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This post is all about trick-or-treating alternatives for your kids on Halloween 2020.
Expect Halloween 2020 to be different this year. Just another thing that won’t be the same because of the pandemic.
But just because things will be different on Halloween 2020 doesn’t mean it can’t still be a blast!
Halloween 2020 falls on a Saturday and there will be a full moon out that day! So if trick-or-treating isn’t in the cards for you and the kids, then you’re going to need some trick-or-treating alternatives this year.
There are so many super fun alternatives to trick-or-treating that you and the kids must try out this Halloween. You may just even keep some of them as traditions even when the pandemic is over and things go back to normal.
Although trick-or-treating may still go on this year, you may not want the added health risk to you and your family by going out door to door.
Conversely, you may be fine with taking the kids out trick-or-treating, but neighbors may not be as inclined to opening their doors and handing out treats this year.
So you have to ask yourself, is it really worth going out and about this Halloween?
If you answered no, then these are some alternatives that you and your kids will absolutely love.
Since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, kids will get an entire day of spooky fun. That means you’ll need to plan a full day of fun-filled events.
So even if you plan on taking the kids out trick-or-treating in the evening, you can still add some of these fun activities to your day.
13 Trick-or-Treating Alternatives on Halloween 2020:
1. Surprise decorations.
You may already be planning to decorate ahead of time before Halloween rolls around. But the kind of decorating I’m talking about is something that will surprise (or spook!) your kids the day of.
For example, attach paper ghost cut-outs to the end of the ribbons on a few helium-filled balloons. If you’re looking for a not-so-scary approach, make happy, silly, friendly ghosts.
Then, quietly sneak into your kids’ bedrooms and fill their rooms with the balloons.
They’ll get a kick out of waking up to your surprise decorations on Halloween 2020 morning.
Another surprise decoration that will surely lift their spirits is a foggy witch’s cauldron. Set it up on a pedestal and let the cauldron bubble and fog throughout the day. That will really get your kids in the mood for Halloween 2020.
2. Bake Halloween treats together.
There’s nothing more festive and inviting than yummy baked goodies. So what better way to set a festive tone this Halloween than with Halloween-themed baked treats?
Baking is definitely one way to create memory-making moments with the kids. And that’s why I love this trick-or-treating alternative so much. So bake up a couple of these Halloween-themed treats together as a family.
You can even bake up some pumpkin spice goodies for your usual P.S. fix this fall.
Here are a couple of my favorite ways to decorate treats for Halloween. They’re easy and quick to whip up, but oh-so-thrilling! Plus, they’re so easy to make which, the kids can help!
Easy Halloween Spider Cookies.
First, bake up some sugar cookies either with your own recipe or with store-bought sugar cookie mix or dough. You can even purchase plain, undecorated sugar cookies to make things even easier.
Next, whip up some white icing or get some store-bought icing and ice your cookies.
Then, place an Oreo cookie on top of each iced sugar cookie. That will be the body of your spider.
Next, dip the back side of the candy eyes into some of your extra white icing and attach a pair of eyes to each Oreo cookie. The icing will act as a glue, so to speak, for the candy eyes.
Finally, with black decorating gel, draw 8 lines extending out from the Oreo cookie (4 lines on each side). These are your creepy-crawly spider legs.
You’re done! Creepy but friendly little spider cookies that the kids will have a blast making!
Ghoulishly Delightful Halloween Chocolate Bark
First, break the semi-sweet chocolate into small pieces or chop it up. Melt the pieces in a double boiler, Wilton Candy Melts Pot, or in the microwave.
Here’s how to melt chocolate in the microwave. Place chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring the chocolate between each interval. Keep doing this until the chocolate is smoothly and evenly melted.
Next, break up or chop your white chocolate and melt in the same way you melted the semi-sweet chocolate.
Then, pour the melted semi-sweet chocolate onto your silicone mat. With an angled spatula, spread the chocolate into a rectangle that’s about the size of standard printer paper (approx 8 x 11 inches).
Take your melted white chocolate and drizzle it over the semi-sweet chocolate in a zig-zag pattern. This doesn’t have to be perfect.
Next, take a knife or spatula and drag it through your melted chocolate layers in vertical and horizontal lines. This will give your bark a swirl effect.
