by Courtney Johnson

October 25, 2020

With the CDC placing trick-or-treating on the high-risk list when it comes to Halloween activities, many of us are re-thinking our holiday plans this year. But that doesn’t mean Halloween is canceled! We rounded up 10 fun alternatives that are a real treat and allow your family to safely celebrate—think drive-thru haunted houses, spooky scavenger hunts, at-home movie marathons and more. 


1. Boo a neighbor (or two!)

Sneak a basket of Halloween goodies onto a friend’s porch to bring some cheer this Halloween. Grab some of their favorite candy—maybe Snickers or Reese’s! You can also include coloring books, fall crafts and spooky decor (think Spot Section at Target). Don’t forget the parents, too. Fall flavored coffee, pumpkin beer, hot cocoa or apple cider are festive drinks to celebrate the season.


2. Try a Halloween science experiment

A quick Pinterest or Google search will help you find all kinds of experiments from creepy to mesmerizing using common household items and fall treats like pumpkins and apples. Your kids will love a pumpkin volcanoghost eggs and a creepy gelatin heart.


3. Drive-thru a haunted house or visit a Haunted forest

Drive-thru haunted houses and haunted forest tours are popping up across the country as a safer alternative to getting spooked than the traditional haunted house. Load the family up in the car in your cozy best or dress for a crisp fall evening of scary fun. The CDC says open-air scaring is a moderate-level risk made safer by wearing masks, following one-way routes and socially distancing. Cities including DenverHonolulu, Albuquerque and Orlando have confirmed drive-thru haunted houses.


4. Go on a spooky scavenger hunt

Go on the hunt for witches in the window, pumpkin blow-ups and spider webs around the neighborhood. Add an element of fun by doing a scavenger hunt for treats in your own backyard or house. Boost up the spookiness and challenge by doing the hunt by glowstick or flashlight. Glow-in-the-dark eggs (you can make them by painting plastic eggs with glow in the dark paint), glowing toys or even glow in the dark candy are recommended for your hunt.


5. Have a neighborhood Halloween parade

Bring out the bikes, scooters, skateboards and wagons to have a festive neighborhood Halloween parade. Begin by designating a sidewalk parade route that is safe and can lend itself to social distancing. Decorate your modes of transportation with streamers, spider webs and other decor. Bring along the speakers to play spooky favorites like “Monster Mash” and “Thriller.” Throw on costumes and get down to the beat as you strut your stuff along the route. Be sure that participants stay six feet apart—bikes, wagons and scooters can help with that. Don’t forget to create an event page on your neighborhood Facebook page to bring out spectators to enjoy the parade from a distance on their driveway or porches.RELATED: 15 Virtual Halloween Events Your Kids Will Love

6. Learn about Halloween traditions

From Dia De Los Muertos to Ognissanti in Italy, learn how other cultures celebrate the holiday. Play the Irish card game where cards are placed face down with a treat underneath them. Whatever card a child picks is a prize to keep. Maybe leave water, bread and a lighted lamp on your kitchen table before going to bed on Halloween night. Austrians believe that magic will bring loved ones back. 


7. Plan a Halloween movie marathon

Snuggle up in PJs, grab the pillows, turn off the lights and pop plenty of popcorn to watch the best Halloween movies. If the weather is nice, consider creating an at-home drive-in experience with movies on an outdoor screen in the backyard or on the garage wall. If you live in a warmer climate, check to see if your local drive-in is hosting Halloween-themed movie nights. Some of our recommendations include Spookley the Square PumpkinGhostbusters, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Hocus Pocus and Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow/Ichabod Crane.


8. Read scary stories by flashlight

Request eerie and spine chilling books from the library, look through your own book stashfor chilling tales, or download a book or two on your Kindle. After you pick some books, snuggle in bed or set up a tent with sleeping bags. Grab a flashlight or lantern and get ready for a frightfully good time. In a Dark, Dark RoomBeneath the Bed and At the Old Haunted House are a few suggestions.


9. Take a free Halloween-themed class online with KidPass

Through the end of the month, KidPass, the leading website for finding online kids’ classes, is hosting free virtual Halloween-themed classes. All you need is a computer or phone and Zoom! Whether your little goblin is all about the tricks or gravitates towards the treats, there’s a free spooky (or not-so-spooky!) class that’s perfect for them. Create spooky witch hats with The Craft Studio on October 27 and dance to Halloween tunes on October 28. They also have tons of paid classes, too, for those who want to continue the Halloween theme!


10. Bake pumpkin-themed goodies

If you’re feeling that irresistible pull towards pumpkin spice, you are not alone! You can easily make pumpkin-themed recipes at home with the kiddos. We’re talking everything from pumpkin muffins and pumpkin soup to pumpkin ravioli. See all the recipes here.

This story was originally published on mommynearest.com.