For a lot of families, Halloween is about candy, candy, candy!
But if trick-or-treating isn’t right for your family this year, or you just want to shake things up a little, here are some fun, inexpensive alternatives:
1. Spooky movie marathon
Choose your films by family vote or pick something you haven’t seen from Esquire’s list of the scariest movies of all time. For a more immersive movie-watching experience, you can dress up as your favorite cinematic monsters!
If you want to venture out for the night, keep in mind movie theaters often show double features on Halloween.
2. S’mores and scary stories
Gather some family friends around your backyard fire pit and host an evening of s’mores and scary stories. Make sure to check outdoor burning regulations in your area first, and follow our fire safety tips!
If the weather (or local laws) don’t cooperate with your plans, simply switch to a fireplace indoors, or use flashlights under your chin in the dark for a spooky effect!
3. Haunted egg hunt
For families looking to stick close to home this Halloween, haunted egg hunts are a great way to spend quality time together.
Martha Stewart’s website provides a great introduction to painting spooky eggs. Once enough eggs have been decorated, take turns hiding them around the house and yard. Try transforming your abode into a haunted house for double the fun!
4. Monstrous piñata
While pumpkin carving is a Halloween staple, a night of making Halloween-themed piñatas out of papier-maché combines the tactile fun of crafts with the fun of being showered with candy at the end of the night.
Parents can purchase themed piñatas online, or make their own using affordable, readily available materials. Check out this tutorial for some great do-it-yourself Halloween piñata ideas!
5. Zombie walk
Cities and towns across the globe hold free zombie walks every Halloween, bringing together scores of the undead in limping, groaning, ghoulish fun. As a side bonus, many zombie walks help raise money for charity.
Check your local event listings for zombie walks and other fun Halloween activities for the whole family.
6. Ideas for the very young
If your children are too young to go trick-or-treating, try decorating spooky juiceboxes, drawing faces on pumpkins with permanent marker, or going to the zoo (they’re often open on Halloween and have some great family-friendly programming)!