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8 alternatives to trick-or-treating that kids will love

Halloween is one of the most fun nights for kids. Dressing up, running around the neighborhood, and racking up the candy is a child’s dream. But trick-or-treating might not be for every family. Some children have sensory issues and the thought of going up to strangers to ask for candy stresses them out. Or the weather doesn’t agree and taking little ones out in the rain isn’t something you want to do. Finding trick-or-treat alternatives can be a simple as rounding up some unique Halloween activities kids will love.

If COVID is a big concern, you may not want to go near a bunch of strangers and touch a lot of things. Whatever your family’s reasoning to skip trick-or-treating is, we came up with some Halloween activities you can do together instead.

A group of children sitting with Halloween costumes on holding pumpkins.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Halloween movie marathon

If your kids dressed up as someone from one of their favorite Halloween movies, why not make a night of it and watch the movie while in costume? Let the kids act out their favorite scenes and say their favorite lines. Get the popcorn, candy, and drinks and make a whole evening of it.

Though the 31 Nights of Halloween on Freeform hasn’t been announced yet for this year, there’s sure to be a few amazing family-friendly movies in the lineup for the Halloween evening.

Halloween game night

Halloween night is a great time to spend the whole evening playing games. It will keep the kids active and burn energy just like walking the neighborhood would. You can make candy the prize for the winner.

Fun games to play

Mummy wrap

Split into teams and see who can wrap a person in toilet paper the fastest.

Candy checkers

You can get any checkers board and instead of using the checker pieces, you can use candy. One player can be Starburst and the other can be Jolly Ranchers.

Candy scavenger hunt

If your kids still want to get their candy, switch it up and let them hunt for it. Hide their favorite candy all over the house and let them have fun trying to find it all.


Make sure you could how many pieces you hide like you would count the eggs for Easter. You don’t want to find a melty KitKat or an ant family that moved in.

Better pro-tip

If the weather is nice, take it outside and hide the candy all over the yard.

A family taking a cute picture holding Halloween props over their faces.
gpointstudio / Shutterstock

Spooky photoshoot

Don’t let those costumes go to waste! Decorate a wall with a themed backdrop and take all of the pictures. If weather permits, take it outside and capture the gorgeous colors of fall. Gather up some leaves and let the kids have fun and capture the precious moments.

Themed dinner

Instead of making candy the highlight of the night, make dinner the star. Have the kids decorate the table, plan the menu, and make it as Halloween-themed as possible. If you have the budget, you can grab a set of paper dinnerware with a Halloween graphic on it.

You could do mummy dogs, or make sandwiches and use cookie cutters to make them into Halloween shapes!

Stay in and pass out candy

Just because you aren’t going trick-or-treating doesn’t mean you can’t hand out candy. Get everyone dressed up and be the most fun house on the block. You can have the kids decorate a table so you can sit outside.

Make a playlist of Halloween music and let the kids dance it out while dishing out the goods. Have the kids pick which costumes were the best of the night. If you have a projector you can play a movie against the garage or house for neighbors to watch as they walk by.

Backyard fun

You can turn your backyard into a spooky (or regular) experience. Have a bonfire, set up a tent, and let the kids enjoy the night. They can run around in their costumes and eat all the s’mores they can. You can tell less-than-frightening stories until the kids are ready to snuggle up in the tent.

A couple of kids enjoying some Halloween treats.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Make the neighbors treats

If you don’t want to hand out candy to the whole neighborhood, make treats for your immediate neighbors. You can hand them out during the day or before trick-or-treating starts. Spend time together making a few different tasty treats. Hand some out to your neighbors but make sure to keep some for the family.

If you have older kids that are into Harry Potter, there is an adorable cookbook and some of the items are pretty easy to make and taste amazing.

It’s always best to be prepared for what could happen on a holiday that could throw your plans off track. When it comes to kids, you should always have a second and third backup plan. You can still have a wonderful Halloween without going door to door filling up a bucket with candy.

If your children are younger and you don’t want to tote them around or you are new to the area and don’t know the best candy route, these trick-or-treating alternatives are perfect for the whole family to still have the best Hallows’ Eve night.

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Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
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