Halloween is sure to look a little different this year. We’re still not sure exactly how our neighborhood is going to handle everything. But since California is still pretty locked down, the chances of normal trick-or-treating happening are slim to none. So I’m starting to consider some alternative Halloween ideas for our family.
Here are 10 alternatives to trick or treating we’re planning to keep the holiday super fun and special for our kids. I’m actually super excited for some of these Halloween activities at home!
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Alternative Halloween Ideas: 10 Ways We’re Making Halloween Fun
Family Halloween Costumes
Even though we won’t be going door to door, we’re still planning to do some a family theme for Halloween costumes. Even with doing Halloween alternatives to trick or treating, there’s nothing that will help it feel more festive than putting some effort into dressing up!
At Home Halloween Storytime
Since we definitely won’t have any school or public library storytimes this year, we’ll do an Halloween storytime at home! While we read Halloween picture books throughout the month of October, it feels more special to have an “official” storytime. We’ll set out a blanket, and read 3-4 Halloween themed books.
Here are some of the best Halloween books to own that we read over and over each year. These are some of the top Halloween books for kids that we love!
- Room on the Broom
- Creepy Carrots (I prefer the original, my kids prefer the sequel)
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
- Five Little Pumpkins
- Little Blue Truck’s Halloween
- Big Pumpkin
- The Monster at the End of This Book
- Goodnight Goon
- Leo: A Ghost Story
- Ghosts in the House
- Too Many Pumpkins
Daytime Crafts and Halloween Activities for Kids
I’m thinking we’ll mostly take the day off of homeschool on Halloween and do some fun and simple Halloween crafts. It’ll be perfect to replace the school activities and fulfill my kids’ dreams of how to celebrate Halloween at home. I’ll also let my kids help out with getting everything ready for our family party in the evening.
- Craft stick spider webs
- Toilet paper roll mummies
- Paper plate witch
- Hanging bat craft (good opportunity to learn about bats, nocturnal animals, and read this darling book on appreciating your gifts!)
Halloween Science Experiments
We won’t do a ton of schoolwork on Halloween, but what better day to have fun with some awesome science experiments? Here are a few options I’m considering:
- Salt & ice haunted hands with surgical gloves, twist ties, and food coloring (and a few little household objects)
- Ghost rockets
- Halloween slime with glue and Borax
- Comparing human bones to bat bones
- Make a dancing ghost with tissue paper, a balloon, and scissors
Neighborhood Costume Parade
Even though I have no interest in stuffing a hundred individual bags of candy, I would still like to see all the awesome costumes. And it’s fun to have a chance to show off our work, too! I’m planning to contact the neighbors on our street and organize a distanced costume parade during the day.
Since everyone is doing virtual school in our area, it will be perfect to do during the day. And it’s a perfect alternative Halloween activity since in our area, the normal school costume parade won’t be happening, either. This is one of my favorite stay at home Halloween ideas!
Halloween Snacktime + Family Halloween Dinner
Halloween Snack Ideas
What’s Halloween day without a few fun foods? Plus, we all desperately need some fresh things to support all that candy intake. I’m hoping with these alternatives to trick or treating, they’ll still be excited about the day’s treats, without getting totally filled with sugar. (Some alternatives to Halloween candy are definitely necessary for the day!) Here are some great, super easy Halloween snack ideas:
- Mandarin orange pumpkins and banana ghosts
- Apple and peanut butter teeth
- Mummy brie (my kids are obsessed with brie so they will love this!)
- Ghost string cheese
- Apple slices with caramel (I can’t stand biting into a whole huge caramel apple. I much prefer this! Here’s my favorite, dead simple caramel sauce recipe, and I love this thin apple slicer.)
Cute Halloween Dinner Ideas
We’re excited to continue with our family fun Halloween dinner. The trick for our special Halloween dinner is that we actually DON’T do it on Halloween night itself! When we’ve tried that, things just get too busy and we don’t enjoy it all because there’s too much going on. Plus, who wants to clean up a big dinner on Halloween?
Instead, we do our cute Halloween dinner sometime in the week leading up to the holiday. It helps us get in the mood, and we have some spooky but cute leftovers for a day or two, as well (and some snacks). Then on Halloween itself, we pick up cheap Boorito from Chipotle. It’s the best of both worlds!
Here are some of ideas for Halloween dinner that are cute and festive and not too spooky or gruesome. There are also some healthy Halloween foods so they have plenty of alternatives to candy for Halloween.
- Halloween veggie tray
- Pumpkin soup in mini pumpkins (or perhaps this Panera autumn soup)
- Pasta brains
- Mac o lantern and cheese
- Jack o lantern quesadillas
- Ghost grilled cheese
- Apple cider or Root beer with dry ice
Glow-In-The-Dark Halloween Egg Hunt
We have a bunch of plastic Easter eggs that we save and reuse so as to not put them in the landfill each year. I’m going to get some glow-in-the-dark spray paint, open them all up on some newspaper, and spray them. Then we’ll fill them with candy and hide them in the backyard for the kids to find on Halloween evening. I may also include some glow sticks. It will be so fun and a perfect alternative to trick or treating.
Backyard Halloween Activities
We’ll also have a couple of simple backyard Halloween activities. Bobbing for apples, donut on a string, and pin the bow on the skeleton. We may also do a jack o lantern bean bag toss made out of cardboard. It’s going to be such a fun stay at home Halloween activity.
At Home Halloween Party
Either before or after the hunt, we’ll do a little at-home Halloween party. I’m thinking we’ll set up several of the bedrooms as a different station. It’ll be the highlight of our alternative Halloween activities!
- Dance Party: I’m going to buy this inexpensive black light to have one room be a dance party. We’ll have the main lights off and some fun Halloween music playing!
- Minute to Win It Games
- Ghost garland (you’ll need foam balls or cotton balls, tissues, a Sharpie, white string, and a hot glue gun
We’ll finish the night with a great Halloween kids movie. Either It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Casper, or potentially Hocus Pocus for the older kids. Definitely Room on the Broom! We’ll have our kids brush their teeth and get in pajamas first and get blankets out to watch. Maybe we’ll even have a blanket fort. It’ll be the perfect end to our alternative Halloween festivities!
I’d love to hear what you’re doing to make Halloween fun this year. Will you have traditional trick or treating, or be doing alternative Halloween activities like us?
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