Finally, sprinkle Halloween M&Ms, candy eyes, and sprinkles over the melted chocolates and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Pull them out of the fridge, break apart into pieces and enjoy!
Kids love the swirling and sprinkling parts of this recipe, so prepare for the delight in their eyes.
3. Create Halloween-themed crafts together.
If you have a little DIY-er at home who loves crafts, or if you’re looking for something fun to do with your little one to get into the Halloween-spirit, try out a few simple and easy crafts.
I love crafts that incorporate things you may already have at home. Here are a few tutorials to check out. You can even incorporate your kids’ creations into your spooky Halloween decor.
- Popsicle and Yarn Spider Web Craft for Kids by Buggy and Buddy
- Halloween Hand Print Ghost by The Inspiration Edit
- Paper Cup Flying Bat Craft by Kids Craft Room
4. Doorstep Candy-gram on Halloween 2020.
How thoughtful and sweet would it be to help your kids drop off prepared treat bags for their friends this Halloween? With a little early prepping, you and your kids can totally pull this off.
Then, tie off the treat bags with a sweet or spooky message tag.
Next, drive to over to your kids’ friends’ homes and leave the treat bags on their doorsteps.
Ring the door bell and disappear before they open the door for an extra spooky effect.
5. Halloween Scavenger Game.
A Halloween scavenger game is a fun way to get your older kids in the Halloween mood. I love the idea of them reading each clue and scurrying through the house trying to figure out and find their next one. They can even help their younger siblings along on this activity.
Check out this Spooktacular Halloween Scavenger Hunt created by Play Party Plan. Her riddles are clever and she gives you instructions on how to set-up the entire thing for your kids.
6. Carve or paint pumpkins together.
This is a fun project for kids of all ages, including adults.
Buy a pumpkin for each family member and a couple of pumpkin carving sets.
Then, cut a hole at the top of your pumpkin, encircling the stem. Be sure the hole is large enough for your arm to fit inside.
Pull off the circle you cut and dig in! Use the large scoop tool to scrape out the seeds and fibers from inside the pumpkin.
Next, browse the Internet for some pumpkin carving stencils or templates. There are literally tons of different types of templates out there.
If you or your child wants a specific character to carve out, then I’m sure a search for that character’s name, for example “Hello Kitty pumpkin template”, will give you something amazing to carve out.
Print your template to a size that will fit on your pumpkin. Then, tape the printed image to your pumpkin.
Using the pin tool, trace the image by poking along the image lines.
Once you’re done tracing with the pin tool, remove the paper and you’ll see your design on the pumpkin. Now you can use the different cutting tools to carve out your design.
Place a flameless tea light candle inside each pumpkin to make your family of pumpkins glow.
If you have a toddler and carving is out of the question, there are several amazing ways to decorate a pumpkin together.
How to decorate a pumpkin with a toddler:
Cookie cut it! Prep a small pumpkin as if you were going to carve it. But instead of carving the pumpkin with a template and knife, use a cookie cutter! Take a mallet and tap a metal cookie cutter into the pumpkin. You can use any cookie cutter shapes you like, but here are some really nice Halloween cookie cutters to try. Keep tapping the cookie cutter into the pumpkin until it cuts through to the center. You’ll be left with perfectly carved figures in your pumpkin. And your toddlers will have some fine motor practice using a mallet.
Paint it. Mix equal parts washable paint and school glue and let your littles paint their pumpkins with paintbrushes or even with their fingers and hands. The glue helps the washable paint stick to the pumpkin. Otherwise the washable paint will flake off the pumpkin after it dries and ruin their creations.
Stickers. Lay out a variety of stickers for your toddlers to peel and stick onto their pumpkins. You can use anything you find on sale or even some alphabet stickers or number stickers. You can make this an educational activity and one that helps strengthen their fine motor skills at the same time.
Glitter it up! Gather up your glitter bottles and set them out on an easy to clean-up surface or outside. Use a paintbrush to spread school glue on the pumpkin and let your little ones sprinkle glitter all over it. This turns out to be a magical project, especially for any little Cinderellas or Fairy Princesses on Halloween.
Googly-eye it. Help your toddler use craft glue to attach googly-eyes to their pumpkin. Googly-eyes are perfect for Halloween. They can make 3-eyed monsters or deck it out with a ton of eyes for really creepy look.
