Can’t Go Trick Or Treating This Year? The Kids Will Love These Alternatives

Still on the fence this year on whether or not to go the traditional route of trick-or-treating for your little ones?  Not to worry! I’ve compiled a list of alternatives for you to do with your kids, should door to door trick or treating be axed on All Hallow’s Eve. It may not have the same spirit as the usual routine, but it may turn out to be more fun in the long run!


Treat Scavenger Hunt

This idea feels most like traditional trick or treating. Take a few bags of candy and disperse them around your yard or home, like you would with Easter eggs. If you typically do your trick or treating before dark, you can easily hide the candy on its own, without any additional aid. If you like to do your candy hunting after dark, I suggest snagging some cute pumpkin bags and a few faux tea lights to subtly light the way. If you have a large space to work with, spread the candy out so that this game lasts as long as possible.

Bonus idea: leave a clue that leads to a large bag or cauldron bucket of candy for them to find at the end of the hunt. It’s like hitting the mother load, or reaching that house that hands out the king sized candy bars: actual heaven!

Spooky Movie Marathon

Nothing screams Halloween quite like a spooky movie marathon! Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without our classic friends like Count Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Werewolf. If you have smaller viewers at home, you may want to wait to watch those until they’re passed out from too much candy. Here is a list of family-friendly Halloween movies:

Hocus Pocus

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie


Nightmare Before Christmas

Spooky Buddies

Monster House

The Adventures Of Ichabod and Mr. Toad


The Addams Family (2019)

Super Monsters Save Halloween

Toy Story of Terror

Curious George: A Halloween Boo-Fest

Hotel Transylvania



Corpse Bride

The Haunted Mansion

Double Double Toil and Trouble


It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

These movie options range in age, but they are all generally family friendly in my opinion. If you want to make it a full-blown experience, I suggest getting some matching Halloween themed pajamas to go with your movie night!

Carving Pumpkins

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Chelle Culp (@boss.lady.of.awesomeness)

This may seem like an obvious option, but carving pumpkins on All Hallows Eve is a classic, alternative tradition that’s often overlooked due to the luster of trick or treating. So snag your best carving tools and gather your loved ones for a pumpkin carving party!

Print out some fun and spooky designs and get creative! Put on some fun classic Halloween tunes like “Monster Mash” or “Thriller” to get the creative juices flowing. Make it a competition: choose a design for someone else and have them try to recreate it; the best recreation wins.

Not into pumpkin carving carnage? Paint pumpkins instead! If you want that thick coat of paint, I suggest using tempera paint, which you can find at your local craft supply store. They may not glow at night like a traditional Jack-O-Lantern, but they will last much longer and give your creation a unique twist. Once you’re done with your pumpkins, set outside to admire your hard work!

Cookie Decorating Party

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dany Lind | Cookie Artist (@danyscakesbydanylind)

Make it the scariest cookie decorating party you’ve ever had! From monster shapes, to zombie unicorns and more, there are so many fun options to create. If you have a party of 6 or more, split up into teams and make it a competition. Here are some cookie cutter and decorating options, in case you need a head start on some ideas!

Zoom Virtual Party Or Sleepover

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Art Stuff Panamá (@artstuffpanama)

Take the night and create a party from a safe distance! No contact is still very much a thing in our world socially, and there are ways to still have a good time with friends, without having to put your family at risk. Dress up in your favorite costume, just like you would on any other normal Halloween night.

Log into a Zoom chat with your buds and party the night away! Create a fun and festive background and put on some spooky music to set the mood. Incorporate your cookie decorating or pumpkin carving into the party, or play some fun Halloween games! Pick a Halloween craft and do it together, do a spooky makeup tutorial and have everyone give it a try, or watch the same movie together and end the night with ghost stories and more Halloween candy. There are so many options to make the party more than just sitting and talking.

Halloween Crafts

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Creative Bookspirations (@ecocraftkids)

Speaking of Halloween crafts, there are a ton of options simply on Pinterest that you can try — just choose the option that best suits your audience’s age group, and create! I have a three and eight year old, so my crafts range in that area. I’ve linked a few of my favorites from Pinterest below to get your creative juices flowing…

Halloween Games

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Go Go Makers (@go_go_makers)

Another great way to make the night more interesting is to create some fun Halloween games to play! Pinterest is also a great place to find fun games based on your family’s age group and preferences. It’s going to be a long night, so having games prepared is a fun way to break up the evening, and the non-stop candy eating. Some games I plan on playing are:

Mummy Wrap contest using toilet paper

Noodle worm eyeball dig

Witch hat ring toss

Donuts on a string eating game

Monster scavenger hunt

I found these ideas on Pinterest, and the cost of the supplies are super low! For the mummy wrap, I bought large industrial sized rolls of toilet paper back in March when toilet paper was impossible to find. I bought 12 rolls. 12 rolls, guys. NOW I have a reason and purpose to use them!

The noodle worm eyeball dig is simply cooked noodles and weird props from the Dollar Tree, mixed with a blindfold.

The witch hat ring toss is a large cardboard rectangle that’s been painted, along with painted Solo cups and some diving rings.

Donuts on a string is simply that, donuts and a string.

The monster scavenger hunt is just a printable I found online that I cut out and hid around my property. All cost-efficient ideas!

Remote Trick Or Treating/Drive By Candy Table

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Classic Creation (

This article is supposed to be about alternatives to trick or treating, but depending on your plans this year, you may be considering adding a little of that in.

If you have the option of trick or treating, I would still err on the side of caution and do it with a modern twist. Remote trick or treating is an alternative people are doing this year. What does that mean? It means you leave the candy in a bowl far enough from your front door where kids can snag on their route. If you want to have the kids still ring the doorbell, have a claw grabber to hand out the candy, rather than touching the items yourself.

You can also incorporate a neighborhood “drive-by candy table,” where you lay out your candy for kids to grab on the way by. You can decorate your table and make it super fun! Have the goodies packaged up in bags for easy (and safe) hand out!

Bottom Line

No matter how you choose to celebrate this year, it won’t be the same. But that doesn’t mean it still can’t be memorable! Your kids will love the day no matter what! Why? Because, candy. When in doubt, candy. The hunt for the delicious treasure might be a bit spoiled, but the end result is always the same. And nothing can take away the pure joy of candy on Halloween!


What are your favorite alternatives to trick or treating? How will you be celebrating Halloween? Share with us in the comments!

For More Halloween Articles, Read These:

Mod Podge Pumpkins Are This Fall’s Cutest Trend, And We’re Decorating Them Right Now

These ‘Hocus Pocus’ Brownies Are The Best Spooky Season Dessert

Join the Conversation