Halloween Planning

I’m still amazed that it’s really October! The conversation at our house has pretty much turned to non-stop Halloween topics. Same for you? I keep warning the kids that Halloween is not a big deal in France (and that October 31st falls during a 2-week school break), but they can’t help themselves.

They are daydreaming about throwing a party for their friends. Bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving, maybe a spook house in the barn. Martha’s new book Handmade Holiday Crafts, came in the mail last Friday, so they’ve been taking turns bookmarking their favorite ideas from the Halloween section. Personally, I’m feeling drawn to the glittery projects (skulls, bones and pumpkins). I suppose I’m just looking for an excuse to get my glitter on.

Have you started making Halloween plans? Are you hosting a Halloween party this year?

UPDATE: The good people at Martha Stewart saw this post and want to offer 5 (autographed!) copies of Handmade Holiday Crafts to Design Mom Readers. So this post just turned into a giveaway. Woot! To enter, leave a comment below telling us about your favorite Halloween craft or tradition. The five winners will be announced on Wednesday.


The winners are Kelly, Rik, M. Peterson, Heather and Janeannechovy. Thanks for playing!

755 thoughts on “Halloween Planning”

  1. you guys should go all out for halloween! show france how to do it. :) halloween is not really that big in england, but it is getting there. we are going to carve pumpkins and might even brave having a party with all the neighbourhood kids (all are 3 and under!) x

  2. Making up the goody bags with the candy to give out on Halloween has to be my favorite part. The kids love doing it.

  3. I bet you could do something fantastic for Halloween with that great backyard you have now. Our favourite Halloween tradition is definitely the homemade costumes. I hope we’ll get a sneak peak of what your kids will be this year.

  4. we were never allowed to be anything goblin-ish for halloween (and i am very okay with that) so my favorite part was always thinking of something interesting. this year my daughter is going to be miss marple or inspector poirot. i love to carve the pumpkins as well. last year i tried to make one look like a pumpkin disco ball. it turned out okay. throw the seeds in the yard and then we spend the summer watching next years pumpkins grow.

    love the book,

  5. Our tradition? Only homemade costumes! I loved our daughters tablecloth covered with paper plate, cup and many plastic ants!

  6. Hello,

    My daughter Darby won the screenplay contest but has not received her prize yet. She is very excited as this is the best thing she has won….asks daily. :) Do you have any information for us?

    My kids spent time creating costumes yesterday from our dress up box. so far, my 9 yr old son is going as Clown Vader. The rainbow wig really highlights the ensemble.

    Our small town closes off Main Street on Halloween and has a Story Book Parade for all the K thru 5 students. It is one of our favorite things.

    Heather Smith

    1. Hi Heather. Ralph sent the prize weeks ago to the address you used to send the screenplay. Check your spam folder for a message from Amazon. Ralph also emailed you directly (at the time he sent the prize) so you knew to expect it. Maybe he’s using the wrong email address?

      I believe it’s the same address you included with this comment and I just emailed you. Hopefully you’re receiving our email!

  7. My very favorite Halloween activity is carving pumpkins. Every year my kids seem to come up withmore creative pumpkin carvings than the year before.

  8. We invite all the neighbors over before trick-or-treating, to fuel up the kids (and the parents) with relatively healthy chili and fruit before they head out into the chilly night. It’s one of my favorite events of the year!

  9. Since our little ones are all grown up, my husband and I love sitting on the front porch together handing out treats to the kids.

  10. Oh, most certainly the carving of the pumpkin, followed closely by the roasting of the seeds. Not my favorite holiday but my now grown girls loved it.

  11. Good, old-fashioned pumpkin carving and seed roasting are our favourite traditions. Second would be having an ‘interesting’ dinner- purple cauliflower soup with bug biscuits, bubbly ‘bug juice’, witch finger cookies…

  12. Definitely has to be carving pumpkins ;) My bf and I have been doing it ever year since we started dating! It’s something we really enjoy doing together :) Plus we like to turn it into a competition!

  13. My favorite Halloween fun is carvin gpumpkins, but my favorite food is mkaing soup in a pumpkin. I have had both a chiken and white bean and a sausage one and both are delicious, especially when you get the inside layer of pumpkin scooped with it.

