Frighteningly fun alternatives to trick or treating

alternatives to trick or treating

Trick or treating is a steadfast Halloween tradition. It can be soooo much fun, but it can also be a little daunting … especially for young children.

Fun fact: Trick or treating used to be very different to what it is today when kids knock on doors and scream ‘trick or treat’. In the Middles Ages, impoverished children used it as a way to make money. After dressing up in something spooky to disguise themselves, they would entertain on strangers doorsteps by singing, dancing, quoting rhymes, even telling the odd joke. The hopeful reward was anything from food or money and even wine or beer!

Fast forward to today, and you can be forgiven for not wanting to encourage your kids to roam the streets at night, knocking on strangers doors and demanding lollies. And this year we can’t use covid and social distancing as an excuse for them not going out.

So, the question is: What can you do instead that still screams Halloween and keeps your little hobgoblins happy?

Here are some frighteningly fun alternatives to trick or treating.

Don’t want to trick or treat? Here’s what you can do instead …

Have a pumpkin hunt

One of our favourite alternatives to trick or treating is a pumpkin hunt. Can’t have Halloween without pumpkins! A pumpkin hunt is like an Easter egg hunt. You hide mini pumpkins, toy pumpkins or craft pumpkins with treats inside all over the house and let the kids loose. This is not only safe if you live in an iffy neighbourhood, it also lets you control the amount of sweets the kids eat.

Don’t fret if you’re too busy, this activity involves little planning ahead. Order toy pumpkins online (get the ones you can fill with small treats) and fill with candy, toys or healthy snacks. Hide them in your backyard or living room, put up some fun decorations and blast some monstrous music.

Do some apple bobbing

Apple bobbing is a classic Halloween tradition dating back hundreds of years. Originally, you put apples in a barrel or bucket of water and the kids try to catch them with their mouth without using their hands. If you want everyone to stay dry all evening, hang the apples from a string and let the kids eat them with their hands behind their backs.

Don’t like apples? Donuts, candy bars and popcorn balls also work. Or whip up some healthy-ish Halloween cookies ahead of time for the kids to munch on. Apple bobbing is a fun activity for both kids and adults especially with dance beats in the background.

Have a scary movie night

Parents always need alternatives to trick or treating in case the weather doesn’t cooperate or your kids get sick and can’t go out. You’ll probably want to stay in anyway this year due to the COVID-19 situation. Entertain the kids indoors this Halloween with a scary movie night.

This is the perfect activity for the whole family and needs zero planning time. Set up the backyard, living room or bedroom, get in your pyjamas and watch classic Halloween movies on Netflix or Amazon while munching on treats. Movies like Hocus Pocus, Casper, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and Addams Family are must sees.

Further reading: Our 10 favourite Halloween movies to watch with the kids.

Frighteningly fun alternatives to trick or treating (cont.)

Get creepily crafty

Alternatives to trick or treating like a creepily crafty Halloween night is perfect for younger or older kids who love creative activities. Here’s a list of fun craft ideas for all ages if you’re looking for inspiration. Also try no-carve pumpkin decorating or paper folding crafts to keep older kids focused and interested.

A craft night is a great way to make Halloween decorations without spending a bob. Chances are you already have the required materials like acrylic paint, brushes, craft sticks, yarn and construction paper. Make craft night even more fun by playing fun music and having yummy snacks at hand. Order takeout if you’re pressed for time!

Invite friends over for Halloween party

Why not invite some friends over for a smashing Halloween party? Plan a party with other mums who want a fun and safe alternative to trick or treating and get the kids together on Halloween night. Have everyone show up in costume and hand out tasty treats to the kids. Or put all the treats in a piñata and let the kids have a go.

The treats don’t have to be sweets. Get creative and whip up some easy Halloween snacks. To make it really festive, plan lots of Halloween games like apple bobbing, pumpkin hunting and a dance off. And make it a potluck party so you don’t have to make all the food.

Have a creepy cooking session

And by this we don’t mean cook with the lights out! No, safety first every time, even on Halloween. Instead, find some super simple Halloween food recipes, gather the ingredients (and your kids) and get cooking. Then, set up a ghostly table or indoor picnic space with a ghostly theme where you can sit and enjoy the fruits of you labour. Think spiderweb pizza, meringue ghosts and hot dog mummies.

Best bit is that dinner’s sorted and you can throw the leftovers in the pack lunch boxes the following morning. A witchy win for mums looking for a great alternative to trick or treating.

Have a ghostly games night

Another alternative to trick or treating is to organise a games night for the whole family. Plus mums can control the amount of sweets the kids eat. Give candy treats out as prizes for winning some games and keep the rest of the snacks healthy. These Halloween snacks are super tasty, festive and oh so simple to make.

Try Halloween-themed games like a pumpkin hunt, scavenger hunt, pumpkin decorating, Halloween bingo, sack race and ring toss. Make sure to play Halloween party music to get everyone in the mood. This sounds like it requires a lot of planning, but it’s actually pretty simple.

For more game ideas see: 10 Kids Halloween games to play at home. 

Final words: Fun alternatives to trick or treating

With so many crazy things happening in our neighbourhoods, mums might hesitate to let your kids roam around at night, asking for candies from strangers. That’s perfectly fine; the safety of your little ones is always the top priority.

If you – or sometimes, your children – are not keen to trick or treat this Halloween, hold on to your broomsticks. There are many enjoyable alternatives so your kids don’t feel like they’re missing out on the fun in the streets.

You can fill up plastic pumpkins with treats and hide them around your home for your kids to hunt. Or, you can play apple (or donut!) bobbing for traditional Halloween fun. Have a scary movie marathon, work on creepy crafts, hold a cooking session, or play ghost-themed games.

If your local authorities permit, why not host a small costume party for your kids and their friends? You can incorporate the fun alternative activities listed here to turn your Halloween party into a truly festive night. At the same time, you and your fellow parents will not have to worry about the dangers lurking outside.

Trick or treating is not the only way for your kids to have fun on this spooky night.

Witching you a happy Halloween!

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