Trick-or-treating is a staple of Halloween in most places that celebrate the holiday. Kids going to door-to-door in spooky and fun costumes hoping to fill their treat bags is a sight we’re used to seeing, but it’s something we’ve seen a lot less of since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us a few years ago. While many Canadians are enjoying our return to normalcy, a study conducted last year showed that more than half of us were still unwilling to participate in this grand tradition.
While we’re sure the number of people wanting to trick-or-treat and join in the custom will continue to grow each year until we return to pre-pandemic levels of participation, we understand that many people still feel apprehensive and may prefer to find an alternative activity, at least for one more year. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of alternatives to trick-or-treating that will provide some options for you to have all the fun of Halloween without going door-to-door.
1. Candy Treasure Hunt!
Just because you’re not going door-to-door doesn’t mean your kids can’t enjoy the sugary delights of Halloween candy! Despite inflation driving up many costs, Candy can still be found at relatively affordable prices. Your options really abound here, too. Try mixing it up to create the variety produced by trick-or-treating while saving money at the same time. Stop by your closest Bulk Barn and fill some bags with delicious Halloween gummies and other specialty candies brought in for the season, then head over to Dollarama and pick up some packaged treats, too. Round off your candy run with a stop at Walmart or Superstore if you need to.
Once you’ve assembled your coffin-load of candy, it’s time to spread that bounty around your home and create a treasure hunt! Include clues and spooky surprises along the way, here’s a guide to help you get started!
2. Frightening Film Festival
Regardless of your children’s age, there is a Halloween movie that’s perfect for them!
From tamer holiday classics for kids like…..
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- Episodes of the Canadian-made TV show Hilarious House of Frightenstein (Youtube, Crave)
- Toy Story of Terror!
- The Muppets Haunted Mansion
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (Trust us!)
- Hocus Pocus
- Simpson’s many, many Treehouse of Terror episodes
- Ernest Scared Stupid
To those for slightly older kids like…
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
- Ghostbusters Series
- The Addams Family
- The Witches
Pick a couple of these, most of which are easily found streaming online, and you’ll have a spooktacular time!
3. Make Some Halloween Candy Apples!
Candy apples are a classic part of Halloween in North America, and even make appearances at other fall festivals throughout the Western world such as during Guy Fawkes Night in the United Kingdom. Not only is this a fun and active activity that will keep the kids occupied for a little while, but it’s also a great way to trick them into eating an apple disguised as a treat! Here’s a great resource for making some monstrously exciting Candy apples!
4. Tell Some Scary Stories by Candlelight
Another great Halloween tradition is reading and telling scary stories. Make sure to select age-appropriate material, but there is so much available online that you should have no problem finding the right selection of terrifying tales for your kids. Gather everyone together and dim the lights, then use your best Halloween voice to read the stories aloud!
5. Play Some Ghoulish Games!
There are tons of great, easy-to-play games online designed specifically for kids. From Halloween Bingo to Pop Goes the Pumpkin, we’ve found a site that has a great list of game options for your family’s perfect spooky scenario. Check out the list here!
Whatever you decide to do with your family to celebrate, it’s a fun opportunity for the family to spend some time together and participate in this wonderful and fun tradition. Did we miss your favourite tradition? Let us know in the comments!