What will Halloween look like for your family this year? As many seek out alternatives to trick-or-treating, the challenge is leading to some clever and creative solutions. Here are a few of our favorite ideas—you might even find a new Halloween tradition that your family will look forward to year after year!
Go big with the decorations
We’re all spending so much more of our time at home, so let’s go all out with the decorations! Whether it’s a full-on haunted house for your kids to explore, or some craft projects that are more cute than creepy, this is the time to try any Halloween décor idea that’s caught your eye. We’re loving these cool floating candles inspired by Harry Potter, and bats made from foam or spoons that look fun and easy to make with little ones.
Create a candy scavenger hunt
Instead of trick-or-treating door-to-door, many families are opting for a candy hunt at home—like a Halloween version of an Easter egg hunt. For an appropriately spooky twist, consider turning off the lights and using these fun glow-in-the-dark eggs, or even making your own DIY version using simple candy bags illuminated with glow stick bracelets inside. Or skip the candy and props altogether, and play a family game of hide-and-seek in the dark with your costumes!
Think outside the candy bowl
Another option is to turn trick-or-treating around entirely—rather than kids visiting different houses, some neighborhoods are coordinating little parades to hand out the candy. While the trick-or-treaters stay put in their front yards, volunteers in costume can bring the treats to them, strolling by as a group and gently tossing candy from a safe distance. Other safe alternatives for giving out sweets? Try setting up a table on the sidewalk with candy spaced out that kids can grab themselves, or even hanging a cute clothesline with candy hanging down. For your own family, a Halloween pinata in the yard combines decoration, candy, and entertainment in one!
Make dinner an unforgettable experience
Does your family have a favorite Halloween meal? This year, try taking it to the next level and making dinner an immersive experience. Anything in a bowl, like chili in a cauldron or pumpkin soup in a pumpkin, is a good start. Get some dry ice for an eerie atmosphere, and let the kids help stir in ingredients while making up a witchy spell! Pizza is another favorite Halloween food—and an easy way for children to get involved, making faces or other spooky designs out of just about any toppings they like. It doesn’t matter what’s on the menu—it’s about creating a fun experience they’ll always remember.
Dress up for a Halloween movie night
What’s cozier than a family movie night? Throw on your Halloween Hannajams (with costume accessories, of course!), grab a few snacks, and enjoy some family-friendly flicks. Depending on age, there are plenty of not-so-scary Halloween viewing options. For very little ones, we like Room on the Broom and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown—both short and sweet. Casper, Monsters, Inc., The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hocus Pocus are also classic family faves that don’t have too many frights.
Curl up for some ghost stories
Want to go screen-free? Light up the candles (or the fireplace!) and take turns telling or reading ghost stories. Or the whole family can let someone else do the narrating by tuning into a scary stories podcast. Story Pirates, Unspookable, and NPR’s The Creeping Hour all offer up frighteningly fun stories for all ages—told by storytellers, kids, or special celebrity guests.
Go for a Halloween decorations drive
Hopping in the car for a family drive to look at holiday lights and decorations doesn’t have to wait until December—it’s a great Halloween activity, too! Pick a neighborhood where you know the houses will be all decked out, put on Halloween music, bring some hot beverages to go, and take it all in. (Bonus: you can do this one in your PJs, too!)
Even if it looks different, Halloween is definitely on this year. The best part is you don’t have to limit it to October 31st—your family could enjoy all of these activities in the weeks leading up to Halloween. What new traditions will you try?