20 Best Ways to Celebrate Halloween if You Would Rather NOT Take Your Kids Trick-or-Treating

There are a variety of reasons why parents don’t want to take their kids trick-or-treating this Halloween. One is for health reasons such as not wanting your kids to eat all of that sugar. Further, Halloween trick-or-treating can be dangerous for children. Each year there are countless stories of young children being struck by cars while out trick-or-treating. Whatever your reason for wanting alternative Halloween activities, there are plenty of other things to do that celebrate the holiday and will keep your kids happy and entertained.

Trick-or-treating is not the only way for kids to have fun on Halloween. Crafts inspired by the spooky season, baking Halloween goodies together, watching fun movies together, and so much more await you. We’ve come up with dozens of ideas for what your family can do this year. Take a look and make a plan to have a blast with your kids this year!

Bake and Decorate Halloween Cookies

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Any excuse is a good excuse to bake but Halloween feels like the best fall activity. Get yourself some Halloween cookie cutters and prepare some icing and let your kids decorate their delicious cookies any way that they like. Pro tip: your cookies will need to be fully cool before your family can decorate them so add more time in for cooling. It’s something most people forget!

Take a Family Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

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Most of us don’t live too far away from a local pumpkin patch. Take a family trip to partake in whatever festive activities they offer. Even if that just means picking out pumpkins, it’s a wonderful activity that your little ones will love.

Carve Those Pumpkins

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Whether or not you got your pumpkins from the aforementioned patch, carving pumpkins has got to be the most fun Halloween activity ever. It’s a bit messy, a bit crafty, and a whole lot of originality. You and your kids will have a blast and if you want to make a competition out of it, you can add even another layer of play to the experience.

Make a Part of Your House Haunted

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Now, you can scale this next one up or down depending on how much time, energy, and decorations you have. Pick a room or part of your house or yard to decorate to make it as spooky as possible. You can work with your kids or just have them make their room a haunted one. Encourage your kids to get creative and make their own decorations. Just provide them with some basic supplies and let them run wild with it.

Have a Scary Story Night Around the Campfire

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Build a campfire or light up your fire pit in the backyard. Gather the family around to roast marshmallows and enjoy other snacks and treats. Take turns telling scary stories to each other. Don’t forget to bring blankets and flashlights. Oh, and pack extra snacks!

Read Halloween Books for Kids

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If you’re not looking to have your child sleeping in your bed with you for the next few nights, skip the scary stories for easily spooked children and instead encourage them to read Halloween books for kids. You can build a cute “fort” in your home to gather under as you enjoy the fun, kid-approved Halloween stories.

Fashion Some DIY Costumes

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Gather the supplies and help your kids make their very own Halloween costumes for the night. This is a crafting project that should take up a good chunk of the day/night. The whole family can get in on the fun and there can be a costume fashion show or even a contest to see who came up with the most clever costume.

It’s Time for a Halloween Scavenger Hunt

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Plan a scavenger hunt that’s Halloween-themed for your kids. Give them the clues and watch as they try to uncover the goodies that await them. If you’re not looking to come up with the hunt all on your own, you can find plenty of clue sheets online to get you started.

Throw a Halloween Trivia Night

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Halloween trivia could be a blast for your whole family. Ask trivia about Halloween candy, favorite scary movies, and much more. Again, if you’re at a loss and need an assist, you can find Halloween trivia questions online. Make sure you’ve got some sweet prizes for the winners (or all who participated).

Have a Spooky Dance Party

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It’s time to teach your kids the “Monster Mash” and some of the dance moves from “Thriller.” A Halloween dance party will be so fun for kids especially if you put a little effort into decorations and exciting lighting for your “dance floor.”

Watch Scary Movies

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Gather the family around to eat some delicious snacks while you watch scary or Halloween movies. Depending on your kids’ ages and maturity level, you might want to look for funnier options. But, if your little ones are up for it, you can introduce them to family-friendly yet slightly spooky movies like Hocus Pocus.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT: 25 Best Netflix Shows and Movies for a Halloween Family Fun Night

Halloween Bingo

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You can turn an ordinary game of bingo into something fantastic for Halloween. Print out game cards and have the kids use candy as pieces. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key than a dance party, Bingo is a tame activity.

Get Crafting

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There are countless Halloween craft ideas online that kids will enjoy. It can be as simple as Halloween-themed coloring pages or as complex as face masks or even wreaths. What you do depends on what is age appropriate but we promise there are plenty of crafty ideas out there for you to try.

A Gingerbread House But Make It Haunted

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You can spin a classic gingerbread house into a Halloween one with themed candy and icing colors that will make that model house a haunted one. It’s the tastiest crafting you and the kids will ever do!

Decorate a Halloween Tree

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This one goes hand-in-hand with the haunted gingerbread house. It’s a Christmas holiday activity that can be spun into a Halloween one. Remember all that crafting we suggested? You can get your kids to make Halloween decorations for a spooky tree. Get creative with your ideas and you will love the outcome!

Paint Your Pumpkins

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Some families find that painting pumpkins is more rewarding than carving them. It’s another worthwhile activity that you can do instead or in combination with your carving. You can add other craft elements to this project or just opt for the basics.

There’s More Than Just Sweets to Enjoy

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There’s more to do than just decorate cookies. You and the kiddos can make a Halloween dinner with a themed menu. If your kids love being with you in the kitchen, we can think of nothing more fun and rewarding!

