Halloween is sure to look different this year. With many families looking for alternatives to trick or treating, it’s time to start brainstorming some unique and creative solutions for new family Halloween traditions. Here are a few of my personal favorite ideas!
New Family Halloween Traditions
If you’re wondering if Halloween is cancelled this year, you’re not alone. Across the country families are in your same shoes and trying to find new solutions for their own families.
While traditional trick or treating, Halloween parties and haunted houses might be off the table this year, you can still create some wonderful Halloween memories with your family in different ways.
Read on for a few of my favorite ideas for how to celebrate Halloween while also creating new Halloween traditions for your family.
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Halloween Movie Night Costume Party
A cozy night in with a good Halloween movie is one of our favorite things. Throw on your costume (or favorite Halloween jammies, like these!) and turn on your favorite family-friendly flick.
Need some inspiration for kids Halloween movies? For little ones under 5 check out Room on the Broom and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. For elementary school and older, add Casper, Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas to your list!
If your kids are older, movie nights are the perfect opportunity to introduce them to some of the Halloween classics, like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and of course, Halloween! While these movies terrified our own parents, your bigger kids will most likely have a blast making fun of the retro music and wardrobe choices.
While my boys are still a *little bit* too young for movie night (at 2 years old and 10 months), we have started having movie “night” in the afternoon instead.
Go All Out with Decorations
Since we’re all spending more time at home, why not take advantage of the opportunity to go big with decorations this year?
Whether it’s some cute craft projects, over the top spooky outdoor decorations, or some fresh Halloween décor for your mantel (my personal weakness), the opportunities are endless.
Looking for less spooky choices? Create a pumpkin decorating contest with your family! Whether you choose to carve your pumpkins or paint them, it’s sure to be a fun event even your littlest ghosts and goblins can enjoy.
Need some pumpkin carving inspiration? Be sure to also check out 20 Incredible Pumpkin Carving Templates!
Throw a Socially-Distant Halloween Parade
Many families are uncomfortable with their little ones visiting other people’s homes to trick or treat this year. For young kids, one of the best parts of Halloween is being able to see their friends dressed up!
With a socially-distant Halloween parade, young trick or treaters (and their parents) can stroll up the sidewalk while homeowners in costume gently tossing candy from a safe distance.
Other cute (and safe) ideas include setting up a table in the front yard with candy spaced out that kids can grab themselves, or even hanging a cute clothesline with candy hanging down. You can even have spooky Halloween classic music playing outside!
Related: 20 Halloween Costumes for Brothers
Create a Halloween Candy Hunt
For families who would prefer to celebrate at home this year, opt for a “candy hunt” at home. Think: Halloween version of an Easter egg hunt!
Tell Ghost Stories
Have older kids? Take turns telling or reading ghost stories! Whether you’re outside by your fire pit, or inside with only candles lighting up the night, it’s sure to be a hit.
Take Halloween Dinner to the Next Level
Our big family tradition is a Halloween brunch and pumpkin carving party. Every year we invite over our friends (and now, our kid’s friends and families!) to join us for Halloween-themed brunch food, Halloween movies and a pumpkin carving competition. We are really sad to not be able to do that this year.
Instead, this year we are planning an interactive Halloween dinner with our boys on Halloween night, complete with food served in real pumpkins and some dry ice to create an eerie atmosphere. Our boys are still really young, so this is less about being scary and more about having fun.
Remember, it doesn’t matter what’s on the menu: it’s about creating a new experience they’ll remember for years to come.
Go for a Halloween Decorations Drive
One of my favorite activities at Christmas is looking at the lights, but you don’t have to wait until December for a great family drive. Our toddler LOVES spotting new Halloween decorations while we walk around our neighborhood each day, so why not take the fun to a new place?
Pick a neighborhood (or a few in a row!) where you know the decorations are impressive, pack some treats and beverages, cue up your Halloween playlist and go!
Best part? You don’t even have to get out of your car.
No matter how different things look this year, Halloween can still happen for your family. I hope this list of creative new Halloween traditions for your family helped spark some ideas! Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to just October 31st. Halloween is basically the entire month of October anyway these days!
What new traditions are you thinking of trying this year? Would love to hear from you in the comments!