October Family Holidays: 31 Days of Fun Celebrations

While October is typically taken over by Halloween activities, it is not the only holiday your family can celebrate this month. We’ve collected some of our favorite October holidays and found fun ways to celebrate as a family – both at home and around the Twin Cities:


Hispanic Heritage Month continues

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15-October 15, 2023.

Read: Dolores Huerta A Hero to Migrant Workers by local author Sarah Warren
Listen: to Coco’s Barrio Podcast by Teatro del Pueblo
Eat: VisiMidtown Global Market for Hispanic cuisine or to buy your own ingredients to try a new recipe.
Watch: Family Movie Night- Cocowatch this toward the end of the month to prepare for Día de Muertos.
2023 Hispanic Heritage Month events:

  • Minneapolis Institute of Art is offering self-guided tours as well as a Special Exhibit “Latin America Art at Mia,” which runs through April 28, 2024. Find more ways to celebrate with Mia here. Free, drop-in all month.
  • Burnsville will host a free family evening. Families can drop in (use Door #1) for multicultural crafts, presentations, music, photo ops, and more. FREE. Drop In. Friday, October 6, 2023; 5-7:30pm; Diamondhead Education Center, 200 Burnsville Pkwy, Burnsville, MN 55337.
  • Brooklyn Park is hosting its first ever LatinoFest – a free celebration with Latino culture, food, performances and a resource fair. The event is FREE, but registration is required. October 14, 2023, 5-7pm. Community Activity Center, 5600 85th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55443.

Fire Prevention Month

We have some ideas for celebrating Fire Prevention Month here.

2nd Week of October – Earth Science Week

Celebrate International EarthCache Day on the first Sunday of Earth Science Week. This is a perfect day for geocaching in a park.


While Halloween is not ACTUALLY a full month long, we tend to celebrate it all month long. Find tons of ideas for how to celebrate in the Twin Cities in our Family Guide to Twin Cities Halloween Events.

Candy corn background: Text: "Twin Cities Halloween Guide"
Find Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween All October Here.


First Monday of October – World Architecture Day

At Home Family Fun: Get out the blocks, LEGOs, K’Nix — whatever you’ve got — and design and build your own creations. Don’t have any blocks at home? One of my favorite websites is Made by Joel and his Paper City printables. Print and fold architecture from Paris, Sydney or a generic city scape.
Outing Idea: Make plans to visit The Works. While their newest exhibit The House is still under construction in 2023, they offer plenty of other STEM activities where your kids can explore architecture.
Read Aloud: One of my favorite picture books growing up — The Giant Jam Sandwich, by Janet Burroway. Find a read aloud on YouTube by Toadstools and Fairy Dust.
Meal Idea: Build a sandwich.
Dinner Conversation Starter: If you were building your dream home, what cool features would you add?
Learn More: Learn more from the International Union of Architects.

First Wednesday of October – National Walk/Bike to School Day & Random Acts of Poetry Day

At Home Family Fun: Spend some time tuning up your bikes or planning your walking route to school in anticipation of this holiday. You could also make Famous Poet Puppets together.
Outing Idea: Visit Town Green Park in Maple Grove or another park with a music garden, and make your own music. Or visit St. Louis Park’s Sidewalk Poetry installations – including 16 poems found in the Fern Hill neighborhood — between Toledo Ave and Quentin Ave, and between W 26th St. and W 29th St., with one poem in front of a gazebo in nearby Twin Lakes Park. More details on St. Louis Park’s Public Art map.
Meal Idea: Pick a high carb food like pancakes to refuel after your day of biking to and from school.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Can you make up a poem about your bike? Maybe a Haiku?
Learn More at the the Walk, Bike & Roll to School website and the Tweatspeak Random Acts of Poetry page.

family taking a break from biking the Minnehaha Falls bike trail in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minnehaha Falls Bike Trail

First Thursday of October –  National Poetry Day (UK and Ireland)