Paint Those Faces

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Face paint or these amazing face crayons are relatively inexpensive and can be tons of fun for kids. They can paint themselves, and each other, or you can set up an area to do the painting on your kids and then reveal their Halloween look!

Visit a Haunted House in Your Community

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Many communities have fun activities for kids like kid-friendly haunted houses. Some churches even have these events for kids. Show them a spooky good time with the help of members in your community who helped organize the haunted house.

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Time for a Corn Maze

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As with pumpkin patches, corn mazes are usually easy to find near you. They are just so much fun and if you did them as a kid, you already know this. You can bring prizes for your kids who get through the maze the fastest or just treat all the kids to something special when they’ve solved the maze.

What did you think of these fun Halloween activities to do instead of trick-or-treating? We hope you found some entertaining things to do with your kiddos this year. For even more Halloween fun, keep reading. We have rounded up some of the creepiest, little kid costumes that you will ever see.

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Baby Pennywise

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Not THAT clown! We find the demon clown from IT in this kid’s Halloween costume. Why is little Pennywise way scarier than big Pennywise? It’s not right.

She’s a Doll

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Annabelle is looking completely terrifying here and has been brought to life by her mom’s excellent makeup skills. This is one of the best DIY kid Halloween costumes on this list.

Not Another One

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As you will start to notice, creepy clowns are all the kids want to be these days. They are rather devilish and each one offers something creepier than the last.

L’il Ms. Skellington

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Fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas, will see that the imagery from the movie has been interpreted in a unique and spine-tingling way. All of the black around this child’s eyes is just really delivering for us. Yikes!

She’s a Vamp

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We find a gothic vampire Halloween costume for this young lady. If vampires are the monsters that freak you out the most, you better throw some garlic in those pockets and pack a cross.

It’s Not Right

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The parent of this child explained that they try to make each year’s Halloween costume scarier than the last. We did not even look at last year’s because this one so thoroughly creeped us out. We know without a doubt they upped the freaky factor for this one.

DIY Chucky

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Here is our first Chucky and we are certain it will form some goosebumps on your flesh. Is it the child’s piercing blue eyes or just the chaotic energy they are serving that is doing it for you?

The Kids Are Not All Right

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Nope! It’s over. Done and dusted. Somehow the creepiest Halloween costumes happen to be the super creative DIY ones. They capture that piece of our imagination that fears the unknown. Does anyone have any holy water on hand?

Glowing Eyes

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The parent who shared this image described the Halloween costume as “Demon Child.” There’s something about the obscured face but the glowing eyes that is really getting to us. What happened to their peepers? How can this kid see?

Just a Couple of Brothers

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“The boys decided to be the same character!” the proud mom of these boys wrote. They are dressed as a Creepypasta character called “Jeff the Killer.” Those faces are so terrifying we actually want Jack to kill us now.

The Crows? They’re Scared

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Have you ever seen a Scarecrow that really rubs you the wrong way? We had and then we saw this and immediately realized it could have been much, much worse. We’re staying out of any open fields until November 1.

RELATED: One Man’s Halloween Decorations Are So Terrifying That Police Have Been Called Multiple Times

Not Cool!

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So, this Halloween costume started out innocent enough with Peter Pan looking so very adorable. Then, with the assistance of a parent, this costume has been totally taken over to the dark side. Is this not the worst thing you have ever seen? AH!

Chuck-She?

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Here’s our second Chucky and this little girl deserves an Academy Award for Best Actress. The commitment here is just undeniable. If this Halloween costume list teaches you anything, it’s to not interact with dolls ever.

The Family That Slays Together…

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This family went all-in on their Halloween costumes and, as you would expect, the kids are the worst part. How do they look so dead in the eyes? Though it doesn’t look like it, we’re sure they all had a good time.

So Wrong for This

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For those of you who have a lifelong fear of the movie The Exorcist, we are sorry. The parents of this child deserve a firm slap on the wrist and a good talking to. It’s so wrong on so many levels.

Not Going to Play

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Here are some more Halloween costumes based on the creepy twins from The Shining. Can you just hear the words “Come play with us, Danny,” running through your mind? Sorry kiddos, we’re not game!

Don’t Watch That Tape

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You know, twinning Halloween costumes are fun for friends but they prove unendurable for all of us who witness them. We did not need one Samara from The Ring and that means we definitely were good without two. It’s wise to avoid VHS tapes at the moment.

Little Mummy

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The parent who helped make this kid’s costume explained that it is a zombie/mummy hybrid. Will you ever be the same? Kids in masks are like the scariest things on the planet and that’s not up for debate.

A Mask Will Do It

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Really, slap any old creepy mask on your child and it will haunt you for the rest of your days. This one looks like a broken little doll that wants to break you in half. Eeek!

Baba-Baby

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The Babadook scared our socks off the first time we saw it. Little did we know that the character would become a gay iconoclast and beloved “other” figure. “If it’s in a word, or in a look, you can’t get rid of the Babadook…” Words to live by.

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Ban the Banshee

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A mom sculpted this mask for her young child we called a “Banshee.” Whatever you want to call it we’re staying out of sight of this thing. Parents, keep these Halloween costumes weird. You’re the reason for the season!

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