Halloween at Home: Trick or Treating Alternatives


Halloween at Home: Trick or Treating AlternativesHalloween 2020 is obviously going to look different, much like the rest of the year. From costumes to fun spooky activities, my fellow Knoxville Moms contributors have been sharing some super fun ideas. Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, my family has decided to make a whole day of it. We don’t feel trick or treating is the right choice for our crew, so we’re having our own family Halloween carnival!

Home Halloween Carnival How To

We’re food nerds, so food is a highlight of any party for us. Since Halloween is already highly food focused (hello, sweets!), it’s even more important to make sure there are some substantial options on the table to ward off those bellyaches.

Here’s our menu:

  • Jack-o’-lantern Tray: a base of carrots with a cucumber mouth and grape bowl eyes is sure to get some healthier treats in tummies.
  • Mummy Hot Dogs: this has been on my Pinterest board for so long, and I’ve never gotten around to doing it. You simply wrap hot dogs in strips of crescent rolls, and you can dot mustard or ketchup for eyes, and you have a spooky version of pigs in a blanket.
  • Skeleton Sandwich: layering cheese and your favorite sandwich meat on a crescent roll base and twisting the strips across the top makes for a spooky sandwich snack. 
  • Pumpkin Pizza: pepperoni or your favorite pizza toppings arranged in the shape of a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern is sure to be a hit!
  • Popcorn cups: orange cups full of popcorn make for a nice snack. If you want to get fancy, you can draw jack-o’-lantern faces on them!
  • Dirt pudding cups: I can’t not have some kind of dessert, even on a holiday designed around candy. Dirt pudding cups were an elementary school Halloween party staple when I was a kid, and I’m excited to get my kids making them this year!

Don’t forget the music!

All the popular music streaming services are sure to have a family-friendly mix, with the Monster Mash, Thriller, and more Halloween faves. If you need the littles entertained while you prep food, I recommend the Disney Junior Halloween episodes on Disney+. From Mickey to Puppy Dog Pals, these shows are fun and silly, not scary.

Games are a must for any carnival, and home Halloween carnivals are no different!

Games are even more fun in costumes! I found three games at Target, for $5-$10. We got pumpkin corn hole, pin the skull on the skeleton, and mummy bowling. We’re also going to have a monster drawing contest with sidewalk chalk on the driveway, and we’ll toss glowing rings around pumpkin stems. Other games could include flashlight tag, hide and squeak (where you squeak when you’re found), a mummy sack race, or setting up a ‘laser’ obstacle course with yarn. You can even save your pumpkin carving for Halloween day, and make a game out of it! You can find more game ideas here. Candy prizes for the winners, of course!

Quick Change Trick or Treating is another item on our calendar agenda. Our kids will walk up to our own front door, and I’ll open it while wearing a mask, hat, or silly costume accessory. Then they’ll keep walking up to our door, where I will change masks and accessories and give them candy, so they have the experience of trick or treating in a silly and safe way.

A few of my planned quick changes!

For the neighborhood trick or treaters, I made up little individual treat bags we’ll be putting at the bottom of our driveway. We plan on having our cars between our home carnival and the treat bowl, so any trick or treaters can grab a bag and go while we safely party at the top of the driveway.

If your littles still want to show off their costumes, I recommend a Masquerade Parade. Don the costumes and take a stroll around the neighborhood. You can even do a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt, looking for different Halloween decorations as you walk.

Halloween traditions may be changing, but we can make it fun and memorable. What are you doing to celebrate the spooky season this crazy year?

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Hey, y’all! I’m an adventurous wanderer who put down roots here in East Tennessee back in 2014. My little family moved here from the wilds of suburban Alaska in 2014. We love exploring Knoxville and the surrounding areas, especially the Smoky Mountains. I’m a freelance writer and teacher who loves looking at the mountains when my nose isn’t in a book. I’m a mom to two bookish kids, a wildly clingy dog, two cats, and a fish I’d be in trouble for not mentioning. Since becoming a mom, I’ve been able to add Lincoln Log architect, LEGO contractor, and mediator to my resume. I’ve always been a bit of a jack of all trades, as I’ve been a tutor, teacher, circus instructor, bookseller, amateur baker and, of course, writer. I remind myself of this as I tell my kid not to sit on my other kid’s head while stopping the dog from chasing the cat and the other cat from jumping on top of the fish tank. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and am currently pursing my Master of Fine Arts while keeping all these creatures who live in my house alive. I survive on coffee, writing fiction, reading, Disney, and snuggles. You can read more of my work at www.pawprintsinthesink.com.


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