At Home Family Fun: Read and write your own poetry today. Make it silly or beautiful or thoughtful — whatever works for you. Pull out the Poet Puppets you made yesterday and play with them.
Outing Idea: Take a self-guided tour of the City of Northfield’s Sidewalk Poetry. Or, if you didn’t do it yesterday, you can visit St. Louis Park’s Sidewalk Poetry.
Read Aloud: Read A Different Pond by local author/poet Bao Phi. With older kids seek out some of his poetry online.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Share your favorite poems tonight. My favorite poet is Pablo Neruda. Here is his Ode to the Onion.
Meal Idea: French Onion Soup. We love homemade French onion soup (5/6ths of us anyway). While most of us like it served traditionally with the melted cheese and chunky bread on top.  We also like to serve it with roast beef sandwiches and dip the sandwiches in the soup. Even the 1/6th that refuses to try the soup likes to dip. A tray of sliced veggies rounds out this meal for a very easy and filling weeknight dinner. My go to recipe is in Leanne Brown’s cookbook Good & Cheap. You can find the recipe here (and download the entire cookbook for FREE if you want).
Learn More: Official National Poetry Day site.

First Friday of October – Kids Music Day (Also World Smile Day)

We think these two holidays go hand in hand. Who doesn’t smile when they watch their kids make music?

At Home Family Fun: Turn up the volume on your music and sing along.
Outing Idea: Visit Town Green Park in Maple Grove or another park with an outdoor music garden or the Schubert Club Museum for an musical indoor activity. 
Read Aloud: Stephen Shaskan’s books make Gianna smile. For Kids Music Day, we recommend Punk Skunks by Stephen Shaskan and Trisha Speed Shaskan.
Meal Idea: My husband has Spotify playlists for all our favorite food categories – Mexican, Italian, Thai, American… My kids guess what we are having for dinner based on the music. Make a playlist to match your meal tonight.
Dinner Conversation Starter: While you eat to your new playlist, brainstorm more playlist and song ideas for dinner music.
Learn More: Kids Music Day is dedicated to the importance of musical education for children.

Girl trying bell tree at the Schubert Club Museum in Saint Paul, MN
Look at that Smile!  Schubert Club Museum

Second Monday of October – Indigenous Peoples’ Day

At Home Family Fun: Learn about traditional Dakota games in this full color PDF from South Dakota State University.  Can you make any of these game with things you have around the house?
Outing Idea: Plan a visit the Pond Dakota Mission Park in Bloomington to learn more about Dakota Life. Sundays are the best day to visit, but the park is open daily.
Read Aloud: Takoza: Walks with the Blue Moon Girl by Tara Perron (This book is not easy to find, but Birchbark Books carries it.)
Meal Idea: It is not super easy to eat like the Dakota in modern Minnesota – it’s not like you can pick up buffalo, elk & deer at your average grocery store. This recipe is from Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef. I wouldn’t be afraid to swap out some of the more difficult to find ingredients for more familiar options. I’m sure it will still be a good stew with button mushrooms and beef.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Talk to your kids about your own feelings about Columbus Day v. Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Learn More: Read more about it on MNopedia.

Make a plan to visit Pond Dakota Park in Bloomington

Wednesday of the 2nd Full Week of October – National Fossil Day

At Home Family Fun: PBS has a recipe for DIY fossils out of coffee grounds.
Outing Idea: Spend some time in the fossil exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota..
Read Aloud: Fossils for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to Dinosaur Bones, Ancient Animals, and Prehistoric Life on Earth by Ashley Hall .
Dinner Conversation Starter: What do you think will be fossilized from our own lives?
Learn More: Learn more and Find more activities from the National Park Service

dinosaur skeleton

Third Saturday of October – Sweetest Day

At Home Family Fun: Make Sweet Cards for people you love, school mates or neighbors.
Outing Idea: Satisfy your Sweet Toot with one of these 9 Twin Cities Chocolate and Candy Shops.
Read Aloud: Pick a book about sweet things, love or kindness today.  The Sweetest Witch Around by Alison McGhee mixes in a Halloween theme.
Meal Idea: Add some sweet potatoes into your meal tonight. For a simple meal, serve roasted sweet potatoes and some black beans on rice or quinoa. (Chicken mixes well with this meal if you don’t want to be vegetarian today).
Dinner Conversation Starter: Share something you find sweet about each other today.
Learn More: Learn more about Sweetest Day

