around you.
Tuesday, October 10: 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;)
Wednesday, October 11: Here are a little hump-day fun…stop at a cider mill on the way to school for some fresh cider and donuts without the crazy lines (you are welcome). If you love your teachers as much as we do, make sure to get a couple extra to share or maybe even take them in for a special class treat!
Thursday, October 12: Storytime – At the Old Haunted House, by Helen Ketteman is a great story for the little ones and has counting, rhyming, and repetition, perfect to keep their attention.
Friday, October 13: Did you know that the Grinch that Stole Christmas has a prequel? Well there is and 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.
Saturday, October 14: Cider mills are my all-time favorite, but with kids, they need to have a little more to look forward to than just snacks. That is why I love Yates and Rochester Cider Mill because they have petting zoos too! Yummy treats and cute little animals = WIN! WIN! See a complete list of cider mills throughout the metro Detroit area here – DMB’s Guide to Cider Mills
Sunday, October 15: Time to give back- with the holidays coming the 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 and now it a great time to take up a food drive in your neighborhood. Click here to learn more – Gleaners Food Bank
Monday, October 16: Mondays are hard, have a cookie. Here is a great twist on traditional chocolate chip cookies that my kids LOVE. The best part is that they contain a vegetable so they are almost healthy! This recipe is SO good —–> Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Tuesday, October 17: By now it’s starting to feel like fall and the weather is getting cooler so spending time outside is getting tougher. That makes it the perfect time for a bonfire. If you don’t exactly have perfect yard, you can always get a portable pit that sits on your deck or driveway. If that still won’t work for you, download the virtual version on your TV or iPad, light some fall candles, and get cozy under some blankets.
Wednesday, 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 😉
Thursday, October 19: Have you ever been BOOed? If not, start the tradition in your neighborhood. See this link for directions, but 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! It spreads like wildfire.
Friday, October 20: Get out and enjoy nature! If you are in north Oakland Co. check out the Halloween Hoot at Dinosaur Hill on the 20th, 21st, or 22nd!
Saturday, October 21: Hayrides anyone? Check out the Fall Harvest Festival at Upland Hills Farm on Saturdays and Sundays in October and reserve your time for hayrides in the evening. http://www.uplandhillsfarm.com/fallharvestfestival.html
Sunday, October 22: If you haven’t gotten a chance to get to Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo, make sure you get tickets for this last night of festivities. It’s a great test-run for the Halloween costumes and fun for the whole family.
Monday, October 23: Movie night- Frankenweenie is a new favorite in our house, but a very heartwarming addition to our annual lineup. Like most well-done children’s films, it is a great one for kids and parents.
Tuesday, October 24: 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.
Wednesday, October 25: 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 26: Another good read- Skelton Hiccups, by Margery Cuyler. This is a super cute and funny book, and if your kids are like mine they will love imitating the hiccups. There is also a read-along version on Youtube.
Friday, October 27: If you haven’t checked out any of your local haunted houses, why not have a haunted house/ Halloween party for your favorite little ones. Use some of the above suggestions or come up with great ideas of your own. Set your creative side free and let your kids make spooky decorations to scare their friends.
Saturday, 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. Check with your local schools, businesses, and downtown to see if they are doing these.
Saturday, 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, Green Field Village, pumpkin farms, cider mills, and other local happenings in your area for more ideas.
Monday, October 30: Pumpkin carving is a great time, but equally enjoyable in our house is pumpkin painting. Letting the kids paint spooky faces and decorate their pumpkins helps them 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!
Tuesday, October 31: Time for the MAIN EVENT! Enjoy trick-or-treating and have a safe and happy Halloween!