Halloween Ideas for Your Kids – When you Can’t Go Trick-or-Treating

Happy Halloween pumpkin

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Create a Fun Halloween for Kids, Even When you Don’t Trick-or-Treat

This year trick-or-treating is likely just not going to happen like usual. But, it will be ok!    

Kids (and grown-ups) love Halloween and I think there are a lot of creative ways we can celebrate this holiday! No matter if there are major changes in the world, I know we can figure out a way to really make awesome memories with our little ones this Halloween.

Here are 6 great ideas for you and your kids to celebrate Halloween without trick-or-treating.

1. Halloween Costumes are a Must

Kids love costumes, and if I’m being honest, so do I!  It’s fun to think of Halloween costumes for the family. It’s also fun to dress up with our kids. This doesn’t have to change just because we don’t go trick-or-treating.

Even when the tradition of trick-or-treating may be put on hold, Halloween costumes are still the highlight of Halloween.

Girl in Halloween costume

Dressing up and staying home to play with your kids is a fun activity by itself.  Or maybe, you want to dress up and do some of the activities below!

Once my kids were able to, I let them start choosing their costumes. It has been amazing to see how creative they are. 

Of course, some of their favorite costumes have been Disney Princesses!  Honestly, I have found really nice costumes for a good price on Amazon, like this snow white costume.

Don’t forget, family theme costumes can be fun for everyone too!

2. Halloween Themed Dinner Party

Instead of trick-or-treating, you can host (or attend) a Halloween themed dinner party.  In a year when you are social distancing, you may need to be careful to select a small, sensible guest list and host an outdoor dinner (weather permitting).

Costumes are still a must for a fun (and maybe very small) Halloween get-together.


Of course, you need Halloween decorations for your gathering.  Depending on your kids, consider a scary haunted mansion type theme or you might want to consider a more friendly ghost for sensitive kids.

There are so many places you can get decorations.  Try your local Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or even big box store.  I also love a good online find, check out Amazon for sure.

Don’t forget to make your own decorations! A fun activity with your little one is to decorate pumpkins!

kids decorating Halloween pumpkin

You can paint the pumpkins using tempera or washable paint. Mix glue and paint 50:50 to avoid having the paint flake off once it dries. You can also decorate pumpkins with glitter (use glue then apply glitter), stickers, and markers!

For bigger kids, do pumpkin carving.

The Food

To make an awesome Halloween feast, make sure to have some fun and frightening treats!  You decide if you will have a whole meal or maybe just appetizers and desserts.

Halloween spider deviled eggs

Yummy appetizers can be so fun at Halloween, so many ideas that get you in the Halloween spirit.  There are some super awesome recipes here at Chelsea’s Messy Apron.  I think the spider web dip is great.

For some really cute ideas for sweet treats check here. Most of these fun Halloween treats would be fun to make with your kids.

The Music

There are many classic Halloween sounds and songs!  Make sure to prepare your playlist.  We love the “Kids Halloween” playlist on Amazon Music. 

Kids dancing at Halloween (cartoon)

3. Candy Scavenger Hunt

In a year when traditional trick-or-treating is not happening, we can still find a way for costume-clad kids to get their sweets!

Plan a candy scavenger hunt.  There are a few ways you can do this, depending on the age of your kids!

For littles, hide the candy just like you would hide Easter eggs.  Then give them their bucket and they can do a free for all running around finding the candy.

For kids that are just a little bit older, consider more of a classic scavenger hunt.  Give them clues and guide them from small pieces of candy to the larger grand prize treat.

variety of candy in pumpkin jar

There’s no shortage of candy for this year, I’ve already seen huge bags of it at Costco!

4. Halloween Games at Home

Celebrating Halloween doesn’t always have to mean bucket loads of candy.

Let’s think of some fun ways to play that don’t have to include sweets.  I like the idea of games!

How about playing Halloween Freeze Dance.  Get your kids and start playing your favorite Halloween playlist (any music streaming service will have a list) and get the kids dancing.  When the music stops, they freeze in place!  So much fun!

boy and girl in Halloween costumes holding a pumpkin

Charades in costume!  The costumes can be distracting and make this game tricky and even more exciting than usual.

Halloween balloon toss is a fun game. You need Halloween balloons (or just get regular orange and black balloons) and funnels. Use the funnels to toss and catch the balloons. Or if you have really young toddlers, just bat the balloons back and forth.

For more Halloween party game ideas check out the Spruce.

5. Make Halloween Candy or Treats

Celebrate the start of the holidays by getting in the kitchen with your little ones! 

Get ready to be messy and have fun in the kitchen.  There are so many fun snacks and yummy desserts that are great to make at Halloween.

Check out this article from the BBC.  There are tons of good ideas here, like Frozen Banana Ghosts!

Halloween bananas and oranges for kids

6. Trick-or-Treating in Reverse

So, in a year when we are not able to gather in the streets with our children and go door to door, consider this alternative.

Talk with the members of your community.  I think it is a fun idea to get the kids dressed up and have them come outside their own homes.

The adults will drive by (or walk by depending on the layout of your neighborhood) and toss candy to the costumed kids who are hanging out at home!  In a year with social distancing, the adults can take care to keep everyone safe.

This method does take some communicating and planning with your neighborhood, but I think it is definitely worth it! Imagine all these adults getting to see excited kids awaiting their treats from their own doorsteps!!  You can do it, just talk to your neighbors.

Happy Halloween

Some years our traditional trick-or-treating plans just cannot be.  When this is the case, let’s make the best of our situation and plan a fun Halloween with our kids.

I know I’m excited to get dressed up with my kids and play.  Halloween is still going to happen and it’s still going to be exciting for the little ones!

Halloween jack o lanterns

I hope you are able to get out there and enjoy Halloween in whatever way you can, it will still be special!

What are your Halloween plans?  Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Halloween.

Create a Fun Halloween with Toddlers and Little Kids, Even When you Don’t Trick-or-Treat

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