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5 Trick-or-Treat Alternatives for Your Kids

The fun of dressing up in a costume and the excitement of nabbing a bag full of candy can make Halloween one of your kids’ most anticipated days of the year. But unpredictable fall weather, the unknowns of going door to door, food allergies and sugar overload can have parents saying boo to this holiday. We’ve got a list of options that skip the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating but still bring the right dose of frightfully good fun.

Visit a trunk-or-treat

Your school PTO, your church or your community center might already have one in the works, but if not, you can organize your own “trunk-or-treat.” Trusted friends and neighbors gather together, having decorated the trunks of their cars, and dole out treats. If you’re looking to avoid the usual sugary fare, each vehicle can feature an activity or hand out a party favor instead. You can think of trunk-or-treat as the tailgating of Halloween and set up a grilling station along with thermoses with coffee, cider or cocoa to keep warm on a cool night. Trunk-or-treats often take place in a well-lit parking lot, but any place where you can circle up the vehicles will do.

Paint mini pumpkins

Mini pumpkins are the perfect size for a painting party. Children get the benefit of doing a quick craft while watching a kid-friendly “scary” movie or listening to a spooky-noise soundtrack. After the orange orbs have had time to dry, hide them for a pumpkin hunt. Follow up the fun by serving up healthy treats or gifting-themed trinkets.

Go to a mall-o-ween

Check if your local mall is hosting an indoor trick-or-treating event. “Mall-o-weens” often feature fun freebies, special deals at stores, kid costume parades and other activities. As an added bonus, they usually take place in early evening, so there’s still time for more fright-night enjoyment when you get home.

Host a gross-out game

You probably played this game at Halloween parties when you were a kid. Peeled grapes became eyeballs. Cooked spaghetti noodles became brains. Remember? Now it’s your turn to get creative. Put everyday items into shoeboxes with a small hole cut in each lid. Encourage attendees to reach their hands in and feel what’s there. Make up a silly story to go along with the gore. Then ask the children to guess what’s actually in the box before showing them. They can smell it, taste it (if edible) or shake it for sound. Let them make suggestions for what other items might make for fun faux guts. This goofy game works the imagination and the five senses.

Reverse trick-or-treat

Encourage your kids to make and decorate treats, like Halloween cookies or cupcakes, and then help them deliver the stash to a nearby fire or police station. Think of other places where homemade goodies and kiddos visiting in costumes might draw a smile. 


Halloween for Everyone to Enjoy

With these fun and safe alternatives to trick-or-treating, you’re guaranteed to have a Halloween that everyone will enjoy!