22 Halloween Alternatives to Trick or Treating

If your community isn’t trick-or-treating, don’t fret!

Brittany Barber


Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Have you and your family decided against going trick or treating this Halloween? This doesn’t mean Halloween is canceled!

Instead of spending Halloween night going door to door asking for candy, you have the opportunity to celebrate creatively. With alternative Halloween activities like having a scavenger hunt, organizing a trunk or treat or hiring a virtual magician, you can make this year special with these great Halloween entertainment ideas.

Here are 22 Halloween activities for you and your family if you’re not trick-or-treating this year. 

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

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If you decide to stay home, a scavenger hunt is one of our favorite fun alternatives to trick or treating this Halloween. Create Halloween crafts ahead of time and hide them around the house, with a map or list to guide the scavenger hunt players. Think cut-out black cats, witches, broomsticks, toy spiders and fake eyeballs. You could also treat it more like trick-or-treating and give each player a trick-or-treating bag or bucket to find hidden Halloween candies or toys.

Halloween Candy Apples

Halloween Candy Apples

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Making these delicious candy apples are enjoyable as both party entertainment and snacks! You can make them as easy or as intricate as you’d like, from simply dipping the apples into melted chocolate to turning them into monsters with marshmallow eyes and sugary fangs.

Monster Mash Freeze Dance

Monster Mash Freeze Dance

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Using the iconic Halloween hit, Monster Mash, set up a small dance floor and play Monster Mash Freeze Dance! The idea is to freeze every time the music pauses, and whoever moves during the freeze is out! The last one dancing wins a spooky Halloween prize. 

Trunk or Treat Party

Trunk or Treat

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Instead of having trick or treaters go door to door, this new concept invented as a safe alternative is actually the perfect outdoor Halloween party idea for social distancing. Here’s how this fun trick or treat idea works. Invite a bunch of families to gather in a parking lot with their car trunks decorated—you could even match the decor theme to your child’s costume. The trick or treaters walk from car to car to collect candy and see all the displays. To make it even more exciting, hire costumed characters to visit the kids and admire their costumes and Halloween decorations!

Magic Themed Halloween Party 

Magic Halloween Party Theme

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If your kids love magic and illusions, make this Halloween at home magic-themed! Learn some magic tricks yourself, or go the extra mile and hire a professional magician or hypnotist to perform virtually! Make sure you have a magic 8 ball, playing cards, and plastic top hats you can use as bowls for Halloween snacks and treats. 

Psychic Themed Halloween Party 

Psychic Themed Halloween Party

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Take a peek into the future and have a night of fortune-telling and palm reading this Halloween. Designate one person to dress up as a psychic, or even hire a professional fortune-teller or psychic to meet with you virtually. You may be surprised by what you learn about these ancient crafts. 

Tell Ghost Stories 

Halloween Ghost Stories

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Depending on your child’s interest in the dark and mysterious, set up the living room or den with candles and flashlights and huddle together to tell haunting stories. If you have a child who is particularly intrigued by the macabre, you could even hire a virtual storyteller for a unique scary storytelling experience. 

Halloween Arts and Crafts

Halloween Arts and Crafts

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It’s amazing what you can create with popsicle sticks, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, and construction paper. If you’re in need of a Halloween activity, try out some easy Halloween craft ideas like DIY maple leaf ghosts, paper cat garlands, or monster party hats! You can use these crafts as a part of your Halloween scavenger hunt too. 

Homemade Halloween Treats

Homemade Halloween Treats and Desserts

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Along with spooky candy apples, there are a variety of other Halloween treats and baked goods you can make with your kids this Halloween. Think ghost-shaped cookies, spooky brownies, monster pumpkin pie pudding, and homemade candy corn.

Have a Murder Mystery Party

Murder Mystery Party

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Another great trick or treat alternative is to make this Halloween’s event a murder mystery! Hunt for clues together once each player has received their character scripts. You can assign these ahead of time to coordinate with Halloween costumes, or give them out night-of and improvise! You can even find virtual murder mystery entertainment for hire if you need a little extra help organizing the game. 

Host a Spooky Seance 

Host a Spooky Seance for Halloween

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If your kids are a little older, why not up the spook-factor a little with some help from the occult? A ouija board, candles, and witch costumes will provide the right ambiance for a Halloween seance. Look to a professional and hire a virtual psychic for an added sense of authenticity.  