7. Zoom Halloween 2020 Costume Party.
If you’re not tired of Zoom yet, throw a virtual Halloween 2020 Costume Party. Invite a bunch of your friends and family join, especially those with kids. Encourage everyone, even the adults, to show off their Halloween spirit by getting dressed up and/or decorating. During your Zoom meeting, everyone can take turns showing off their costumes and decorations. If you have multiple kids in costumes, have them put on a runway show!
8. Visit drive-thru haunted houses in your local area.
This may be better suited for your older kids since haunted houses tend to be particularly scary. But your area may have kid-friendly drive-thru haunted houses, so definitely check. If you’re in the Central Florida area and looking for some drive-thru Halloween fun, check out The Haunted Road and Scream n’ Stream.
9. Halloween Candy Hunt.
It’s like an Easter egg hunt, only with a Halloween feel to it.
10. Not-so-scary Halloween movie marathon.
It’s probably best to keep your Halloween movie marathon PG, especially if you have little ones.
There are so many not-so-scary Halloween movies out there that they’ll adore.
Check out these lists of Halloween movies to add to your movie marathon line-up in 2020.
For your convenience, I separated the movies by provider.
However, if you don’t have a subscription to any of these provider, the links will take you to Prime Video where you can rent them.
All movies on my lists are Rated G or PG and they’re listed in order of IMDb rating (out of 10).
If you have a Netflix subscription:
- Scooby Doo on Zombie Island (1998) Rated G IMDb 7.8
- Room on the Broom (2012) Ages 3+ IMDb 7.6
- The Witches (1990) Rated PG IMDb 6.8
- Dreamworks Spooky Stories (2009) Rated PG IMDb 6.7
- My Babysitter’s a Vampire (2010) PG IMDb 6.2
- The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (2010) Rated PG IMDb 6.0
- Super Monsters Save Halloween (2018) Ages 4+ IMDb 5.4
If you have a Disney+ subscription:
- Coco (2017) Rated PG IMDb 8.4
- Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Rated PG IMDb 8.0
- Monsters, Inc. (2001) Rated G IMDb 8.0
- Hocus Pocus (1993) Rated PG IMDb 6.9
- Frankenweenie (2012) Rated PG IMDb 6.9
- Halloweentown (1998) Rated G IMDb 6.8
- The Scream Team (2002) Rated PG IMDb 6.7
- Freaky Friday (2003) Rated PG IMDb 6.2
- Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire (2000) Rated PG IMDb 5.9
More movies on Prime Video:
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) Ages 6+ IMDb 8.2
- Ghostbusters (1984) Rated PG IMDb 7.8
- Coraline (2009) Rated PG IMDb 7.7
- Room on the Broom (2013) Ages 3+ IMDb 7.6 (included with Prime membership)
- Toy Story of Terror (2013) Rated G IMDb 7.5
- Beetlejuice (1988) Rated PG IMDb IMDb 7.5
- Labyrinth (1986) Rated PG IMDb 7.4 (included with Prime membership)
- Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005) Rated PG IMDb 7.3
- Hotel Transylvania (2012) Rated PG IMDb 7.1
- Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005) Rated G IMDb 6.6
- Monster House (2006) Rated PG IMDb 6.6
- Under Wraps (1997) Rated G IMDb 6.5
- Casper (1995) Rated PG IMDb 6.1
- Double, Double Toil and Trouble (1993) Rated Y7 IMDb 5.9
11. Have a monster mash.
Setup a playlist filled with Halloween jams and have a monster dance party. To really get everyone in a party mood, place some black light bulbs in your light fixtures. Then hand out glow sticks and glow bracelets to your kids and party on.
You can even dress the part as a family by changing into glow in the dark skeleton pajamas for your monster mash. Imagine how that would look under the black light…a family of dancing skeletons shaking their bones to the beat!
These are some songs to put on your Monster Mash Halloween playlist:
- Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett
- Halloween Night by Like Father Like Son
- Thriller by Michael Jackson
- Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley
- Witch Doctor by David Seville and the Chipmunks
- Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
- Disturbia by Rihanna
- The Addams Family theme song
- The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte
- Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell
- Season of the Witch by Lana Del Rey
- Love Potion No.9 by the Searchers
- The Monsters Hop by Bert Convy
- Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter
12. Set up a backyard pumpkin patch.
This one may require more more work than the other options, but it turns out Instagram-perfect once it’s finally done.
