Most of us grew up thinking that trick-or-treating is the gold standard in Halloween celebration, but not all kiddos are into the door-to-door candy mission. Some families or communities aren’t into the tradition, sometimes it rains (or snows!), or sometimes a costume—any costume—is a hard no. Fear not, because we’ve rounded up five non-trick-or-treat activities you can plan for Halloween night instead.
A not-so-spooky movie night
If your brood isn’t into the scary side of Halloween, try a family-friendly Halloween flick instead. We love It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for the littlest ones, but Casper is a blast-from-the-past that pretty much all school-agers can get behind. If you’ve got older kids in the family, consider a double feature with a slightly spookier second movie once the littles go to bed.
Tip: Make your popcorn a little more festive with a trip to a bulk section or store. Get some coloured candy melts, some Halloween sprinkles and some pretzels. Spread the popcorn and pretzels out on a baking sheet, drizzle with melted candy (chocolate works, too) and finish with sprinkles. Let cool and dole out into bowls for serving.
A Halloween baking session
Get your kids into the kitchen to make a batch of festive treats. For a super easy, fun idea (with no stirring required), check out our donut eyeballs. But for a next-level option, bake up some chocolate cupcakes and frost with chocolate icing. Black licorice legs, chocolate shavings or sprinkles for the effect of hairiness plus candy eyeballs, and you’ve got a dozen delish spiders on your hands.
A festive fashion show
If your gang likes the costume aspect of the holiday but not the trick-or-treating, invite friends over for a Halloween fashion show instead. Ask each family who comes to bring a contribution to the candy haul and divide up for each little ghoul or goblin to take home a bag of treats without all the walking.
A zombie makeover station
Instead of the costume being a requirement for the main event, make the spooky transformation the headliner. Set up a station with face paint, fake scars and blood, hair chalk, etc. and set your kids free to zombify each other (and you!).
A community event
Lots of cities and towns host Halloween events for families, with activities and treats for kids of all ages. To up the ante, look for haunted houses or other seasonal events in your area.
Are you in southwestern Ontario? Check out Pumpkins After Dark in Milton. We sent a family to check out this incredible ¼-mile long art exhibit, which is a fun evening out for both Halloween lovers and the more Halloween timid. The event, which runs until November 2, features 5000 hand-carved pumpkins and more than 100 artisan-crafted pumpkin sculptures, and includes light, sound and musical elements. For more information and to buy tickets, go to pumpkinsafterdark.com.