This year, your kids may not be hitting the streets costumed-up and knocking on doors in search of the house with the king-sized candy bars, but Halloween at home can still be an absolute blast. These
indoor Halloween activities if you're not trick-or-treating are perfect for the entire family to enjoy together.
Needless to say, 2020 has changed the way holidays are celebrated, and Halloween is no exception. In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for celebrating holidays safely this year, the iconic Halloween pastimes like trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treats are listed as
high-risk activities. Following the CDC guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19, many families will opt to spend Halloween at home this year.
Without traditional trick-or-treating to fall back on, you might be wondering how to actually entertain your kids on the evening of Oct. 31 when they'd typically be snatching fistfuls of Tootsie Rolls from the giant bowl parked on your neighbor's porch. Well, a Halloween without trick-or-treating doesn't have to be devoid of tricks
or treats. There are still plenty of fun activities to enjoy at home on Halloween night. From telling ghost stories to watching spooky movies, your family can celebrate from home and enjoy loads of sugary snacks while staying safe. We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
One easy way to include candy into your Halloween celebration without trick-or-treating is to have an indoor candy hunt. A full-on Easter-style hunt for delicious treats encased in little
pumpkin-shaped eggs hidden throughout your home on Halloween night is sure to delight your kids. You could even turn off all of the lights and hide glow-in-the-dark Halloween trinkets, or use glow sticks to enhance the candy hunting experience.
A good, old-fashioned movie marathon is the perfect way to celebrate even the most insignificant of days. But for Halloween specifically,
festive movie options for families abound. Netflix has plenty of spooky shows and movies for kids, and if you have Disney+, this giant list of Halloween movies to stream on the platform has some incredible classics that you probably haven't seen in years.
If you won't be trick-or-treating on Halloween, pop some popcorn, park yourself in front of the TV, and settle in for the long haul.
Carve Or Decorate Pumpkins
If using actual carving kits isn't your forte or your kids are too young to safely wield a knife, decorate pumpkins with paint, glitter, ribbons, or anything else to create a masterpiece. Your family could even pick a theme to decorate all of your pumpkins in, or have a pumpkin decorating contest to see who can come up with the most creative design.
Even if you've already decorated most of the house, having a few more crafty creepy crawlers or ghastly ghouls to display won't hurt. Even younger kids can make
coffee filter bats from This Grandma Is Fun, or enjoy this tutorial for spider balloons from Delia Creates to add their own touch to your Halloween decor.
Have A Halloween Dance Party
Even if the only attendees at your dance party are you and your kids, you can still crank up some Halloween-themed tunes and dance it out. Learn the "Monster Mash," teach your kids how to do the "Thriller" dance, or blast the "Oogie Boogie Song" on repeat and show off your best mummified moves.
Whether you choose to go old school and play
classic Halloween party games or pull out your stash of board games, having a Halloween game night is such a fun way to celebrate if you're not trick-or-treating.
and Hocus Pocus board game are two movie-themed games ideal for helping celebrate spooky season, but putting together puzzles featuring pumpkins, ghosts, or mummies is also a great Halloween-themed way to add to your game night fun. Ghostbusters Monopoly
Decorate Halloween Cookies
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Getting your kids in the kitchen to whip up some delicious cookies and then decorating them like spiders, ghosts, and pumpkins is one way to help them celebrate the holiday with some treats, even if you won't be going door to door. This recipe for
Decorated Halloween Sugar Cookies from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs is a great one to try. You could also bake a cake or cupcakes to decorate in a Halloween theme.
Host A Virtual Costume Contest
Just because you aren't trick-or-treating doesn't mean you can't wear
awesome costumes on Halloween. In fact, you can even show off your Halloween finest by hosting a virtual costume contest on Zoom or Skype with friends and family.
Send out an email invite the week before the big day and get ready to celebrate. To pump up the fun factor, you could plan some virtual games to play together or even awards to give out for the most creative or creepiest costume.
Grab some blankets, build a giant indoor fort, and pile inside with your kiddos to create the perfect space to share some creepy Halloween ghost stories. Make the room dark and then pile inside the fort with your kiddos, using flashlights to illuminate your face from below your chin while you tell spooky ghost stories.
Smash A Halloween Piñata
One exciting way for your kids to receive Halloween candy without trick-or-treating is to put it inside a
Halloween-themed piñata. One awesome bonus to this method of candy delivery is that instead of your kids filling up on whatever random junk your neighbors are handing out, you can choose to fill your piñata with your family's favorite treats.
Make A Special Halloween Meal
Your family has to eat at some point on Halloween, so you might as well amp up the spooky factor by making a special Halloween-themed meal. Plan your menu to feature items like this recipe for
Mummy Hot Dogs from Damn Delicious and then end the night with these adorable Halloween cake pops from Cookie Named Desire for a sweet treat your kids will love.
Pull out some construction paper, stickers, markers, glitter, and glue to craft creepy cool Halloween cards for friends and family. Even if you choose not to visit your neighbors by trick-or-treating on Halloween, you can still wish them a hauntingly good holiday while keeping your distance by dropping Halloween cards in their mailboxes.
Although your kids may have read plenty of stories throughout the month of October about ghosts and goblins, keeping a few new Halloween stories stashed away to enjoy on Oct. 31 is a fun (not to mention educational) way to enjoy the night together. These
Halloween children's books are more sweet than scary, so you can snuggle up and read them even if it's close to bedtime.
Sure, Halloween doesn't just automatically
scream spa night, but that doesn't mean you can't use the night in as an excuse to have one. You can make DIY pumpkin spice face scrub or even pick up a couple of pumpkin face masks to apply. Use black and orange nail polish, decorate nails with Halloween nail stickers, and basically just have a smashing good time in all your pumpkin-themed spa night glory.