Alternative Halloween Ideas

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Halloween means fall and all the wonderful sights, smells and traditions of this favorite season! Thanks to COVID, many people are choosing to do Halloween differently. Here are a few alternative Halloween ideas to keep the kids (and parents) safe and happy!

I’m like every other warm-blooded human on the internet in that I LOVE fall. The apple cider, cinnamon donuts, hay rides and pumpkin patches…I’m here for it!

Halloween, however, is NOT my fave. I blame too many late nights making handmade Halloween costumes, only to have kids change their minds about what they want to be at the last minute. Plus the sugar-highs. And the stranger danger. Need I go on?

That’s why I’m actually quite excited to be doing things a little differently this year, thanks to COVID precautions. We’re determined to make the best of it!

Here are 5 easy ways to find Halloween safe and fun, no matter what the world throws at us…

Skip the candy, host a party

Some families are still avoiding Trick-or-Treating as well as the usual church or community Halloween parties, so why not consider hosting a small get-together outside, with a handful of family members?

The best part is that you get to completely control how much junk food is available at your party. You could totally still have candy if your kids demand it (maybe in piñata or game form?) or skip it altogether and serve yummy, Halloween themed snacks like these.

Plan a costume parade

Sure, my kids love the sugar free-for-all that Halloween brings, but mostly they just want to wear an awesome costume and show it off to all their friends!

I love the idea of organizing an outdoor parade: down a quiet street, around a cul-de-sac or in a church or library parking lot. Invite all the neighbors and let the kids march around as scary goblins and cute unicorns in front of their socially distanced friends.

Have a movie night under the stars

If there’s anything more fun than watching a movie with friends, it’s doing it outside! Plus, an outdoor theater makes it really easy to spend time with others without swapping germs.

You could make this super simple with just a projector and some popcorn, or go all out with a theme like Harry Potter, Vampires, Ghosts, etc. Themed snacks and costumes would up the ante even more.

We own a full-sized projector like this one which is pretty easy to set up outdoors but I’ve also got my eye on this smaller one that I keep hearing rave reviews about (plus it’s half the price). And here’s an inflatable screen to round out your outdoor theater!

Do some spooky service

Imagine how much more fun Halloween could be if your kids had a chance to do some good, instead of just collecting candy for themselves. You could invite a neighbor family over to help pack lunches or school supplies for kids in foster care, sew masks for medical workers or make cute cards for hospital patients.

Or, how cool would it be to bring your kids to an assisted living home in their costumes? Many of them have restrictions on who can go inside right now, but if you call ahead, maybe you could make arrangements to let the kids parade around the parking lot or lobby. My grandma would get a huge kick out of seeing my kids all dressed up!

If you need some simple service ideas, check out It’s our family’s favorite way of finding needs in and around our local community and it’s totally free to use.

Make your own scary movie

Considering the amount of amateur videos on my phone’s camera roll, my children already think they’re budding film producers. It would be a blast to give them free reign of a phone or camera and let them produce their own (kid-friendly) horror film.

Big kids can help create a plot and script and the littles can just run around in their bumblebee costumes and look adorable. Plus, if you combine this activity with an outdoor projector, your little Hitchcocks can have their own movie premier to show the finished product to all their friends!

Despite all the weirdness that COVID has brought to the party, we’re determined not to let it ruin our Halloween fun, and maybe even make some new traditions out of it!

Which idea sounds the most fun to you?

If you’re the crafty type, check out these posts for some easy, DIY Halloween T-shirts and home decor.

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