A Homespun Halloween

For many families, Halloween will be different this year. Can the holiday still be fun without door-to-door trick-or-treating?

The answer is yes! With a little ingenuity and creativity, Halloween can be as festive — and delicious — as ever. Use our tips and ideas below as a starting point for getting spooky at home. Chances are, you’ll design a Halloween your family never forgets.

Make scary-delicious Halloween treats. Don’t let social distancing get you down this year. Take your energy into the kitchen, where you whip up special desserts like our Halloween Monster Decorated Sugar Cookies (shown above), Krispie Treat Ghosts, Black Widow Brownie Bites and Peanut Butter Pudding Cookie Monsters. For more pumpkin-focused treats, go for Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Cupcakes, Pumpkin Macarons, and Pumpkin Spice Fudge. Or for an all-out bakefest, spend an afternoon making our Spiderweb Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting.

Become scavengers. A scavenger hunt around the house, the yard, or even the neighborhood can be a good alternative to traditional trick-or-treating. (Just remember: superheroes wear masks!) Think up several riddles and clues to lead from one treat to the next, writing them on cute tags that get tied around a cellophane bag of candy. You might even have a grandparent waiting on a video app at one of the stops, to provide the next clue. Set up separate hunts for each kiddo, to keep it fair, or require that they work together.

Homespun Halloween

Bust the spine-tingling tunes. Set up a playlist of tunes designed for maximum Halloween fun. For little ones, this might include sing-along favorites like The Itsy-Bitsy Spider and Five Little Pumpkins. For older kids, that could mean a dance party with toe-tapping tunes like the Ghostbusters theme song, Thriller and The Monster Mash. Play it throughout the day, or as a special dance party in the midst of the festivities. Take your best dance moves to the kitchen floor and cut a rug!

Let the games begin! Remember old fashioned games like bobbing for apples and three-legged races? Bring that fun home, along with several other simple games, for a Halloween-themed Olympics. Craft “medals” for the winners, and award prizes like full-size candy bars. For adults and older kids looking for a challenge, check out the many virtual escape rooms online, which require family problem-solving skills.

Get crafty. Halloween is one of the best times of the year to craft up a storm at home, especially with kids. Try the simplest ideas, like this hanging bat made from a toilet paper roll and these pipe cleaner spiders. Or take it up a level with cheesecloth ghosts and haunted house lanterns. And don’t forget pumpkin carving: turn your carving session into a friendly competition. However you decide to do it, just remember to enjoy the time you get to spend together, being creative.