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Trick-Or-Treating Alternatives To Try This Halloween, Shared By Parents

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Besides the part about getting to eat way more candy than usual, the best part of Halloween for kids is getting to dress up in their costumes for a night of pretend. But with this year's pandemic taking the traditional door-to-door trek around the neighborhood off the table for many families, parents across the country are scrambling to figure out trick-or-treating alternatives that will still give their kids a fun-filled night. The good news is that with a little creativity, this Halloween can be salvaged even without a visit from the Great Pumpkin.

If you're still trying to decide whether or not to go knocking at your neighbor's house, it's worth noting that straight-up trick-or-treating is on the CDC's list of high-risk activities for Halloween 2020 (along with costume parties and haunted houses). While socially-distanced trick-or-treating is a little better, it's still under the "moderate risk" category. Skipping the tradition to reduce the spread of the virus is the safest option, but it's also the saddest option (because it's one more thing kids won't get to enjoy after months of quarantining, remote learning, and everything else COVID-19 has brought with it).

There are still a lot of alternative ways to enjoy spookiest day of the year, though, especially since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year. Not-so-scary movie marathons, carving jack-o-lanterns, and s'mores around a camp fire while telling ghost stories are all stellar ways to celebrate the holiday. As long as there are costumes and candy, your kids will still be smiling. If you need some ideas, here's what 15 families told Romper about their Halloween plans.

1. Pumpkin Hunt

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"I bought mini pumpkin pails on Amazon and we’re going to fill them with candy and hide them in the backyard and do a pumpkin hunt. My kids are 5 and 1.5, and the 5 year old was really looking forward to trick or treating (last year was her first year and she loved it!) so we’ve been trying to redirect that excitement and energy to the pumpkin hunt." — Katie C.

2. Neighborhood Candy Hunt

"Each house in our neighborhood is going to hide a bucket of candy in their yard and perhaps hang up a written clue. This way, our elderly neighbors can still see kids showing off their costumes, and kids still get to have some fun outside of our own yard. We’re also setting an earlier start time so it will still be daylight." — Abbi G.

3. Trick-Or-Treating At Home

"My 8-year-old decided each room in our house is going to be like a different house, and we'll trick or trick from room to room. It’s such a sweet idea." — Molly M.

4. A Full Day Of Halloween Fun

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"We are hunting for candy in our backyard, and will do other fun stuff that day like watching It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on the projector outside, carve pumpkins, decorate Halloween gingerbread houses from Trader Joe's, etc." — Julie G.

5. Zoom Parade

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"We're doing a Zoom Halloween/costume parade with a bunch of friends and their children!" — Amy B.

6. Getting Spooky At Home

"We are buying dry ice and making it 'spooky" in the house. We're also doing a scavenger/candy hunt inside." — Jenn S.

7. A Walk Outside To Show Off Costumes

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"I have a seven month old, so he wouldn't be trick-or-treating anyway, but we figured we would take him out for an evening walk in his costume so he can see and be seen. And I think that my office is doing a Zoom Halloween party so he will obviously have to make an appearance there, too." — Emily O.

8. Backyard Party With Their Quarantine Bubble

"We are going to set up stations in the backyard and have a costume 'party' with people in our quarantine bubble (mostly family)." — Christina D.

9. Halloween Pinata

"We are hanging a pinata in the backyard. The kids will dress in their costumes and still get a lot of candy" — Brenda B.

10. FaceTime Trick Or Treat

"We are dressing the kids up in their costumes and then having a bowl of candy out in our yard. We will FaceTime family and friends as stand-ins for each house we’d normally go to and then take a piece of candy from the bowl, walk around the yard, repeat. Our town still hasn’t said if we’ll have trick or treating yet so this feels like a good, fun alternative. And, bonus, we’ll get to 'see' some of the people we love on Halloween." — LeeAnn C.

11. Spooky Scavenger Hunt In The Woods

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"I am starting to plan a scavenger-hunt type activity at my parents' house because they live on a really rural street and are surrounded by woods, so it's perfect for spooky shenanigans. This way the kids can get dressed up, grandparents will get to see them, and we'll have plenty of candy on hand." — Paige C.

12. Halloween Slumber Party

"We have 'bubbled up' with my best friend's family so we're doing a party at her house (just our two families). We're planning to do a scavenger hunt in the back yard with glow-in-the-dark eggs, games, trick or treating in the hallway, a kids movie and we're all staying the night for a sleepover. We're trying to make it as fun as possible to distract from the lack of actual trick or treating." — Emily H.

13. A Visit From 'The Great Pumpkin'

"We're doing Halloween at my mom's house where they will dress up and we will have lots of candy/desserts. Then the Great Pumpkin is going to deliver them a Halloween bucket full of treats that's waiting for them when we return." — Meredith W.

14. Halloween Dance Party & Pumpkin Painting

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"We are having a Halloween party. We live with my in-laws so all adults are dressing up, as well as the two kids and they will trick-or-treat from each adult. We are going to have special decorations, snacks, and games too, like painting pumpkins and a Halloween dance party." — Stephanie S.

15. Treasure Hunt In The Dark

"We are doing a treasure hunt for candy in the house with most of the lights off and giving the kiddos flash lights." — Chelsea P.