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I don’t know about your kids, but mine look forward to trick-or-treating every single year. We’re given so few years comparatively to enjoy this Halloween activity, and I feel like 2020 stole one from us. This year, though, we’re hoping everyone can trick-or-treat safely, but if not – we have safe trick-or-treat alternatives at the ready!

The restrictions in place to keep us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic have either stopped trick-or-treating in many areas or if you’re like us, you’re just not comfortable with going door to door right now. Whether it’s been called off in your area or you’re being cautious, this situation has probably left you searching for Halloween fun for your littles.

Trick Or Treating Alternatives – Activity Ideas

We’ve put together some of the coolest and spookiest stand-ins for trick-or-treating we could find. I hope these ideas will help you and your kids enjoy this Halloween safely, while still maintaining the spirit of the season.

Go on a ghost hunt

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One of the most classic stories from my childhood about going on a bear hunt has been updated in a spooky way. My kids love this book all year round, but this season its especially fun. Whether you read the book or not, the associated activity is loads of fun!

Get a pack of white tissue paper big enough to hold candy and twist it up to make the head of a ghost. Use white twist ties to secure the candy inside and then draw a spooky face with a black marker. The result is a cute little ghost you can hide throughout your home or yard, and have your kids look for them.

Pin the Tail on the Ghost

Blonde boy child wearing blue bandana over his eyes trying to play pin the tail on the ghost

I may have phoned this one in a bit, but the kids had a genuine blast! I had an old plastic Halloween door cover I’d picked up from The Dollar Tree. I cut out a few paper ghosts, blindfolded the kids, and wah-la — pin the ghost to the spooky mansion! If you prefer to get a little fancy (haha) you can pick up a “Pin the Eyeball on the Zombie” from Amazon for pretty cheap:

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Hide some ghost eggs

You probably have some plastic, fillable Easter eggs leftover around your house but if not, they’re exceedingly cheap on Amazon. Then, get a can of white glow-in-the-dark spray paint and an empty box or tote. Toss the closed eggs into the tote and spray from about a foot and a half away. Let them dry for a few minutes, and then shake the tote up and spray them again. Keep this process going until they’re largely coated – it’s not necessary that they’re completely white, though.

You can fill them with candy like the ghosts above, and hide them after exposing them to light for a few hours. This is especially fun in a big yard where the glowing eggs can be slightly hidden but still shining and somewhat obvious.

Monster Games

We built these for a Halloween party at our kids’ preschool a few years ago and we still use them for parties today. You will need:

  • 3 or 4 boxes of varying size – Amazon or other delivery boxes work well
  • Green spray paint (though you can use orange to make pumpkin boxes or white to make ghosts)
  • Ping pong balls
  • Other colors of paints to decorate your monsters

First, spray the boxes whatever color you want to make the spooky character of your choice. Then, cut a hole about three times as big as the ping pong balls – this is the mouth of your monster and also where your kids will be aiming. Once dry, decorate the boxes however you want! Eyes (the more the spookier), fangs, wounds and so on – make them as fun as you want.

Then, you can decorate the ping pong balls. We actually made the ping pong balls into eyes but you could make them into little pumpkins or something similarly spooky.

The game is played by standing back and trying to toss the balls into the boxes. It’s super fun, extremely cheap to make, and you can use them year after year. A fun home party with these games is a great alternative to trick-or-treating in 2020, and you can give out candy as prizes so your kids won’t miss the sugar rush Halloween brings.

Build-a-monster kits

These are a great trick-or-treat alternative for yourselves, but Playdoh monster kits are also great for a candy-free trick or treat alternative! You can get large packs of small Play Dohs for pretty cheap around this time of year, and the rest is whatever crafting supplies you want to use. We get googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and puffballs but you could use anything that makes for a good monster.

This is a great activity for all ages and if you want a sugar-free Halloween, it’s a great alternative. Additionally, if you’re doing socially-distanced Halloween handouts, these are great for children who might have a food allergy.

Candy free trick or treat idea

Mummy Fun

Okay so toilet paper may have been in short supply in 2020, but I think we’re safe now to where I can recommend this. It’s such a fun and easy game, and is great for all ages! See who can wrap each other up as mummies the fastest or who makes for the spookiest mummy.

blonde boy child being wrapped in toilet paper to become a mummy for Halloween

Halloween Scavenger hunts

If you’re like us, you love to decorate your yard for Halloween (to be honest, our pandemic Halloween decorating may have started in August) and your decorations are the perfect place to hide scavenger hunt items. Additionally, you can hide candy as well, or you can use your decorations to stage the ghost hunt or glow eggs from the earlier entries in this list.

For your kids who can read, write out a spooky list on thick paper. You can use tea bags to blot the list, making it look aged and creepy. Have them find the items and give prizes to the winners. You can take pictures of the items and print them out for your kids who can’t read yet so they can play, too.

Halloween Pinata Fun

Halloween pinata

Was it just me or were you desperate for a pinata as a kid? I never got one at my own birthday, but oh my goodness was I always excited when a friend had one at theirs! So naturally, any chance for a pinata as an adult – I’m all about it!! Having a Halloween pinata is a great way to make a day feel extra special, especially if you can’t trick-or-treat for health reasons (or otherwise).

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Stay safe this Halloween without sacrificing the fun

COVID-19 Halloween ideas are out there for your family – they just take some imagination. While going door-to-door might be off the table this year, you can still have fun and stay safe.

Tell spooky stories in your living room, or have a marathon of scary movies. Play games with monster boxes, and hide spooky eggs or go on a ghost hunt! Now is the time to embrace the fun you can have at home with your family instead of focusing on what you can’t do because of the pandemic.