Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween without Going Trick or Treating

Trick or treating can be fun, especially if people deck out their houses with witches, cauldrons, spiders, and more.  However, not everyone loves to walk around from house to house collecting candy and in some areas, it is not even possible to do it anyway. When I was a kid living in Calgary, we had to dress up really warm and often wear snow pants to go out. My parents would stay in the car and drive along side us. Most of the time our costumes were not even showing.

Now we live in a town where everyone gets excited about this fun night. But I remember living in many rural areas where it was impossible to go out. Sometimes it was just not safe due to wildlife and lack or lighting. Plus, there were not very many homes to visit. So we often got creative with how we would enjoy the day and night’s activities.

Here are 5 fun ways to celebrate Halloween without going trick or treating:

  1. Head to a local mall

Malls are becoming quite the destination for Halloween, because children can dress up in their costume and collect candy from each participating store.  No one needs to worry about inclement weather, being out in the dark, or missing out on any fun. This is a great option for younger children who may not be so happy later at night.

  1. Visit a local haunted house or community gathering

Many towns and cities have a local haunted house or community gathering and those are a great way to celebrate this holiday without traipsing around neighboring streets. Even though we do go out, afterwards we head to the local Fire Hall and enjoy fireworks and a BBQ with our community. It is a fun time for all ages.

  1. Watch scary movies

No amount of candy is better than watching one scary movie after another.  Littler ones will love Monsters Inc, Coraline, and Hotel Transylvania, while older children will want old favorites like Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, and The Addams Family.

  1. Create a Halloween theme dinner

Parents and children can utilize Pinterest to find some amazing menu options for a Halloween theme dinner.  Put up some Halloween decorations and have everyone dress in their favorite costumes for some additional ambiance.

  1. Throw a party

Parties can be held at any time of the year and what could be better than a Halloween theme party!  Families can decorate with non-scary items like pumpkins and cobwebs or they can go all out with witches, goblins, ghosts, and scary music.  Planning Halloween theme food and inviting a bunch of friends and family will turn a party like this into one for the record books.

Many classrooms allow for festive foods and decorations as well. Just make sure to check with the teacher ahead of time.

Halloween does not need to be traditional with trick or treating.  Instead families can create new traditions that work for them at the moment.  These traditions can then grow and expand until everyone in the family begins to wonder how they managed to just go trick or treating in the past.

What do you do on Halloween with your family?




  1. We took our kids door-to-door trick or treating. One year a neighbour invited kids to a Halloween party a few days before Halloween; that was lots of fun too.

  2. I so LOVE these tips! I am not a huge fan of trick-or-treating! I will be implementing these, this Halloween! Might even do a party for a few of my son’s friends 🙂

  3. I don’t celebrate Halloween but instead, use that time to do something fun with my family. We usually go catch movie since the theaters are empty.

  4. Not sure what we will do to celebrate. We have a 7 month old and want to have fun with him but hes a bit young to trick or treat!

  5. I like the idea of enjoying a spooky dinner and a scary movie with the family. I think that would make for a really fun night!

  6. I like to make Halloween themed foods for my kiddos. But I also still love going trick or treating with my little ones!

  7. Erica Schwarz says

    These are great suggestions! We also decorate our house almost as much as we do for christmas.

  8. We usually have a harvest party at church, where the kids and adults both play games. We also give out candy bags to the kiddos … all ages.

  9. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    When my kids were young, it had to be trick or treat! They’d be thinking about costumes to wear months before the date. Now that they are grown, they’d rather stay home and eat all the food we have prepared and watch a horror flick afterwards. I still have a kick giving out candy to the little kids knocking at our door.

  10. I’m afraid of haunted houses, but I love parties! I’ve been thinking of doing something like that this year. Now let’s see if I can find the time.

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