halloween candy


October 1 –  Sorcerer’s Apprentice Day a/k/a Birthday of Composer Paul Dukas

This month, I want to explore some classic Halloween stories with my kids. So, this is the perfect way to start out. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice — which Paul Dukas composed into a symphonic poem — is not too scary, but it mingles in some magical elements. Going down the rabbit hole, we even have a Minnesota connection in the picture book version by Wanda Gág.

At Home Family Fun: Watch or Listen to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Maestro Classics offers a narrated audio version and FREE study guide. You can also find the Mickey Mouse version on either version of Fantasia — the original or 2000.
Read Aloud: Read a Picture Book version of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Minnesota author, Wanda Gág and/or compare the Sorcerer’s Apprentice to Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola. How are they the same?
Meal Idea: Back to Strega Nona, make a big pot of spaghetti for dinner.
Dinner Conversation Starter: In the stories we read today, the young helpers wanted to take short cuts but didn’t take the time to learn first. What are some things we can work hard on now, so they come easier later?
Learn More: Learn more about Paul Dukas here.

October 4  – National Golf Lovers Day & National Taco Day

At Home Family Fun: Here is a simple indoor mini golf course idea. It could work well outdoors, too.
Outing Idea: While some Twin Cities mini golf courses are starting to close for the season, other’s are still going. Find an open course and get one more game in before the cool weather takes over.
Read Aloud: Curious George Plays Mini Golf  by H.A. Rey and/or Dragon Loves Tacos by Adam Rubin
Meal Idea: It’s both National Taco Day and National Crunchy Taco Day. Celebrate with both kinds of tacos, so everyone will be happy.
Dinner Conversation Starter: If you were to design a taco-themed golf course, what would it HAVE to include? Maybe a Hurricane Tortilla.
Learn More: on National Day Calendar.

Big Stone Mini Golf Course
Big Stone Mini Golf Course

October 5 – National Do Something Nice Day & World Teachers Day

At Home Family Fun: Do something nice for your teachers today. Make them a card and maybe tuck in a gift certificate.
Outing Idea: Choose one of these  7 Easy Ways to Give Back As A Family.
Read Aloud: Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller is a fun book about treating others the way you want to be treated. (You can find this book on Bookflix, paired with We Are Citizens.  As long as you are logging on, you can also read the pairing of The Teacher from the Black Lagoon and This Is The Way We Go To School).
Meal Idea: It’s getting toward the end of apple season, but I think we can squeeze in one more apple crisp (to celebrate teachers). We like to serve chili with apple crisp, the spicy and sweet go well together.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Who was/is your favorite teacher and why?
Learn More: about World Teachers Day.

October 6 –  Mad Hatter Day

At Home Family Fun: Play the Mad Hatter’s Hat Toss party game (you don’t need more than two people).
Outing Idea: Dust off your croquet set and set up at a nearby park. This way you can have room to spread out the game.
Read Aloud: If your kids are too small for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (which you can find free on Libravox), how about the Disney Golden Book, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party by Jane Werner.
Meal Idea: Make it a tea party with tea sandwiches (fancy for tiny sandwiches), crudités (fancy for raw veggies) and tea (of course).
Dinner Conversation Starter: The Mad Hatter says: “Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” How do you feel about that?
Learn More: Mad Hatter Day (because his hat says 10/6)

October 7 – Celebrate Amelia Earhart

At Home Family Fun: Make the Amelia Earhart paper airplane. (It’s heart-shaped and flies through the air)
Outing Idea: Visit the Aircraft Viewing Area by the MSP Airport.
Read Aloud: Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic by Robert Burleigh
Meal Idea: According to NPR, Amelia Earhart loved tomato juice and hard-boiled eggs.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Would you want to be a pilot? Why or why not?
Learn More: On this day in Minnesota History, Amelia Earhart spoke at the Women’s City Club in St. Paul

Bonus Airplane Fun: Later in the Month is Lindbergh DayCelebrating Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic on October 11, 1927. You could do some of these same activities to celebrate Lindbergh. Plus visit the Lindberg House and Museum in Little Falls or the Minnesota History Center where you can see a replica of his Jenny airplane. Make it a month to celebrate pilots and airplanes.

