If you're on the fence about letting your kids walk around door-to-door on Halloween (or maybe your kiddo is too little), here are some fun alternatives for Halloween night that still allows kids and teens to have fun celebrating Halloween (but safely).
1. Spooky Movie Night
Instead of making Halloween all about collecting candy and knocking on the doors of strangers, create an annual family tradition that your kids can anticipate. Make caramel corn or caramel apples, something fun that you only make together on this special day. Then do a small craft of Halloween game before watching some spooky shows or movies. This is definitely best for older kids, but even the little ones may enjoy an evening of Disney Junior Halloween episodes and family time.
2. Church Festivals
Even if you're not a believer, church is a great place to have fun on or just before Halloween (plus, it's nice to share the culture of different religions with kids). Many churches often hold Fall festivals which are really Halloween parties under another name that allow kids to dress up, play games, and collect candy in a safe environment. Sometimes, there's even free dinner and a jumpy house!
Due to the fear of the unknown, some communities gather together to put on a trunk-or-treat, where kids go to this event and walk around to people who give them candy in what is set up to be a safe environment.
4. Halloween Fright Night
Have older kids, or simply a kid who really enjoys scary stuff? Take them to the local haunted house or ghost tour on Halloween. Some ghost houses even have a good fairy who will walk wit the younger kids so they aren't super scared during the haunted walk-through (though I was still scared, even with the fairy when I was a kid).
5. Amusement Park Mania
If you're close to an amusement park like Great America, Disney World, Gilroy Gardens, or Legoland, go play at the park with the family! The entire park will be decorated for Halloween, which is kind of fun, and sometimes there are special Halloween events or parties too.
6. House Party
Not a fan of the Halloween parties around town? Throw your own apple bobbing, pumpkin carving carnival of sorts with close friends and family. This way, your kids have fun and get to hang out with their friends, and you know that they aren't out egging a house or getting some creepy items from strangers.
7. Treat Shopping
OK, so the intent is really to go trick-or-treat at the mall or local shopping center that's having a Halloween event with crafts and candy at the different stores, but their aim is to get you to shop. If you need to pick something up at the mall, or simply like the idea of letting the kid get treats at different stores so that the next time you want to buy something she has a positive experience to draw from this is the option for you! Plus, you're indoors and things are well-lit, which can be a plus if you're no fan of walking around in the dark (or maybe your costume involves a long dress that you keep walking on).
Did I miss any other options? Please share your ideas in the comments below!