This has been quite the year and it has many people questioning trick or treating and whether or not they want to take their little ones. We love this holiday and have always made it fun with or without trick or treating involved. (We haven’t gone every year due to weather or work schedules.) Since many are looking for alternatives this year, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. Halloween can still be fun – even if you choose to do something other than the traditional trick or treating route.

Fun Alternatives to Trick or Treating

Below you’ll find a list of ideas I’ve compiled for this year. I’m going to try to do as many of these as possible with my kids so that the holiday is still a fun one and no one misses the “trick or treating.” I’ll be posting our adventures on Instagram so feel free to follow along there!

Different ideas to try this Halloween instead of trick or treating

Throw a Party

One alternative to trick or treating is getting together with a small group of friends and family to enjoy the evening. Keep it simple and include the people you see the most.

Have a Themed Dinner

We actually did this one last year because it was raining and we had two small children. Neither of us wanted to deal with whiny, wet kids so I made dinner special instead. I searched through Pinterest and created things in the shapes of pumpkins and ghosts.

Make Dessert Fun

This is similar to creating a themed dinner but it could be less work. You could even pick up Halloween cupcakes or cookies at the store.

Halloween Movie Night

Pull out the Halloween movies and turn it into a movie night! Pull out your favorite snacks and turn down the lights for a special night in.

Costume Dance Party

One of our favorite parts of Halloween is dressing up. Let your kids still enjoy this tradition with a dance party in their costumes. Put on their favorite songs and dance the night away!

Game Night

Pinterest is filled with all sorts of Halloween themed games. In fact, this is what we’ll be doing for Halloween night. We’re getting together with close family and setting up carnival games for the kids to play.

Candy Hunt

Take a moment and think of Easter and the popular egg hunts. Now, apply it to Halloween. Simply fill the eggs, draw faces to turn them into monsters, and send the kids on a candy hunt!

Indoor Trick or Treating

This was another thing we did last year. I set up my toddler’s stuffed animals around the house. Each one had a piece of candy for him. He went from animal to animal saying trick or treat and taking the candy. We turned out the lights and gave him a flashlight to use which made it even more fun for him!

Boo a Friend

Teach your kids about kindness by booing a friend. Simply put a few treats or goodies in a bag and attach a note saying they’ve been booed. Then, leave at their door as a surprise. It’s a great way to spread some cheer without contact this year.

Pumpkin Carving

It’s a tradition in our household to carve pumpkins every year. My husband loves the creativity and even uses the pumpkin for baking and the seeds for eating.

Sensory Bins

If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you’ll know that we love sensory bins. A simple one for this time of year is a little colored water with Halloween themed objects. We call it witches’ brew.

Decorate the House

We love decorating for the holidays an this year, we involved the kids. We kicked off the month by pulling out the Halloween decorations and putting them up throughout the house. (We don’t spend a lot – most of them come from Dollar Tree.) The playroom even got a few decorations.

Spider Toss

For this one, I’m planning to create a giant spider web out of masking tape. We’ll hang it somewhere and then take turns tossing spider rings to see who can make the most spiders stick. You could also create a web on the floor and assign points to each section of the web.

Bake Together

My husband loves baking pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread this time of year. Normally, I’m the baker in the house, but when fall comes along, my husband keeps the oven busy. We let the boys help with measuring, mixing, and other parts of the process.

Glow Stick Bath

Let the kids have fun in the bath by throwing in some glowsticks or Halloween themed objects. If you’re brave, you could even add a few drops of food coloring. I’ve read that it doesn’t stain the tub but I haven’t tried it out yet.

Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of fall and Halloween themed items. Then, take a drive or a walk and see how many you can spot around town.

Costume Parade

Put on those costumes and go for a walk! Play fun music on your phone and call it a “parade.” I read where someone said they were even going to throw candy for their little ones to collect along the way.

Pumpkin Craft

There are so many different craft ideas out there for this time of year. I called this one pumpkin craft but you really could do any Halloween themed craft!

Build a Scarecrow

This is another one that is a tradition for us every year. In fact, you can see this year’s scarecrow on our Instagram page.

Pumpkin Bowling

Empy water bottles make nice bowling pins – simply fill them with water and set them up! Then, grab a pumpkin and let your little one knock them down.

Costume Center

We’re having friends and family over this weekend and I’m setting up a costume center for the kids. Essentially, it’s going to be a dress up center using odds and ends that we’ve found for cheap or gathered from our closets.

Ghost Balloons

Blow up a bunch of white balloons and draw ghost faces on them with a permanent marker. Then, let the kids round them up and practice making them fly through the air.


A pinata is a great way to let your kids have fun with candy and toys without going out. You can buy a pinata from the store or create your own at home.

Monster Play Dough

Pull out the play dough, googly eyes, and some pipe cleaners. Then, invite your little one to create monsters using the materials.

Window Pumpkins

I’m not sure how many people will be participating but I saw a thread suggesting that we all put pumpkins in our windows so that kids can go on a pumpkin hunt around their neighborhood. This would be someting fun to do with the kids – decorate a paper pumpkin and hang it up for others to enjoy.

Sock Puppets

Pick up some cheap socks at the store or use those lonely ones that are missing their match for this activity. Use scraps of fabric and other craft items to turn the socks into ghost or monster puppets.

Apple Cider

Apple cider is one of those seasonal drinks that only seems to come out once a year. As a result, we make it a tradition to drink hot apple cider together every year.

Sticker Pumpkin Patch

I did this one last year with my toddler and it was a big hit. I picked up a pack of pumpkin stickers at the craft store. Then, i gave him a sheet of paper and asked him to create a pumpkin patch. It was great fine motor practice as he took the stickers off of the sheet and place them on the paper. Then, we hung his artwork on the fridge to enjoy together.

Halloween Picnic

Pack a lunch and go for a walk. Then, enjoy a picnic and spend some time eating outside. You could pack a few Halloween goodies in the lunch to make it more fun.

Spider Hunt

Place spider rings around the house and give your little one a flashight. Turn off all the lights and use the flashight to find the spiders. Or if you’re really brave, take a walk at night and see if you can spot any spiders working on their webs. (Keep in mind that some spiders can be poisonous and shouldn’t be touched. Always keep safety in mind!)

Neighborhood Stroll

Dress up in your costumes and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Say hi to your neighbors as you pass.

Halloween Books

Books are always going to make my list. Gather up some fall and Halloween books for a festive reading night together.

There you go – over 31 different ideas you can use this month to make Halloween fun. Have another idea that you didn’t see listed above? Drop it in the comments below! You never know who you might inspire!

Trick or treating alternatives