Fright Night

Our Top 10 Trick-or-Treating Alternatives

Don't feel comfortable going out this year? From scavenger hunts to scary zoom sessions, here are our top Halloween alternatives for ghouls of all ages.

By Sarafina Murphy-Gibson October 21, 2020

Halloween may be different this year—but there's still lots of fun to be had.

Halloween may be different this year—but there's still lots of fun to be had.

We know: Covid-19 has thrown a wrench in all of our plans this year. But just because you’re not up for going door-to-door this year doesn’t mean Halloween is canceled. There are still plenty of ways to stay safe, have fun and celebrate the season. Here are our top 10 ideas for making the most of your Halloween night in these strange times.

Monster Egg Hunt

A take on the classic Easter Egg hunt that gets a second life out of those plastic eggs you have lying around. Fill them with candy, small toys and seasonal party favors. Make sure to include some that have plastic cockroaches, a wayward head of broccoli or those jelly beans that taste like something gross, too. There’s supposed to be a trick involved, after all.

Treasure of the Haunted House

Create a mysterious scavenger hunt with clues that lead children from room to room. Play up the ambiance by darkening the lights and lighting candles. Cover the furniture in sheets and add spooky decor, such as prop mice and wilted flowers. Have a fun reward at the end of the hunt.

Better Off Bread

If you’re not going out to collect treats, why not make some of your own? Try your hand at culinary wizardry with some cute witch cupcakes, or keep it classic with spooky sugar cookies. If you’re feeling mischievous, try serving the family a Zombie meatloaf for dinner.

Rated 'S' for Scary

Grab the popcorn, a cup of cocoa and a security blanket before settling down to a scary movie. Many streaming services, such as Netflix’s Teleparty, allow multiple locations to watch simultaneously, so you can share the terror with loved ones near and far.

Ghoul Parade

If you feel comfortable coordinating with your neighbors, organize a community costume parade. At a set time, walk in a large designated loop so that everyone can see each other in their Halloween best—while at a safe social distance. (This activity is not limited to children!)

Creepy Creations

Have a craft night. Put on some spooky tunes while you bring your creepy creations to life. Keep it simple with construction paper, markers and hot glue, or challenge yourself with a JoAnn’s Halloween craft project. Hang on to anything you make to be used as decor in future years' celebrations.

Bonfire and Chill

Samhain, an ancient Gaelic festival, celebrates the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was traditional to light a bonfire that would bring warmth and ward off evil spirits. After igniting your protective pyre, you can swap ghost stories and debate the proper way to toast s’mores.

Host a Murder Mystery

Designed for small groups, these scripted soirees come with everything you need to host an evening of whodunnit. A tight “quaranteam” can play in person, though some services offer online options. After the host assigns characters, guests dress to fit the part and meet up for a thrilling night of mystery. Snoop My Mystery Party or The Murder Mystery Co. for more ideas!

Ghosts in the Machine

There’s no need for your avatar to social distance! Lots of multiplayer online games, from Animal Crossing and Final Fantasy to Fallout 76 and Destiny 2, go all-out when it comes to Halloween. Organize a gamer’s summit in your favorite digital realm for some mischief and merriment. It’ll give you the chance to show off that new fashion you’ve been grinding so hard for.

Are You Afraid of the Zoom?

This one isn't for the faint of heart. After putting on your best seance look, dial in via Zoom—or whatever digital platform you aren’t sick of—with your favorite friends. The catch? Do it in the dark and then take turns exchanging spooky stories. If you need to, you can light a candle. 

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