Halloween is definitely not my favorite holiday, but I do love pumpkin patches and I also know that kids tend to like Halloween. To make it more enjoyable for me, I've tried to create/adopt some traditions.
1. The first, of course, is to visit many, many pumpkin patches. We didn't get to as many this year as last but we still had lots of fun.
2. We went to a few Fall Festivals and Carnivals. Some were completely free and included food, games, and rides. Others used tickets but we still had a good time since all included prizes and lollipops!
3. We watched "The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" as a family. To be truthful, the kids watched it almost everyday...and if it wasn't that one then it was the Thanksgiving one.
4. We purchased something at each pumpkin patch we went. Sometimes it was just gourds, like these, which we shared with our preschool classes. Sometimes it was small pumpkins to decorate with stickers. Other times it was large ones.
5. Costumes are not my strong suit. Sophie's first Halloween yielded 2 costumes, one for preschool and one for actual trick-or-treating, plus 3 additional outfits after the costumes came off. Last year also had 2 different costumes but just one additional outfit for Boo at the Zoo. This year we had just the one costumes and an extra Halloween shirt or 2. I do think I like having a theme or at least a plan for the costumes. So as much as I don't like dressing up myself, I'll try to always put thought into the kids costumes.
6. We made it to the petting zoo again this year (we didn't make it last year, too much going on trying to prepare foe China). The kids had so much fun and I definitely want to do this every year.
7. This year I tried my hand at making homemade pumpkin pie with some of the pumpkins we got at the pumpkin patches. They were pretty easy to do and tasted great.