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Spooktacular Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating

Let’s face it, sometimes the standard Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night just doesn’t do it for you and your family. Maybe your kids are too old to get into it—or, at least, too old to justify getting candy from the neighbors anymore. Maybe safety is an issue that concerns you, or maybe it’s just too big of a hassle to go around the entire neighborhood from door to door. Whatever the reason, it’s always nice to have some fun alternatives to Trick-or-Treating, and even if Trick-or-Treating is still on your agenda, these are some great ways to make the entire month of October—not just the night of Halloween—a fun time for your entire family!

Halloween Party

Instead of going Trick-or-Treating, host a Halloween party! Include other families who would prefer to not go Trick-or-Treating. Kids can come dressed up in costumes and play games, make Halloween crafts, decorate or carve pumpkins, and eat homemade Halloween treats—some of which could potentially be healthier alternatives to the tons of candy they would have been eating after Trick-or-Treating. Finish it up with a Halloween movie and, depending on whether Halloween falls on a school night, a sleepover.

Garage or Backyard Haunted House

This can be a good way to involve your older kids in Halloween. Get them to help you set up a homemade haunted maze in your garage, open it to neighborhood Trick-or-Treaters for Halloween night, and then scare unsuspecting travelers. Use cardboard boxes, creepy music, a fog machine, night lights, fake spider webs—or whatever else catches your fancy! You may have to tone it down for younger kids, but it’s sure to be fun for all involved—and, if it’s a success, you can turn it into a yearly tradition that your neighborhood will come to love!

BOOing Neighbors

This is probably the most fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween! The idea behind this one is that a family leaves a small gift basket or plate of Halloween goodies on the doorstep of two other families, along with a “You’ve been BOOed!” poem, instructions, and a sign. The sign is meant to be taped on or near the door in a prominent place and left there so that a family won’t get BOO-ed twice. BOOing is meant to be anonymous, so you can just leave the treats on the doorstep, or, if you want to add a ghostly effect, you can set the treats down, knock, and run! Running away before the family is able to answer the door will add more excitement to BOOing, especially for young kids. The family that got BOOed is asked to BOO two other families—starting a chain reaction of ghostly fun, sweets, and happy-tummied neighbors. Click here for some free printable BOOing poems and instructions!

There’s no reason that your child should feel like he or she can’t have fun if you decide to skip the Trick-or-Treating this year. With the right amount of preparation, you will be able to make Halloween a fun holiday for everyone in your family, no matter what you decide to do.

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