(Family Features) By the time Halloween rolls around, many families are deep into the hustle and bustle of the school year. The holiday provides a great opportunity to focus on family and spend some quality time together.
Shared experiences bring loved ones closer, and Halloween is a perfect time for doing something with the people in your life who matter most, whether it’s your immediate family, college family, friends, siblings or extended family.
These family-friendly activities can help you create some special spooky memories this Halloween with your friends and loved ones:
Visit local attractions
Many communities offer seasonal events or destinations where you can find all kinds of family fun while enjoying a refreshing autumn afternoon. Some popular examples include corn mazes, pumpkin patches and haunted houses. You might also find other attractions such as hayrides and petting zoos.
Designing the perfect jack-o’-lantern or pumpkin creation can be fun for the whole family. Toddlers and younger children can express their creativity through painting, stickers and accessory kits while older children and young adults may find carving kits to be more their style. Consider the options from Pumpkin Masters, which creates new products every year so you can always find something fresh each Halloween. For example, Premium Sticker Patterns make it easy to peel, stick and carve with pattern transfer sheets while options like Mummy Carving and Decorating Kit or Unicorn Decorating let little creatures in on the fun.
Go trick-or-treating together
Participating in this age-old tradition as a family can make for a fun evening of joy and laughter. You can also incorporate numerous teachable moments, including reminders about safety around strangers and when crossing the street, practicing manners like please and thank you or taking turns ringing doorbells with friends or siblings.
Watch scary movies.
Whether you relive your own youth by introducing your kids to the classics or explore more contemporary flicks, gathering the group around the screen for a frighteningly fun movie night can appeal to the whole family. With so many options available, you can easily find something age-appropriate for your little ones – just be sure to add some seasonal snacks to make the night complete.
Find more ideas to inspire quality time with family this Halloween at pumpkinmasters.com.
Recycle your pumpkin
Once the holiday fun is done, you may wonder what to do with your leftover pumpkin (and the insides, too). Consider these ideas:
Bake the seeds
Whether you eat them yourself or share them with local wildlife, roasted pumpkin seeds provide a tasty treat. They’re delicious with a light coating of olive oil and salt, or you can get creative with seasonings and spices.
The stringy, gooey insides of a pumpkin make for a ghoulish bowl of goopy guts, perfect for Halloween pranks. You can use the pulp in its natural form or search for recipes that add ingredients like glue, water and baking soda for even more texture.
Pumpkins generate organic waste, so adding them to a compost bin (or burying them) can be quite beneficial for the soil. Either option returns organic matter to the Earth, rather than heaping it into a landfill where it’s just adding to accumulating food waste.
Create a planter
If you save the pieces carved from your jack-o’-lanterns, you can use a toothpick to secure them in place. Then you’ll be left with a vessel that’s perfect for using as a seasonal planter. Add some mums or other autumn blooms and enjoy them throughout the fall.
Donate to a nearby farm
Pumpkins can be a tasty treat for wildlife and livestock. If you don’t have animals like bunnies and squirrels to share your pumpkin with in your own backyard, check with area farms to see if they’d like your leftover pumpkins to use as food for the animals.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (mother and child painting pumpkins)