Small boys watching airplanes take off at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Aircraft Viewing Area

October 8 – National Shopping Mall Day & National Pierogi Day

At Home Family Fun: Hang up your dress-up stash, pull out your toy cash and play shopping mall?
Outing Idea: Visit Southdale Center in Edina
Read Aloud: Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate .
Meal Idea: In celebration of National Pierogi Day, make a Polish meal with pierogis of course.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Would you rather shop or play?
Learn More: Today is the Anniversary of the opening of the very first indoor shopping mall, Southdale Center in Edina.

Coin-operated merry go round at Southdale Center Shopping Mall in Edina, Minnesota
Southdale Center

October 9 – Celebrate the Birthday of Camille Saint-Saëns with an Animal Carnival!

At Home Family Fun: Listen to the Carnival of the Animals and act out each animal as it is played:

  • Lion
  • Hens And Roosters
  • Wild Donkeys
  • Tortoises
  • Elephant
  • Kangaroos
  • Fish
  • Cuckoo
  • Birds
  • Swan

Outing Idea: Visit Como Zoo or the Minnesota Zoo.
Read Aloud: If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss.
Meal Idea: Let’s just finish the meal with animal crackers for dessert tonight. Easy. Done.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Play the Who Would Win game. Pick two animals and discuss who would win in a contest. You can choose the contest — ie: speed, strength, intelligence or all of these things.
Learn More: Go Deeper with Carnival of the Animals with a Maestro CD

Leonard Wilkening Children's Gallery - Como Zoo Spring Edition
Leonard Wilkening Children’s Gallery – Como Zoo

October 10 – National Cake Decorating Day

At Home Family Fun: Do your kids love Nailed It! as much as mine? Stage your own competition – decorating individual cupcakes.
Outing Idea: Pick up your supplies at Lynn’s Cake and Candy Supplies to make your cake decorating extra special.
Read Aloud: Pinkie Pie: Big Baking Bonanza! by Tallulah May was a 5-year-old favorite in our household. I would highly recommend borrowing this book from the library so you can make it go away when you are sick of it.
Meal Idea: Decorate a meat loaf like a birthday cake. Martha Stewart did it here.
Dinner Conversation Starter: The fun thig about Nailed It is watching people learn from their mistakes. What mistakes have you made recently? And What did you learn from them?
Learn More: About the History of Cake Decorating Here.

Rice Krispee Mine Craft Cake
Nailed It! Perfection not Required! Rice Krispee Mine Craft Cake

October 11 – National Sausage Pizza Day

Last month, we celebrated Pepperoni Pizza Day. This month the sausage pizza gets it day.

At Home Family Fun: Try this Homemade White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe that we got from SheCooksDesigns (Shelagh has a video for this recipe on her website.)
Outing Idea: Need a night off from cooking? Give Me the Mike has several suggestions for the Best Pizzerias in Minnesota.
Read Aloud: I know we’ve already featured a Stephen Shaskan book this month, but we love him and his Pizza and Taco graphic novels, like Pizza and Taco: Who’s the Best? by Stephen Shaskan
Meal Idea: Sausage pizza night however you want to do it — homemade from scratch, frozen, take out, take & bake, at a restaurant, from a food truck.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What is your LEAST favorite pizza topping? (It’s okay if its sausage).
Learn More: About Sausage Pizza Day

Kids eating pizza. Text: "Homemade White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough - Kid Approved. "

October 13 – Ada Lovelace Day

At Home Family Fun: Try this LEGO Coding Game from Brain Power Family.
Outing Idea Snapology offers Coding/Robotics classes. Check them out during a Coffee & Creative Play Sunday and see if their classes are a good fit for your family.
Read Aloud: Pick your favorite. There are so many books about the amazing life of Ada Lovelace — from board books to adult.
Meal Idea: Codes are basically a set instructions a computer can understand. Recipes are basically a set of instructions cooks can understand. Let your kids help you follow a recipe of their choice today.
Dinner Conversation Starter: There is a considerable amount of speculation regarding Ada Lovelace and her actual contribution to computer programming. What do you believe?
Learn More: Read more about Ada Lovelace on Wikipedia.

