Halloween: A time for fun, candy, Hocus Pocus, tricking, treating, and more candy!
But what if the whole trick-or-treating thing just doesn’t work for your family?
Maybe you don’t live in or near a kid-friendly neighborhood. Maybe you have religious objectives to the holiday itself. Or maybe you just hate the idea of your children collecting massive quantities of sugar they’ll inevitably want to consume RIGHT NOW.
Well, here’s the good news.
There are lots of cool, still-in-the-spirit-of-fall activities you can do this month that will be fun for kids and grownups alike.
The best part? You can customize them to make them as spooky—or not!—as you like.
6 Fun Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating
If you want to give your kids Halloween fun without the safety concerns of going door-to-door, how about car-to-car?
This is trick-or-treating done in style.
Organize a get-together (at church, a friend’s house, etc.), line up your cars, and decorate the car trunks in full Halloween or autumn fashion, with spooky games and prizes if you want. Different ideas for trunk-or-treat include bean bag tosses, face painting, bobbing for apples, bowling, and pumpkin decorating. Have fun with it!
2. Mini Pumpkin Hunt
Another fun alternative to trick-or-treating is decorating and searching for mini pumpkins.
This is a two-part activity. Get some mini pumpkins, paint (washable, of course!), google-y eyes, glue, and any other art supplies you want. The entire family can get into it!
Once you finish painting, let the pumpkins dry overnight.
Then comes part two. Take a page out of Easter’s book and hide the pumpkins. If the October chill isn’t too bad, you can hide them outside in the yard. Or if you want to stay inside, hide them around the house.
Finally, set the family loose to find them all! The person who finds the most can win a prize—the first slice of pumpkin pie, perhaps?
3. Crafty Night
To complement your mini pumpkins, you can make a bunch of other fun and easy crafts for Halloween.
Blow pops, tissue paper and yarn can be used to make little ghosts.
You could buy some orange and black crepe paper, Mason jars and artificial tea lights to make lanterns.
Create Halloween masks out of paper plates.
Or Jack-o’-lantern garlands.
Or just plain ole’ pumpkin carving.
The possibilities are endless, and the time spent together as a family is always fun—even if you’re not particularly crafty.
4. Bob for Doughnuts
Apples are great, don’t get me wrong, but bobbing for doughnuts sounds so much better…especially if you do it while wearing costumes!
Use some kitchen twine to string your doughnuts from a clothes line or tree. Now give everyone a turn to try to eat the doughnuts with no hands.
It’s tasty and entertaining. Be sure to have your camera handy for some action shots!
(Want step-by-step instructions for this activity? Check out The Chic Site’s helpful post all about bobbing for doughnuts!)
5. Halloween Piñata
Ah, beating a cardboard character with a stick that results in a shower of candy and treats. Now that’s a party!
A giant pumpkin or ghost-shaped piñata would do nicely. Fill it with candy, tie it up, blind-fold willing participants, and let the fun begin—just watch out for wild stick swinging!
To add an extra layer of fun, you could even have the kids help make the piñata.
6. Hallow-themed movie night
Nothing is better than a cozy family night in with a movie and snacks. So why not host a Halloween-themed movie night?
The movies don’t have to be scary. Thank goodness for The Nightmare Before Christmas and Halloweentown!
You can even make a game out of it: Every time the word ‘Halloween’ is said in the movie, eat three pieces of candy corn. Or take a gulp of apple cider. An interactive element only makes movie night that much more fun!
Do you take your kids trick-or-treating? Which of these alternative activities do you think sounds the most fun?
Here’s another fun (and educational!) Halloween activity for toddlers and preschoolers: A Ghost Counting Game!