Ask kids what their favorite holiday is, and there’s a good chance many of them would choose Halloween. It’s easy to see why – when else can kids dress up as their favorite characters and get free candy from total strangers? Many kids look forward to trick or treating on Halloween for months, carefully planning their costumes, and coordinating with friends.
But what do you do when your kids can’t trick or treat? From food allergies and family emergencies to health and safety concerns, there are more and more reasons families are choosing to opt-out of this long-standing tradition. While your little ones will probably be disappointed to learn they can’t participate in one of the most iconic Halloween activities, don’t worry – there are plenty of things you can do to make Halloween fun at home!
Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate Halloween with kids when you can’t trick or treat:
DRESS UP ANYWAY!
You don’t have to cancel Halloween costumes just because you’re staying in. Letting your little ones come up with a creative costume and helping them put it together can be a great way to build some excitement around Halloween. While spending the evening dressed up as monsters, fairies, superheroes, and other favorites will automatically make the night memorable. After all, there are many benefits to dress-up pretend play.
PLAN A SPOOKY MOVIE MARATHON
Thanks to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services, you can access thousands of movies at the click of a button. If you and your family love to watch TV and movies, a Halloween movie marathon could be the perfect way to spend the evening! Queue up some of your family’s favorite Halloween-inspired films (or tv specials!), order a pizza, pop some popcorn, and enjoy your own movie marathon from the comfort of your couch.
MAKE SOME HALLOWEEN TREATS
Help your kids forget about the candy they aren’t collecting by making some delicious stuff to eat at home! A quick Pinterest search can provide hundreds of fun ideas to put a spooky twist on breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. Get creative and whip up some spooky green eyeball soup, crescent mummy dogs or Rice Krispie Treat pumpkins, or stick with classics like caramel apples.
TRY SOME HALLOWEEN CRAFTS
Pinterest is an excellent resource for this one, too! If your kiddos are feeling creative, crafts can be a fun and interactive way to celebrate the day. Some fun and easy crafts that are perfect for Halloween include toilet paper roll mummies, paper plate bat puppets, and monster spoons. If you have the space, save your creations and use them next year as Halloween decorations.
VISIT A HAUNTED HOUSE OR A PUMPKIN PATCH
Getting out of the house during the evening on Halloween is also a good approach when you’re trying not to trick or treat. Look into seasonal options in your area that are age-appropriate. Older kids and teens may appreciate a trip through a haunted house, while little kids may have a blast on the hayride at a local pumpkin patch.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween at home. With a little effort, you can easily make Halloween fun and memorable for your kids without trick or treating.