It can be difficult getting into the fall spirit when October rolls around and it’s still 90 degrees outside (thanks California). Thankfully, this list of October family traditions will give you all the fall vibes and have you so ready for all the pumpkin spice in the month ahead!
I love fall. Like, I LOVE love fall. Sure Christmas is known for it’s fair share of traditions, but it’s no surprise with my love of fall that I also have a few October go-to activities we have to check off our list to get the season started right.
I also really dig hearing about traditions from other families. Whether they put their own little personal spins on classic traditions, or buck the norm and go way outside the box, you can learn so much about someone by getting to know more about their family traditions.
So what better way to kick off fall than a roundup of some of my favorite October Family Traditions that have been shared with me by friends and fellow bloggers!
31 days of pokes, each filled with a trick or a treat. This amazingly crafty idea was shared with me by Ashley S.! Ashley says she simply glues 31 cups on a foam board, puts a trick or a treat in each cup, then covers it with orange tissue paper and a rubber band to hold the tissue in place.
Easy Peasy! For the goodies inside – “it’s candy (Halloween themed, like gummy boogers and eyeballs, etc), nail polish, Halloween socks, dollar bills/coins, stamps, stickers, slime eyeballs, dead bugs, noodles, stretched out cotton candy so it feels like a spider web when they reach in, etc. I basically hit up the dollar store and dollar section at target and get whatever Halloween themed or cutesy little item will fit. I keep it cheap. Super fun and the kids go crazy over it every year!”
I love this! Mostly I love that it’s super simple, but you can see how any kid would be stoked for October to come around!
Trick Or Treat With A Twist
I really dig this idea for littles! The first two years when Maverick was an only child, the whole Trick Or Treat thing was super awkward. Do I keep my baby up past his bed time to take him around the neighborhood after dark to get candy from my neighbors that we all know I am going to eat since my kid doesn’t even eat solid food yet? If not, what was his costume even for?
Allison V. has solved this dilemma for us! “For Halloween, instead of doing the traditional trick or treat, my husband and I decorate the rooms in our house and hide while our daughter looks for us. If she finds us, she gets her treats.” I think Allison is on the something here! It’s like a Halloween themed hide-and-go-seek, and your neighbor won’t look at your crazy when you swear the candy is for the baby!
I also knew Allison was my kind of gal when she also mentioned she like to do her Christmas shopping in October to get the best deals. As someone who buys our Christmas PJs every year during Labor Day Sales, I connect with this on a deep level! You can check out more from Allison here!
Getting Creative With Toddlers
Rebekah from Southern Boy Mom shared one of their family traditions: “We go to a local pumpkin patch every year pick out pumpkins then come home and decorate them while watching Halloween movies. They love Hotel Transylvania!”
She also has an AMAZING fall to-do list for toddlers! You’ll find the classics like pumpkin patch and hand paint turkeys made the list, but also some new ideas like a color walk, or visiting a farmers market to check out the seasonal produce. I love these ideas the because fall offerings from nature are so unique, it’s important to enjoy the beauty for the brief time we have it each year!
Tonya from Raising Our Gifts shares this twist on traditional Thanksgiving celebration: “Something we have done for the last five years is “friendsgiving”. We often meet the weekend before Thanksgiving at our home for a big Thanksgiving meal. There are four families that attend with 11 children and 8 adults. We have a farm a couple minutes from our home. We meet there first for the fall festival, where we go apple picking, let the children try the activities and always end it off with a hayride. We top the afternoon off with dinner, yummy dessert and a chance for the children to run wild while the adults chat.”
We too have done a few Friendsgivings in the past and they have always been a blast! I am lucky to have found a group of friends who have become family over the years, so it only makes sense I would be thankful for them too! And who wouldn’t want TWO Thanksgiving dinners? Double the stuffing, double the pie? Yes please!
Month Long Movie Fest
Brittany V. shared, “We love to watch Halloween movies together. Our favorite is Hocus Pocus!” Every weekend in October is dedicated to watching Halloween movies! Sounds like a great way to catch up on some classics and get in some extra snuggle time with the kids!
Fun trivia fact about me – I also LOVE the movie Hocus Pocus. When I was getting ready to be induced with Maverick – a DVD of Hocus Pocus was one of the MUST HAVES on my hospital bag list. My poor birth coach. It was the middle of July, where on earth was she supposed to track that down? I’m not sure why I wanted it so bad in that moment, but she did indeed find it. And I happily marched into the hospital not knowing what crazy adventure lay ahead of me.
Kelly P. shares, “10 day pumpkin bread is my family’s favorite! I make about ten loaves every season, and it makes a great gift”.
Bread that takes 10 days? You know I had to know more! I tracked down the recipe, along with a few other variations of this delicious bread from Created By Diane. Not only are the beautiful, but I don’t think it gets anymore fall than this! You can check out the full recipe, along with a few of Diane’s favorite varieties of Friendship Bread here.
Looking To Start A Fall Family Tradition
Bre from The Complex Mom shared that her family does matching costumes (I LOVE when families do this!), and they’ve done everything from Mario Brothers to The Flintstones. She also shared a few great ideas for starting fall family traditions of your own! Gratitude pumpkin anyone?
I’m also a little jealous they do family portraits each fall! The fall colors make a gorgeous backdrop! We always say we are going to do them each fall, but time gets away from us. Truthfully, we haven’t done family portraits since before Carter was born. I think I’ll definitely be adding this to our Fall List as well!
In Our Home
I know it’s a little outside normal tradition, but hear me out here! Carving pumpkins kind of sucks when you have little ones. Carving out all the slimy guts while your kids anxiously grab at sharp carving tools that will break long before the job is done. One day, when I’m a little bit more comfortable giving my kids sharp objects, I will love this activity. Until then – we paint!
The kids love painting their pumpkins! They pick the colors and get as messy as they want creating the pumpkin of their dreams! Not only is this easier, but the pumpkins also last way longer since they haven’t been carved into. It’s not unusual for our pumpkins to stick around on the porch until Thanksgiving.
It doesn’t get more fall than Apple Hill. It is filled to the brim with every fall cliché and I could not love it more. Apple picking? Check. Pumpkin patch? Check. Hay Rides? Yup! Fresh pressed cider, warm apple pies, caramel apples, fall themed gifts and decorations, petting zoo, face painting, pumpkin spice treats, apple wine and pumpkin beer! I mean it is a fall lover’s dream!
I started yearly trips with friends in my early twenties and now that I am a parent it has become a special tradition for our family. It was even one of the first times we spent time as “us three” (before Carter made us “four”) when Anthony and I started dating. Not only is it just a great place to spend a fall day, it has a special place in my heart.
Your Family Traditions
Does your family have any special October traditions? Are the sweet like apple pie? Are they scary like a spooky haunted house? I would love to hear all about them! Share them below in the comments.