October 15 –  National Grouch Day

Ironically, this is also global handwashing day and Oscar the Grouch, who lives in a trash can, probably needs to wash his hands more than most of us.

At Home Family Fun: Sit Down and Recite the Grouch Anthem (Find the Lyrics Here and the video here)
Outing Idea: Pick up trash around the neighborhood for the grouch that lives in your garbage can (don’t forget to wash your hands and maybe wear gloves)
Read Aloud: How To Be a Grouch, by Oscar the Grouch by Caroll Spinney is seriously shelf-worthy. I know this is blasphemous, but I think it ranks up there with The Monster at the End of this Book.
Meal Idea: Make that food your kids complain about the most today!
Dinner Conversation Starter: Instead of going around the table and saying nice things today, let’s say grouchy (but funny) things.
Learn More: About National Grouch Day.

October 16 – Global Cat Day & National Feral Cat Day

At Home Family Fun: I think this felt pocket kitty would be fun to make with (or for) kids. If you don’t want to sew, you could make them one-dimensional and glue on the face. (Use black felt to look like Archie’s cat or blue felt for the body and yellow eyes, and it could look like Pete the Cat.) We usually see the same cats on our walks — either watching us through windows or walking through the neighborhood. Take this Cat Breed Quiz and then go for a walk to see if you can spot some of your neighbors cats and guess their breeds.
Outing Idea: Cafe Meow has closed their Minneapolis location but opened a new one in Roseville. (There’s also one in New Hope.) We love to book a visit with the rescue cats ($15/1 hr, ages 7+ unless you reserve the whole lounge.) You could also sign up for Rescue Readers at the Animal Humane Society.
Read Aloud: Hi, Cat by Ezra Jack Keats is sweet story in the Peter series where a feral cat adopts Peter’s best friend, Archie. Catstronauts by local author Drew Brockington is great for early grade school readers.
Meal Idea: It is also World Food Day – Pick one of your favorite world recipes.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Do you have an opinion on the indoor/outdoor cat debate? Share it with your kids.
Learn More: About Global Cat Day here.

Girl admiring cat at the Café Meow in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bonus October 16 Holiday: National Learn A Word Day.  Celebrate by reading Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster by Debra Frasier. Scholastic Kids has more ideas for celebrating Learn A Word Day in this PDF.

October 18 – National Chocolate Cupcake Day

At Home Family Fun: Use this cupcake applique pattern to cut out felt or paper cupcakes in different colors and/or patterns. Kids can design their own cupcakes by gluing (or sewing) their favorites together and adding embellishments from fun finds around the house.
Outing Idea: Visit a cupcake shop, like Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe in HopkinsSweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique in Minneapolis, or Cupcake Bakery in Eagan or order cupcakes like the ones below from Bella Nava Creations.
Read Aloud: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
Meal Idea: While chocolate cupcakes would make a great dessert, The Food Network offers 50 ideas for meals that can be served in cupcake form..
Dinner Conversation Starter: Run through some of this cupcake trivia as you eat dinner tonight.
Learn More: About National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

purple green white gold unicorn cupcakes
Unicorn cupcakes from Bella Nava Creations

Bonus October 18 Holiday: Wendelin Grimm was born October 18, 1818. Visit Grimm Farm Historic Site.

October 19 – National New Friends Day

At Home Family Fun: It is hard to make new friends this year. Do you know someone your kids can become pen pals with?
Read Aloud: Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel.
Meal Idea: Frog and Toad liked to eat cookies together. Share some cookies tonight after dinner.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Who is the last new friend you made?
Learn More: About National New Friends Day.