Pick up some hay bales from a local feed supply store and a bunch of pumpkins. Set them up in your back yard in just a random, organic sort of way.
If you have a tall wood fence, create your set up by the fence to use it as a backdrop. Or, create a wooden backdrop with some old wood pallets or wood fence boards.
You can hang a burlap banner across your backdrop or a chalkboard sign with a message. Just make it fun and festive for fall or spooky and frightful for a scary Halloween.
The last step is to take a ton of family pictures. The little ones will have so much fun exploring all the different pumpkins and climbing the hay bales. You’ll definitely get some adorable candid photos for your kids on Halloween 2020.
13. Tell spooky stories outside under the Halloween 2020 full moon.
That’s right. We get a full moon on Halloween 2020. So that means we’ll get a relatively bright night.
What a perfect time to sit outside and tell or read spooky stories to the kids.
Then cozy up together on lawn chairs and gaze at the moon.
For a perfect fall treat, serve up some yummy oven roasted s’mores or the Halloween-themed treats you baked together earlier in the day.
This totally easy sheet pan oven roasted s’mores recipes doesn’t require outdoor flames and is the perfect fall treat. It’s so easy, you don’t even need a recipe. But here it is anyway.
Easy Sheet Pan S’mores Recipe:
- 24 HoneyMaid Fresh Stacks Grahams (these eliminate a step because they’re already cut into perfect squares)
- 12 regular size marshmallows
- 12 Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares (you can use any variety they make – milk chocolate, caramel-filled, sea salt – Ghirardelli makes so many different flavors!)
- Put the oven on broil.
- Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Place 12 HoneyMaid Fresh Stacks grahams on your sheet pan.
- Stack one Ghirardelli chocolate square on top of each graham cracker square.
- Place one marshmallow on top of each stack.
- Pop your sheet pan into the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes. But don’t walk away just yet. Keep an eye on them because the marshmallows can burn quickly.
- Once the marshmallows are toasty enough for you, remove the sheet pan from the oven and top each stack with a graham cracker square.
- Snap a photo and enjoy with your little Halloween cuties.
If you want a fun twist on a s’mores recipe, you have to try this baked skillet version for dipping!
Easy Skillet Baked S’mores Recipe:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place chocolate chips in an oven-safe skillet (preferably a cast iron skillet)
- Heat the chocolate chips for 3 minutes or until melted.
- Carefully pull the skillet out with an oven mitt and arrange marshmallows in a circular pattern over the melted chocolate.
- Bake for 2-3 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasted to your liking.
- Serve and enjoy right away.
Here’s a list of little-kid-friendly books that you can read together outside underneath the full moon:
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
- What Was I Scared Of? by Dr. Seuss
- Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
- At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketteman
As you can see, there are so many activities to do on Halloween 2020 that don’t involve trick-or-treating. However, if you do decide to take the kids out trick-or-treating, as well, here are some tips that will help keep your kids safe in the current health situation.
Tips if you decide to go out trick or treating on Halloween 2020:
It’s important to keep practicing the recommendations from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). That includes social distancing, wearing a mask, and hand hygiene.
As such, help your kids choose costumes that won’t hinder them from wearing a face mask. That means if a costume requires face painting, the paint may not be seen under a mask.
On the other hand, you can help your child find a face mask that coordinates with his/her costume. Or you can make one for them with fabric in a coordinating fabric color or print. Check Etsy for some really cute and scary Halloween face masks.
Coach and/or remind your kids about proper social distancing. Keeping 6 feet between others is courteous and just the right thing to do.
Since you’ll be out in the neighborhood and most likely won’t have access to soap and a sink, bring small hand sanitizer bottles around with you. You can fill these hanging travel containers with hand sanitizer and clip them to your older kids’ trick-or-treat buckets. That way they can sanitize their hands as needed.
I hope you got some great ideas on how to fill your Halloween day with fun things to do with the kids. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know on my contact page. Stay safe this Halloween…and always!
This post was all about how to celebrate Halloween 2020 with the kids in other special ways instead of trick-or-treating.