  14. Going to the pumpkin patch of course is a favorite every year. Tell your kids to go all out, the people in France LOVE Halloween!!! When I lived there it was actually a big deal. The spook house sounds perfect. :)

  15. my halloween decorations are my favorite! not the scary stuff, the cute witches hats and fat cats. i would love some new ideas.

  16. Halloween is our favorite holiday in my house. We spend each year excitedly planning our costumes and our party. This year we’ve decided to theme our party: Creepy Carnival. We’ll be turning our kitchen island into a concession stand and serve cotton candy with glitter sprinkles, popcorn and lemonade. The bathroom will be a psychic booth with “mis-fortune” cards for the guests. My friends and I are planning our costumes accordingly and so far we’ve got a Ring Leader, Trapeze Artist, Freak-show Tattooed Lady (me), and Reptile Boy (my husband). Home-made costumes only!
    We’re also crafting our own cold-air fog machine so the floors have that spooky layer of mist, when we open the front door, it will spill out towards trick-or-treaters which hopefully awes them.

  17. My favorite will always be carving pumpkins and seeing them lit up, but baking orange-frosted cupcakes and halloween-themed cookies is always fun too :-)

  18. What fun that would be to throw a Halloween party for their classmates!
    I just know that would be the talk of the town :o)
    We love to go out and find our pumpkins at a farm, get fresh cider and decorate with leaves and nature for the season.
    What kid doesn’t love Halloween, with all the candy… specially mother *point at self* who get’s to raid the “loot” afterward as well, with permission of course… you know, taste tester, quality control…
    My most fun memory must be when my then 4 year old son went searching in the huge stash and found his desired treat… “Mom! Look, it’s a granola bar! That’s healthy, can I have that one?!”
    Is it bad, that as proud as I was about that… my thought was “more chocolate for mommy then”…

  19. Love MS so much! Every year I add bats to my front porch ala MS. My husband set up a commercial popcorn machine outside and we hand out bags to kids (and parents). We outfit the front porch with old chandeliers and cobwebs. Soooo much fun.

  20. My favorite Halloween tradition is to stuff myself with as much candy as possible after we take our daughter trick or treating!

  21. Wow! What a great giveway! We don’t have kids so we don’t get too crazy for Halloween, but there are a few Martha crafts that I’ve enjoyed over the years. One year I cut out a bunch of different size bats and hung them all over our foyer and front door. Now to find out if I still have them hidden somewhere!

  22. It’s always been pumpkin carving, but I have a new tradition I started with a friend two years ago — making homemade apple cider donuts! It’s the perfect thing to munch on while handing out treats.

  23. On Halloween night we have the family over for hot mulled apple cider and white chili. The kids go around the neighborhood trick-or-treating and the neighbors stop by to warm up by the fire and get some chili and cider :)

  24. Every year we let the kids pick out what pumpkins they want. There are so many shapes and sizes. We look for ideas online for how they want to design the face. The best part is when we open the pumpkin and take out the insides! It’s so messy but the kids love it!

  25. I love carving pumpkins and deciding what costumes to wear! Since we are also expats in France, we will be going to the MESSAGE event on the Champs de Mars on Halloween.

  26. I love all things fall in general, but I’m not so much into the spooky type Halloween crafts. My favorites all involve fun projects with pumpkins, gourds, corn husks, etc. For Halloween, nothing beats pumpkin carving for me. I love the etched designs and Martha always has amazing ideas!

  27. I love halloween, but since I’ve been married I haven’t done much decorating for it. I love carving or painting pumpkins.

  28. Definitely my favorite part about halloween is going to a pumpkin patch and watching my kids search for the perfect pumpkin. Of course knowing that freshly roasted pumpkin seeds are in my future is pretty nice too!

  29. We love making spooky snacks. Last year’s favorite was the witches’ fingers we made from string cheese and bell peppers. Healthy AND spooky!

  30. Oh my goodness! This is an awesome book. I love Halloween and the two things you will always find in my home are lots of candles (black, lots of orange, cream) and pumpkins.

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