October 20 – International Sloth Day

At Home Family Fun: Have slow races today.  Who can go the slowest across the yard?
Outing Idea: Visit Chloe the Sloth at Como Zoo.
Read Aloud: “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle .
Meal Idea: Sloths love to eat leaves. Serve a big green salad of “sloth food” with your meal today.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Share some sloth facts from the World Wildlife Fund.
Learn More: About International Sloth Day

October 21 –  World Earthworm Day

Read Aloud: Celebrate by watching Diary of a Worm and It Could Still Be a Worm on Bookflix.
Meal Idea?: When Gianna and family visited Great Wolf Lodge she let her kids eat waffles and gummy worms. Not sure I’d recommend this as a family meal – but you be the judge.
Learn More:
 Learn More from the Earth Worm Society

Gummy Worms and Waffles for Breakfast? You Betcha - Great Wolf Lodge, Minnesota
Gummy Worms and Waffles

October 22 – National Nut Day

This holiday is probably meant to be another food holiday, but I thought it might be a fun day to celebrate the simple hardware nut, but we’ll go back to the food nut for a dinner plan.

At Home Family Fun:  Teach Mama website has a fast Nut Stacker game among her list of a dozen one-minute games to play with your kids. .
Outing Idea: If you don’t have any nuts and skewers in your home already, do a quick stop at your closest hardware store.
Read Aloud: Screws, Nuts, and Bolts (How Toys Work) by Sian Smith.
Meal Idea: Make salmon with an almond crust or, if you can’t get your family to eat salmon, you could do this with chicken breasts, too.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Play this nuts, bolts and screws trivia game before dinner tonight. Then you can discuss the fascinating world of hardware while you eat.
Learn More: About the history of nuts and bolts in America.

October 23 – National Mole Day

At Home Family Fun: Try one of the projects from The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Chemistry for Kids: Homemade Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Chemists, Past and Present by Liz Lee Heinecke .
Read Aloud: Read the biography that goes with whichever experiment you choose.
Outing Idea: Visit or make a plan to visit the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Meal Idea: Cooking is really a type of chemistry, so let your kids help with preparing dinner tonight.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Brainstorm the different ways you used chemistry while cooking dinner.
Learn More: Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry

October 24 – United Nations Day

At Home Family Fun: World Peace: Pull out the globe today and pick a country you want to learn more about or World Domination: Pull out your RISK game for a family game night.
Outing Idea: Visit the Lyndale Park Peace Garden
Read Aloud: A World Together by Sonia Manzano
Meal Idea: Pick a new meal to try from CRS’s Meatless Meals from Around the World page.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What do you want to do to make the world a better place?
Learn More: About United Nations Day.

Lyndale Park Peace Garden

October 25 –  World Opera Day

At Home Family Fun: Play this interactive Hansel & Gretel Opera game. Bonus, it has a kind of creepy Halloween feel to it.
Outing Idea: I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved opera the first time I went. We have ideas for Attending Minnesota Opera With Kids here.
Read Aloud: The Barefoot Book of Stories from the Opera – Shahrukh Husain
Meal Idea: Hansel and Gretel leave breadcumbs in hopes of finding their way home. Make some French Toast tonight for dinner.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Hunger and food are recurring themes throughout the story of Hansel and Gretel. Where do you see food throughout the story and what does it symbolize?
Learn More: About World Opera Day.

Minnesota Opera Stage

October 25 – International Artists Day

At Home Family Fun: Just make art – whatever way you want.
Outing Idea: Minneapolis Institute of Art Weisman Art Museum or Walker Art Center are all good options.
Read Aloud: Babar’s Museum of Art by Laurent De Brunhoff.
Meal Idea: Be a food artist. Create a rainbow of produce tonight and let your kids arrange it pretty before eating. If you need ideas, here is a Rainbow Pizza recipe.
Dinner Conversation Starter: If you could be any kind of artist, what kind of art would you make?
Learn More: About International Artists Day.

