8 Kid-Friendly Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating

Halloween looks a little bit different this year. Instead of lining the streets to trick-or-treat, many of us are staying home. But that doesn’t mean that Halloween is canceled, or that you can’t have fun with your family! Here are our tips and tricks for Halloween fun without trick-or-treating!

Trick or Treat Treasure Hunt

Think ‘Easter Egg Hunt,’ then kick it up an extra-spooky notch! Hide Halloween treats within your home or backyard for kids to find– preferably among plenty of cool Halloween decorations! To make a trick-or-treat treasure hunt more challenging and exciting, bundle together treat bags and attach a clue to each one.

For example, the kids may first happen upon a small bag of treats with a post-it-note that says: “Follow the trail to something sweet/ Inside something meant for feet!” The next bag of treats is hidden inside a hiking boot! It has a post-it note that says, “You’re almost there, so stop and think/ To find your treats, go get a drink!” The next bag of treats is on top of the water pitcher in the refrigerator!

Halloween Feast

Let the kids help you prepare a special Halloween meal with themed menu items! A few fun ideas for Halloween foods:

  • Mini pizzas with toppings arranged like a monster’s face
  • Spaghetti and eyeballs (top your meatballs with dabs of mozzarella cheese and sliced black olives to look like eyes)
  • Stuffed orange bell peppers carved with jack-o-lantern faces
  • Spider nuggets (chicken nuggets with eight ‘legs’ made of pretzel pieces and red eyes made of ketchup)
  • Bat wings: chicken wings dyed black with food coloring

Our Cricket Media magazines also feature several easy recipes for snacks, desserts, or breakfast treats that are perfect to make together on Halloween! You can download the recipes below:

Miro’s Creepy Hollow Cookies

Edible Blood

Miro’s Pumpkin Shake

“Barfing Jack” Guacamole (Gross theme, but tastes great!)

Pumpkin Pockets

Fall Nature Walk or Drive

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, which means that festive fun isn’t only limited to the evening! It’s the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy the fall foliage! Take the family for a walk or picnic in a local park and see if you can spot any animals or their habitats– and let the kids wear their costumes! You’ll get unforgettable photos with a cool background. Another outdoor alternative is a walk or drive around the neighborhood to look for houses with awesome decorations. Some of these are even cooler looking during the daylight than during the usual trick-or-treating hours!

Virtual Costume Party

Your kids might be tired of video calls if their schools have gone virtual this year– but have they ever attended one with Halloween costumes? A virtual Halloween party adds an extra element that in-person parties don’t have: creative use of backgrounds! A child dressed as a princess might choose to add a perfect castle backdrop, or a kid in a werewolf costume might pick scary woods! Kids can even play Halloween themed games using programs like Kahoot or, with a little advance preparation, a homemade Halloween bingo game!

Halloween Crafts

Have your crafty kids already carved their pumpkins? Here are a few fun and memorable things that kids can make at home for Halloween!

Creepy Peepers

Happy Fall Faces

Goblin Head

Slime Recipes

Pumpkin Hat

Batty Banner

Boo Your Friends!

This isn’t as rude as it sounds. Simply surprise your friends by driving to their home, leaving Halloween treats at their door, ringing the doorbell, and leaving before they see you! This is sort of a ‘reverse’ trick-or-treat strategy in which kids can be the ‘giver’ rather than the ‘receivers’– and it feels mischievous without hurting any feelings! You can also include some of these adorable printable Halloween cards to make it extra festive!

Read a Halloween Story

There’s nothing like gathering together to read a story, especially on Halloween! Older kids might like hearing classic tales like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow or Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark, while younger kids can enjoy delightful picture books like Five Little Pumpkins, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, or Room on the Broom!

We also offer several free Halloween stories from our children’s magazines! You can download them below, or watch/listen to them on YouTube here!

The Halloween Costume Countdown (LADYBUG Magazine, ages 3-6)

The Halloween Parade Problem (LADYBUG Magazine, ages 3-6)

Lulu Poole’s School for Ghouls (SPIDER Magazine, ages 6-9)

Ghoulies and Ghosties (CRICKET Magazine, ages 9-14)

Stay tuned for even more– we’re publishing a blog post next week that’s full of NEW Halloween stories from our current October magazine issues!

Backyard Campout or Campfire

Do you have a backyard? Why not have a camping party on Halloween? If you have a fire pit, you can build a campfire, roast marshmallows or make s’mores, drink hot cocoa and hot apple cider, and tell spooky stories! You might even get to see bats, owls, foxes, frogs, or other creepy critters! If you’re REALLY brave, spend the night in a tent in the backyard! Halloween is no ordinary night– so why not change things up a little?

What is your family planning on doing for Halloween night? Let us know in the comments!