Whether you love it or hate it, I think we can all agree this holiday takes a lot of effort to make it a special and safe night for all involved. But if you’re growing tired of the annual routine and want to spice things up, I have new ideas you can start using now all the way through to Halloween night.

You might remember this post I ran last year about our neighborhood’s “Boo’ing” tradition. It’s something we all look forward to every Halloween, and this year we discovered a way to bring it up a notch with Ghost-A-House. This activity kit lets you track your ghost online as it makes its way from door to door in your neighborhood. I am seriously so excited to try this out – and if you live near me – watch out because there is no excuse for not moving the ghost. I will “haunt” you down! From tasty treats to photo tips to sanity savers, below are more creative ideas to get you and your family in the Halloween spirit…

Celebrate All Season Long
Don’t forget we have comprehensive directories on local Halloween events, pumpkin patches, and fall festivals! Check these lists often because we continually update them as we receive new information.

Roast Pumpkin Seeds
This is a favorite family tradition in our house, and I found this link to three different roasted pumpkin seed recipes – Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, Black Tea & Butter Pumpkin Seeds, and Curried Pumpkin Seeds. I can’t wait to try these myself!

Bake More Pumpkin
I love anything pumpkin and am always seeking ways to enjoy it all autumn long. I recently learned that Trader Joe’s has every pumpkin product available under the moon!  Additionally, here are 13 mouth-watering recipes I found online that will please a pumpkin fanatic like myself!

Capture the Good, the Bad & the Ugly
To change it up and create photos to remember, I found this article with great tips and tricks. And if you do it right, creating a Halloween-themed photo album at the end of the night could be a fun craft treat!

Get Spooked
ABC Family announced its “13 Nights of Halloween” TV schedule here (runs October 19 – October 31). If you have older kids, you might want to consider some of these all-time favorites.

Take it Indoors
Create a family camp-in, build a fire, roast marshmallows and swap scary stories. Hunt down Halloween-themed books like these to read to each other. Or, consult our Halloween event post here for several indoor Halloween trick-or-treating celebrations.

Host a Family-Only Halloween Party
We ran this post last year, but the crafts and recipes are still timely, easy and fun to do at home – before, after or instead of trick-or treating! And it’s not too late to get started on these festive fall and Halloween home decorations.

Candy, Candy, Candy!
And by the end of the night, if you are still left with mounds of Halloween candy, don’t pitch it and please don’t eat it all! There are plenty of ways to make use of your candy throughout the year.

Use the candy to create an advent calendar – or decorate a gingerbread house, a holiday wreath, or holiday cupcakes. More creative leftover candy recipes can be found here.

Turn the Candy into Cash!
Three Triad dentists participate in Halloween Candy BuyBack. These offices include Kingery & Kingery in Clemmons (on November 5), Warr Pediatric Dental Associates in High Point (on November 1), and Drs. Civils Dental Practice in Greensboro (between November 4 and 11). Contact each practice for more information.


We confirmed with our friends at The Ronald McDonald House in Winston-Salem that they will gladly accept any unwanted Halloween candy (must be completely wrapped like new). You can also mail your left-over candy to our troops. Operation Shoebox has information on its web site to help you do this. Another idea is to ask your respective PTA organizations if they have a need for candy. There always an opportunity to distribute free candy at school events