October 26 – National Pumpkin Day

At Home Family Fun: Today is a good day to carve your pumpkin in anticipation of Halloween.
Outing Idea: Pick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches.
Read Aloud: Little Kids: The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano  (It’s not too late to take advantage of Stage’s Theatre Out of the Box program to go with this book); Big Kids: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Meal Idea: Pumpkin Curry.
Dinner Conversation Starter/Learn More: Share these pumpkin facts from the History Channel.

halloween pumpkins

October 27 – National Black Cat Day

At Home Family Fun: Learn to draw a cartoon black cat together. Here’s a video with instructions.
Outing Idea: Do you need a last minute costume? Time to ransack your closet and then run to the store. Gianna tells us how to pull together a black cat costume here: 30 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes Straight from Your Closet.
Read Aloud: Archie and his stray black cat show up again in the book, Pet Show, by Ezra Jack Keats.
Meal Idea: Tuna casserole.
Dinner Conversation Starter: Do you think black cats are bad luck? Why or why not?
Learn More: About black cats.

October 28 – National Chocolate Day

Because we can’t wait 3 more days? Plus, I’m pretty sure we celebrated International Chocolate Day in July.

At Home Family Fun: Count down to Halloween. Do you have your candy? If not, go online together to decide what kind you want to buy (obviously it’s chocolate, right?).
Read Aloud: No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart
Outing Idea: Visit a Chocolate Shop. Then Write To Santa To Let Him Know Your Favorites!.
Meal Idea: Savory Chocolate Barbecue Chicken? Maybe?
Dinner Conversation Starter: What kind of candy are you hoping for on Halloween?
Learn More: About National Chocolate Day

October 29 – National Oatmeal Day

Why do the unhealthy foods all get special days? Let’s celebrate Oatmeal!

At Home Family Fun: Make some oatmeal box crafts together.
Outing Idea: I don’t have an oatmeal-related outing, but today you can drive around Anoka, Ramsey & Andover to see the contestant houses in the Halloween House Decorating Contest. If you want to tie it into oatmeal, you could eat oatmeal bars in the car for a snack.
Read Aloud: Don’t Forget the Oatmeal! (A Supermarket Word Book) Featuring Jim Henson’s Sesame Street Muppets by B. G. Ford
Meal Idea: Oatmeal Crusted Chicken Tenders
Dinner Conversation Starter/Learn More: 7 Oatmeal Facts for National Oatmeal Day

"Halloween Capital of the World" art on the side of Rumriver Art Center in Anoka, Minnesota.
“Halloween Capital of the World” art on the side of Rumriver Art Center

October 30 – National Frankenstein Day

At Home Family Fun: Make a Frankenstein or other monster with paper scraps
Outing Idea: Visit the Mary Shelley Exhibit at the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis
Read Aloud: If your kids are bigger, start the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Smaller kids might prefer: Frankencrayon by Michael Hall.
Meal Idea: Leftover night! Make a “Frankenstein meal”.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What was your favorite part of our Frankenstein meal, tonight/
Learn More: Last Friday of the month: National Frankenstein Day

Bonus October 30 Holiday: Richard Pillsbury Gale was born October 30, 1900. Visit Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista.

October 31 – Halloween

At Home Family Fun: It is also National Magic Day – Hire a magician for your Halloween celebration? or just Turn on Michael Jackson’s Thriller and dance together.
Outing Idea: Perhaps smaller than usual, we still have plenty of family fun on our Twin Cities Halloween Events list.
Read Aloud: Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree for bigger kids.
Meal Idea: Eat lots of veggies and fiber in a Veggie Stir Fry with whole grain rice today to balance all that sugar.
Dinner Conversation Starter: What candy are you going to share with mom today?
Learn More: About the history of Halloween

kids in halloween costumes

Plan Ahead for November 2nd: Visit Midtown Global Market Today for their Dia de los Muertos celebration from 11am-2pm. We’re celebrating this holiday on November 2nd at home. (They are also celebrating Halloween, so pick up a trick-or-treat bag, too)

Your turn. What are some of your favorite silly or sweet or thoughtful October Family Holidays to celebrate? Leave us a note in the comments.

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