Haunted House Party 

Haunted House Halloween Party

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If you and your kids enjoy a theme park haunted house every now and then, why not create your very own? Spider webs, spooky masks, “heads” on plates and fake blood may provide those hilarious jump scares you’re looking for this Halloween. But it’s up to you how scary you make it! The best part about making your own haunted house is that you can curate it to your child’s spook-tolerance. 

Jack O’Lanterns

Jack O’Lantern Pumpkin Carving

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Whether you carve a classic jack o’lantern face or even paint a black cat onto your pumpkin instead, this autumnal activity is a great source of entertainment for everyone on Halloween day. 

Make sure you save the seeds so you can roast them for a snack later too!

Harry Potter Party

Harry Potter Halloween Theme

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If your family loves Harry Potter, turn your home into Hogwarts this Halloween! Decorate with floating candles and keys, house banners and flags, and printable apothecary labels. Set up different stations with a sorting hat, DIY wand making, and potions class with slime and food coloring. Hide a golden snitch (which you can make easily out of a Ferrero Roche chocolate and paper wings) and award a magical prize to whoever finds it first. Weather depending, you could even set up a quidditch game in the back yard! Don’t forget Bertie Bott’s every-flavored beans and chocolate frogs.

Reading Tea Leaves

Reading Tea Leaves

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Make some loose-leaf tea for your family to drink, but be sure to tell everyone to allow their tea leaves to settle at the bottom of their cups. Look for shapes that may have formed, and have your own fortune telling session together! Follow extensive tasseography guides that you can find online, or make your own to keep it light and easy. 

Halloween Candy Jar 

Halloween Candy Jar

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This simple Halloween game is great for starting the Halloween festivities. Fill a jar with jellybeans or M&Ms, and take note of everyone’s guesses! Whoever guesses closest wins a prize - or even the jar itself!

Halloween Slime 

Black Halloween Slime

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If your kid loves sensory activities, why not make your own spooky slime this Halloween? With black, green, or red coloring and objects like googly eyes or fake teeth, you can create some super spooky slime to play with.

Halloween Mystery Box 

Halloween Mystery Box

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Speaking of sensory activities - the Halloween Mystery Box is great for kids who love tactile games. Turn a box into a mysterious treasure chest and fill it with strange items that are interesting to touch - like slime, gummy eyeballs, and candy. The idea is to feel around the box blindfolded and try to guess what each item is. After each correct guess, award a Halloween treat or prize!

Halloween Bingo

Halloween Bingo

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Bingo is a fun and easy game the whole family can play. Download a few free printable Halloween bingo sheets from the internet, or make your own! Use candy corn, M&Ms or skittles as markers, and make sure you have a fun Halloween playlist to enjoy while you play the game. Prizes can be as simple as Halloween candy or as extravagant as a jelly bean machine!

Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin-Spiced Hot Chocolate

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What better time than Halloween to savor some pumpkin spice hot chocolate? Stock up on cinnamon sticks and spices and prepare a tasty treat everyone can enjoy. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

Halloween Coloring Pages

Halloween Coloring Pages

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An easy yet effective Halloween activity for kids is Halloween coloring! Sites like Crayola and Free Fun Halloween have lots of free, printable options to choose from. Just Color even has coloring pages for adults or older kids that want more challenging images to color in!

Bonus: Download this free Halloween printable coloring template.

Free Dowload: Halloween printable coloring template

Halloween Themed Movie Night

Halloween Themed Movie Night

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There’s nothing that gets you into the Halloween spirit like a fun Halloween movie. You can even extend your viewing to other friends or family by watching together on Netflix Party! However you choose to watch, the options for kid’s Halloween movies are vast. The Adam’s Family, Casper, Hocus Pocus, Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloweentown, The Little Vampire, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, and Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween are some great family Halloween films to consider!

Find more Halloween entertainment and party ideas on The Bash.

About Brittany Barber
Brittany Barber, lover of books, dogs, and romance, graduated from Bishop’s University with a Communications and Theatre degree. After spending some time working abroad in the theatre world, she is now a freelance writer covering a range of lifestyle topics including event planning for The Bash, WeddingWire, 2life and Fluttr, and shopping for BuzzFeed and Narcity.