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Fun Halloween Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating

halloween decorations and pumpkins

Will you and your family pass on trick-or-treating for Halloween this year? The threat of the spread of COVID-19 as well as strict county and state regulations have many reconsidering this time-honored tradition. But that doesn’t mean Halloween is cancelled for 2020!

Instead of going door to door asking for candy this year, celebrate creatively instead. With Halloween activities like having a scavenger hunt, creating scary crafts, or having a Halloween movie marathon, you can make this year special with these unique ideas.

Visit an orchard, forest, or corn maze.

This is a quintessential autumn activity that’s perfect to do during the day on Halloween, too! Pick some apples to make some tasty treats; explore a one-way, walk-through haunted forest or corn maze; and search for the funkiest pumpkin or the perfect one for carving – you’ll need it for the next activity!

Remember to frequently wash or sanitize your hands, especially after touching high-trafficked surfaces, pumpkins, or apples.

Host an outdoor pumpkin carving party.

Invite friends, family, or neighbors to a pumpkin carving party! Gather in a spacious backyard where you can still remain socially distanced. Or, everyone can prepare their pumpkins in the safety of their own homes, then walk around the neighborhood to see everyone’s work on front porches. Make a game of it and compete for the most creative pumpkin.

Don’t forget to sort out and save your pumpkin’s seeds to roast in the oven when you’re done!

Create a scavenger hunt.

Host an outdoor, Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. If the weather is bad, you can hide items in and around your house for household members to find. These could be Halloween crafts, treats, tricks or clues to find a bigger “prize”. Provide kids with a bag or bucket to collect the items they find to make it feel a little more like trick-or-treating.

Tell ghost stories.

Nothing beats the magic of a creepy ghost story! Dim the lights in your living room and set it up with a pile of pillows and blankets on the floor, candles and flashlights. Huddle together and dramatically tell spooky tales. Need some inspiration? Head to your local library to find a book of short, scary stories geared toward kids. Or, download a scary audio book to listen to while walking around and looking at Halloween decorations.

Have a Halloween movie marathon.

After being stuck at home for so many months, you might be tired of watching movies, but you can’t go wrong with a movie marathon! You can even extend your viewing to other friends or family by watching together on Netflix Party.

Here are some great Halloween movies options for kids:

  • The Adam’s Family
  • Casper
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Frankenweenie
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween
  • The Witches
  • Coraline
  • The Corpse Bride

Halloween Arts & Crafts

For artsy kids, have some fun by making easy Halloween crafts like maple leaf ghosts, paper cat garlands, or monster party hats. There are a lot of great craft ideas and instructions available online. You can use these crafts for your Halloween scavenger hunt, too! Jump on Pinterest and make a Halloween costume or decorations for the front of your house.

If your kid loves sensory activities, make your own spooky slime! Use black, green, or red coloring and objects like googly eyes or fake teeth to create Halloween-themed slime that kids can safely play with.

Still planning on trick-or-treating? Here are some tips to help keep you safe and healthy:

  • Wear a mask, and make it part of your costume (note: a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask).
  • Stay at least six feet away from people who don’t live with you.
  • Keep groups small and be aware and conscientious of other groups.
  • Use hand sanitizer after touching objects or other people.
  • Check local regulations to see what your town is recommending for safety measures.
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