13 Ways to Celebrate Halloween without Trick or Treating
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We LOVE Halloween. My daughter has been talking about Halloween for weeks.
She’s really concerned that we won’t be able to do the things that we normally do – like trick or treating.
So we decided to brainstorm some ideas to make the holiday fun even IF we can’t go trick or treating. (We’re not.)
Most of these ideas are from my 9 year old – so you know they’re kid approved!
You can even combine a couple of these for maximum Halloween Fun!
1. Host a Spooky Outside Halloween Movie Night
Set up a movie projector and show some of your favorite Halloween Movies.
Some of our favorite Halloween Movies are: Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Goosebumps, Monster House, Hocus Pocus, Scoob, Addams Family, Ghostbusters, Room on the Broom, & Hotel Transylvania.
If you’re looking for a movie projector this is the one we recently purchased based on some really great reviews.
2. Create a Haunted Backyard
Visit your local dollar or craft store and buy lots of spooky skeletons, ghosts, and gravestones.
Better yet, get your kids to help create them from cardboard and other recycled materials and place them around your yard.
Hang spiders and spiderwebs, giant spiders, bats and skulls from trees.
Set up black lights and even a fog machine to turn your backyard into a haunted graveyard.
Play spooky music and have adults dress up in costumes & hide behind tress, while the kids walk through the Spooky Backyard.
3. Create a Halloween Scavenger Hunt
We love these FREE Halloween Scavenger Hunt Printables from Full Heart Mommy.
Gather some prizes like: candy, stampers, stickers, crayons, bubbles, etc. Everyone needs a prize!
Hide the scavenger hunt items around your house or yard.
Give each child the scavenger hunt list and set them free! (Little ones may need some help with this part.)
My kids LOVE a good scavenger hunt and it helps burn off some of that sugar!
4. Make your own Halloween Costumes
We love making our own Halloween Costumes!
Every year my daughter spends weeks scouring Pinterest looking for the best costume ideas.
Then we head to Joann’s to buy fabric and supplies to make our costumes.
I’m in NO WAY the best sewer, but the fun is in making our creations together!
Some of our past Halloween Costumes include: Hermione Granger, Rey from Star Wars, Renaissance Princess, Baby Owl, White Wolf, Peppa Pig, Maleficent and many more. (You can see the Harry Potter theme below..)
5. Have a Halloween Dance Party
Crank up the music this Halloween! Have a kid friendly Halloween Dance Party.
Let your kids help you put together a super fun playlist for Halloween.
Include some awesome Halloween songs like: Monster Mash, I Put a Spell on You, Five Little Pumpkins, Ghostbusters, She Wolf, Purple People Eater, Hedwigs Theme & Thriller.
Do a freeze dance where you stop the music and everyone has to freeze.
Give out prizes for best, silliest and most creative dancers.
6. Neighborhood Social Distance Halloween Parade
Halloween Parades near us are epic! They sometimes last for hours and kids walk away with buckets of candy.
This year, we won’t likely be attending a public parade, but we might be able to have our own Halloween Parade.
Contact a few neighbors and plan a socially-distanced Halloween Parade.
Have neighbors come out and wave from their porches & yards. Let neighbors know in advance that this is a no treat parade.
We may not be trick or treating, but we can still show off our Halloween Costumes to our neighbors.
Plan ahead to fill your kids treat buckets at home after the parade.
7. Halloween Costume Contest
Buy some fun prizes or silly trophies and have a Halloween Costume Contest.
Plan a bunch of costume categories so that all of the kids get a prize.
Choose your own Halloween Costume Categories – some of our favorite categories are: scariest costume, best costume, funniest costume, most original, & best DIY costume.
8. Pumpkin Hunt
Who doesn’t love Easter Egg Hunts?
That’s why I thought I’d plan a Pumpkin Hunt for Halloween this year instead of Trick or Treating.
I love the idea of filling these little Halloween Buckets with treats & surprises for a Pumpkin Hunt in our backyard.
9. Make all of your Favorite Halloween Snacks
Halloween is all about the treats…and the tricks. But mostly the treats around here.
My kids LOVE when I make Halloween themed snacks to celebrate the holiday.
My daughter & I made these super cute cupcakes with a white chocolate spider web and a plastic spider.
DIRECTIONS: Melt some white chocolate chips, pour into a squeeze bottle and drizzle a spider web shape onto parchment paper.
Pinterest has so many fun and creative Halloween snack ideas. The Prudent Penny Pincher put together an awesome list of 100 Ideas for Halloween Snacks.
10. Have a Bonfire & Tell Ghost Stories
Did you know that there’s a full moon on Halloween this year? SPOOKY
It will be a perfect night to tell ghost stories around the bonfire.
Make up your own spooky stories or check out some of these kid-friendly ones that we found.
Kid – Friendly Spooky Campfire Stories
11. Pumpkin Carving or Painting Contest
Gather a bunch of pumpkins from your local farm stand and have a contest to see who can carve the best Pumpkin.
Pick up a pumpkin carving kit complete with stencils and lots of different tools to make your pumpkin a masterpiece!
If you’re kids are little bit younger, you may opt to paint the pumpkins rather than carve them.
Kids will love the chance to win these fun Halloween Ribbons and Medals for best pumpkin, funniest pumpkin, scariest pumpkin, most original and more.
12. Ghost a Friend or Neighbor
Put together a basket of fun Halloween Treats for a neighbor and deliver them in secret!
You can include a fun printable like this one from The Happier Homemaker that includes instructions for your neighbor to follow.
Before you know it, everyone in the neighborhood will have a “We’ve been Booed” sign on in their window.
13. Play Halloween Games
My kids love playing games – board games, card games, yard games & especially those crazy “minute to win it” games.
So, to burn off a little bit of energy this Halloween from all of that sugar, I’m planning some Halloween themed games for the kids.
There are so many fun and silly ideas: Hang donuts on a string and race to see who can eat it first (with no hands), Bob for apples (oldie but a goodie), Use a straw to pick up candy corn, Cup stacking, Toilet paper mummy wrap.
Jen Bradley Moms has a bunch of fun Halloween “Minute to Win it” Kids Games.
Play Party Plan has tons of great Fall Party Game ideas if you’re looking for inspiration.