Seattle's Child

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Halloween

5 things to do this Halloween that aren’t trick-or-treating

Bake, decorate, have a parade: be creative!

Halloween is a tradition for some families. Pumpkin carving, costumes and trick-or-treating are all apart of the day’s events. Why not make it a little out of the ordinary this year and skip the trick-or-treating and opt to do something creative? Or, do both! Here are five things to do this Halloween that aren’t trick-or-treating:

1. Have a costume parade on your block. Blast Halloween tunes on portable speakers as kids parade and neighbors cheer.

2. Decorate your front yard. Don’t use that nasty, bird-killing, fake spiderweb stuff. Make pom-pom spiders to dangle from trees. Stage a pair of old garden gloves reaching out of a flower bed. Stuff some old clothes and add a pointy hat to make a witch to watch over your front porch. Kids love putting up decorations! (They have less enthusiasm for cleaning them up, but that’s a Nov. 1 problem.)

3. Create a spooky candy hunt for your kids. Whether you want to simply stash candy around the yard, like a fall version of an Easter egg hunt, or come up with a backstory with, say, a “ghost” leaving a map or a set of clues to the “treasure,” kids will enjoy finding and accumulating sugary treats.

4. Go all-out with pumpkin carving. Encourage your kids to sketch out their ideas in great detail before you start cutting into pumpkin flesh. Here are some ideas.

5. Bake. Start by roasting pumpkin seeds from your jack-o’-lanterns (easy, foolproof recipe here!), then make cookies or cupcakes that your kids can decorate, perhaps with candy. Gummy worms add a certain creepiness factor, and you can make a fine eyeball from a peppermint hard candy if you draw an iris and pupil in the middle.

This article was originally published in 2020 for a COVID Halloween, but updated for 2022 because these are still great ideas!

More Halloween fun:

The Playlist: Halloween-themed family fun

Adorable monster stories for young readers

Tips and tricks for your DIY costume