How to Celebrate Halloween 2020 – Alternatives to Trick or Treating


Are you looking for suggestions for how to celebrate Halloween this year? 2020 has definitely thrown us some curveballs, and Halloween may not look exactly like years past. That doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun and enjoy ourselves. I’ve compiled a list of alternatives to Trick or Treating as we traditionally think of it.



Follow Local, State, and CDC Recommendations

The CDC recommends avoiding large gatherings and any indoor Halloween activities. They also recommend choosing outdoor activities that allow for social distancing. If you want to pass out treats, you should consider doing so from a distance.


Here are some suggestions for giving away treats at a distance:

  • Have treats separated individually to avoid having more than one person touch them.
  • Line up goodie bags on a table at the end of the driveway.
  • Create a decorated walk through area. Hang/tape treats for people to individually grab.


children in costumes sitting criss cross on the floor, holding halloween painted pumpkins in front of their faces


Celebrate with a Small Group of Friends

If you have a trusted group of friends/neighbors, you can work together to create a celebration.


Set up trick or treat stations with a few neighbors. You can add extra doors or places to trick or treat along the sidewalk or in one or more backyards. Reserve the area for just your group.


Have a trunk or treat or backyard party with just a small group of friends. Go all out on the decorations.


Build a one-way haunted house outside. Turn your backyard into a spooky maze of Halloween awesomeness.


Go on a Halloween parade around the neighborhood. People dressed up in costumes can walk around while everyone else waves from a distance. Have treat bags ready when you get home.


Go virtual. If you are not virtually worn out, take your celebrations to video chat. Join with friends and family from around the globe to celebrate Halloween together. Everyone can bring their own snacks and treats. You can have a costume contest. Play music and games.


Celebrate with Your Family

You don’t have to go trick or treating around the neighborhood to have a great time. Here are some suggestions for how to celebrate Halloween with just your own family.


Trick or Treat to Different Rooms

My kids are especially excited about this idea. Instead of going to different houses, they want to trick or treat to different rooms in our house.


Here’s their plan: One person trick or treats while everyone else is in a different room. Knock on the door and say, “Trick or treat.” Receive candy. Repeat. If telling a joke to get candy is a tradition in your family, make sure you enforce it here. They should have lots of jokes ready for you.

Another twist: Some doors will earn treats; other doors will receive tricks. A person can jump out in costume and scare the trick or treater. A challenge can be issued. (Can you hop on one leg for 10 seconds?) A task must be completed. (Stick your hand in this slime and retrieve one spider ring.) Completion of the challenge or task can also earn a treat.


Go on a Treasure Hunt

Hide candy or something to represent treasure (gold coins, mini pumpkins, etc.) around the house or backyard. You can create clues to help them find the treasure, or you can let them search everywhere. You can even set up a flashlight Halloween treasure hunt and go hunting for treasure in the dark.


Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items for your group to find. Make a simple list, or make up riddles or clues for each item. For pre-readers and beginning readers, you can add pictures of your items. Conduct the scavenger hunt inside or outside.


Search for Pumpkins Around the Neighborhood

Walk around the neighborhood and look for pumpkins. This gives you a chance to see the cool carved pumpkins. Earn a point (a piece of candy) for each pumpkin you find. Decide on what counts as a pumpkin – carved pumpkins, real pumpkins, 3D faux pumpkins, 2D pumpkins, pumpkins in the window, pumpkins outside, etc.


Movie Night

With Halloween being on a Saturday and with the time change giving us an extra hour, we have plenty of time for Halloween movie night celebrations. You could have everyone dress up as a character from the movie. Decorate the house and have food to fit your theme.


Final Thoughts

Make sure to have your favorite candies. Ask the kids which ones they like best, and get your favorites, too! You can even do special presents instead of just candy.



Don’t feel like you have to celebrate Halloween on only one night. I know most years, we attend multiple celebrations and festivities. Just because those are canceled this year, it doesn’t mean you have to cram all of the fun into one night. Spread it out, and enjoy Halloween for as long as you like.


How will your family be celebrating Halloween this year?