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12 Ways to Celebrate Halloween without Trick-or-Treating

Halloween may look different, but there are still lots of ways to make it a memorable, fun, and safe family event!

surprised pumpkin face
What? No trick or treating?

12 Safely Distanced Ways to Celebrate Halloween

Decorate Your House and Yard

Maybe this is the year you finally decorate the house and yard the way you’ve always wanted to. Go all out, get the kids involved, get creative, and have fun. Instead of spending money on candy, make a donation to a local organization or food pantry. And be sure to make a poster a part of your home’s decorations stating what your family did. Maybe you’ll inspire other families to do something similar and use the candy money to make a donation instead.

Do a Tour of Other Decorated Houses

Pile everyone into the car and drive around past all the spooky haunted houses you can find. You’re sure to find some creative ones, and your whole family will be dazzled.

Carve Pumpkins for sure

This time-honored tradition doesn’t have to be skipped. It’s fun, and you can even roast the seeds afterwards.

See our List of Pumpkin Patches that are open this year.

Host a Backyard Movie

Enjoy a movie in the backyard. Depending on the space available and what your family is comfortable doing, you can invite another family to join you. Each family stays on their own blanket, and each family enjoys their own movie snacks. But you can definitely enjoy a fun, Halloween-themed movie together. Or maybe you want to go to a Drive-in for a spooky movie they’re playing!

Have a Costume Party at Home

Dress up anyway! Costumes are fun and you’ll probably have a ball wearing costumes as a family – even if you don’t leave the house. You could even have several changes of costumes over the course of Halloween day and evening. Take photos of each set!

Throw a Zoom Costume Party

The great part about virtual celebrations is that you’re not limited by distance. Celebrate with music and costumes with friends and families all around – whether they’re across town or across the county. 

Have Family Game Night Instead

Or play card games. You can play pretend poker and use fun size candies for chips, or let everyone pick their favorite board game and play all of them, one at a time.

Watch Scary Movies at Home

Maybe a backyard movie isn’t going to work out, but you can still make popcorn and candy treats and settle on the couch to watch (age-appropriately) scary movies with the kids. Freeform always shows Halloween-themed movies in October, and there’s a TV show called Svengooli on Me.TV that always shows vintage horror movies on Saturday nights. Perfect timing!

Scatter Treats in the Yard

If you’d still want to experience the fun of passing out candy, try scattering the treats in the yard. Decorate your front yard with Halloween-themed decorations (jack-o-lanterns, spider webs, plastic headstones). Have small bags of candy strategically placed by these decorations so your family can find their candies.

Have a Candy Easter Egg Hunt Indoors

Hide the candy all around your home or apartment and let your kids hunt for each piece. Try to hide a few of your favorite treats where only You can find them!

Make Popcorn Hands

Embrace the moment. Use disposable clear, plastic gloves. Place a candy corn in each of the fingers to serve as “nails.” Fill the gloves with popcorn. Secure the glove closed with a twist-tie. This is a fun project to do at home and then use as decorations as well.

Celebrate With School

For many schools, Halloween means an autumn carnival or annual costume parade, which probably won’t be happening this year. Get in touch with your child’s teacher and ask how you can help. Teachers may not be thinking ahead to Halloween just yet. Perhaps, your child’s teacher wants to keep it low-key with a simple costume reveal at the end of the day on Friday, October 30th. Maybe your child’s teacher would like to have family members read Halloween or fall-themed stories to the class. Another teacher might love to do a costume dance party. Get creative and try to get as many classmates’ families involved as possible.

Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).

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