If you’re skipping trick-or-treating this year, whether because your local festivities have been canceled or your family is opting to stay home, there’s still plenty you can do to make Halloween the sweetest time of 2020!
Want to get creative this Halloween, but wondering where to start? This is the year to try out some new Halloween activities and experiences with your kids…you might just find some favorites that will become ongoing traditions for your family. One way or another, this will likely be one of their most memorable Halloweens ever!
Here are 10 fun ways to make Halloween sweet without the trick-or-treat.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch:
Do you usually grab your jack-o-lantern carving pumpkins from the grocery store? This year, go on a family outing to a nearby pumpkin patch to “pick” them out. You’ll get some great family photos, enjoy a fun fresh-air activity, and support a local farm.
“BOO” Your Neighbors:
Leave a package of small gifts or treats on your neighbor’s doorstep, ring the bell, and disappear! Include a note to explain the game and challenge them to pay it forward – there are plenty of free printables online. This is a fun and safe way to celebrate Halloween with friends.
Share a Halloween Fact of the Day:
Did you know that this will be the first Halloween with a full moon in 19 years? Or that the first jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips? Slip a daily fun fact or Halloween joke into your child’s lunchbox. If your kids are doing distance learning at home, write it on your family’s dry erase board or another visible spot instead!
Decorate Your House:
Have fun decorating your home for the holiday, and your kids will be in a celebratory spirit every day! You don’t have to invest in anything new to make this fun. Kids can get crafty making their own decorations from simple supplies: make a black and orange paper chain countdown, or try cutting out paper spider webs the same way you make paper snowflakes.
Watch Halloween Movies:
Curl up together on Halloween night, dim the lights, and dig into a big bowl of candy while enjoying a favorite Halloween flick. Or use the whole month to work your way through some of the best Halloween movies for kids! Monsters Inc. is fun for all ages, and Hocus Pocus is a favorite with the slightly older crew (and the adults who grew up on it).
Wear Family Costumes:
Go all out this year with a coordinated family costume, and staying home on Halloween will feel that much more festive! You can get creative with ideas like paleontologists and dinosaurs for a Jurassic Park theme, Dorothy and her friends from The Wizard of Oz, or The Incredibles family.
Plan a Neighborhood Parade:
Show off those amazing family costumes at a neighborhood parade! You can keep the spirit of community that is so fun on Halloween by coordinating a time for everyone to step outside for a socially-distanced parade around your street.
Read Spooky Stories:
You can motivate your kids to read throughout the whole month of October by stocking up on some great Halloween books for kids! There are many not-so-scary Halloween picture books that are fun to read aloud with little kids. Check out kid-favorites Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson or Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle. The Haunted Library series by Dori Hillestad Butler is a lot of fun for kids who are just getting into chapter books, and Roald Dahl’s The Witches is a hit with older kids.
Have a Festive Dinner:
If Halloween dinner tends to be a quick meal to fill the bellies before heading out to trick-or-treat, it might be fun to get a little more creative this year and make dinner the main event! There are plenty of special Halloween dinner ideas that are easy to put together, but so fun for kids to eat. Mummy meatloaf, anyone?
It just wouldn’t be Halloween without the candy. If traditional trick-or-treating isn’t happening, just get creative! Let your kids work for their candy with an Easter-style egg hunt, a piñata, a treasure hunt with clues, or by going door-to-door in your own house (older kids can help with this!).
About Kelly Rupiper
Kelly Rupiper is a mom of two and lives with her family in San Diego. She is Content Director at Upparent, a website where parents share recommendations with one another for local things to do with kids, family-friendly recipes, and parenting tips and hacks.
To see more, view all posts by Kelly Rupiper here