Updated: Sep 15
Halloween is upon us. This year everything seems to be up in the air as to whether or not it will even be celebrated the traditional way. Heading to the stores right now you’ll already see decorations, candy and costumes. The excitement can remain the same if we all take a different approach to the things we are accustomed to doing. Need some help? We have 16 Spooky and Friendly Family Ideas to get you started planning. We want to help take the stress out of thinking about what to do this year so you are prepared.
“Halloween is not only about putting on a costume, but it's about finding the imagination and costume within ourselves." -- Elvis Duran
1. Self Serve Treat Stations
This year kids may not be able to yell Trick or Treat at your front door but that doesn’t mean you can’t have low-contact or drive-by Treat Stations ready for the kids to enjoy. Prepackaged treats that can be picked up at a safe distance and taken home are perfect. Set a table up with Signs, decorations (think themed) and a yell out your door to have a safe Halloween or maybe a chair you can sit on in your garage so you can watch the little ones take their surprises would be one way to enjoy the night. A nice wave from a distance and a “Happy Halloween” can be just as nice.
2. Halloween Scavenger Hunts
If your kids can’t go out for Trick or Treating then why not create a fun Halloween Scavenger Hunt indoor and outdoor with treats along the way and a big surprise at the end. Wearing your Costumes is a must for this and you can play with a QR Code or Traditional Cards. Be prepared for Spooky happenings along the way.
3. Drive Thru Haunted Houses
This year even the Haunted Houses need to rethink their crowds. Some states are planning on Drive Thru Haunted Houses where you stay put in your cars and slowly pass by scary characters and mystical creatures. As Halloween draws near check them out where you live.
4. Halloween Decoration Tours
I love this one! A Halloween House Crawl! You can still plan something in your neighborhood. Get the message out to your community via a Facebook page, neighborhood app, flyer or invite on a family page. Let everyone know that they will need to decorate their homes. Set a date and time for people to spread the word that staying in their cars they can drive through the neighborhood taking in the Spooky Decorations at everyone’s homes.
Load the family up, bring some cider and donuts from the grocery store and head out to take in all the friendly and not-so-friendly ghosts and goblins. Decorations can be purchased online, at a local hardware store and can be as simple as stringing lights and setting out pumpkins to going all out with graveyards on the front lawn.
5. Host a Virtual Halloween Costume Contest
Can’t get the family together this year for the Annual Halloween Party? You can still purchase costumes and let everyone know there will still be a Contest via Skype or Zoom. Send out an Invite with the date and time and then send everyone a PDF File with the Ballots to fill out on that day. Families can either get on the Screen Virtually and show off their costumes or Send pics via text or on a Family Facebook Page. Let everyone take a look at all the Costumes, vote and Send in their ballots via a text picture to the Host/Hostess. Announce the winners and let them know you’ll be either driving by with their treats or trophies or sending gift cards from Amazon via email for a winner.
6. Host a Virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest
Just like the Costume Contest ask Family and Friends to purchase a Pumpkin, carve either together via Zoom or Skype and then send everyone a ballot PDF File so they can cast their votes after everyone uploads their pics to a Facebook Page or shows them off while together during the virtual call. Ask everyone to post their pics on a Facebook page so you can share everyone’s creations. Or have them send them in a text or email that you can share. Prizes are the best and can be sent in the form of gift cards via email. Drive-by and leave some treats if the family lives close.
7. Halloween Movie Night
Who doesn’t love a spooky movie during Halloween? Of course with younger kids there are some not-so-scary movies too. Whatever way you decide to go, don’t forget to dress up, have a homemade concession stand with popcorn, candy (with spooky names of course) and scary mocktails the whole family can enjoy. Turn off the lights (it’s a must) set up a cozy space with blankets and pillows and watch a couple favorites. Add some flickering battery operated candles to set a spooky mood.
8. Halloween Family Game Night
Don’t want to get scared or spooked? How about a family-friendly Halloween Game Night instead? Pick a few favorites or head to Grinandprint on Etsy for Fall Games, Pumpkin Games, and Halloween Games to play with the kids. All of them are printable from home or a local office supply store and can be played again and again. Order some pizza, have coupons for prizes or candy works best!
9. Halloween Trees
Yep, it’s a thing. Bringing in an Artificial Christmas Tree and decorating it for Halloween. I mean, how fun would that be! You can even decorate mini trees too if you want. Hallmark has mini ornaments and even larger Halloween Ornaments now. You could even make your own decorations for your tree if you like. Craft some spooky things out of odds and ends around the house. Make spiders, ghosts and more. The Dollar Tree has battery-operated lights this year and you can get decorations at a hobby store too.
10. Trunk or Treat in Your Driveway
Of course we have all heard of the Trunk or Treat Idea but why not take it to your neighborhood this year. Announce to everyone you know that you will be decorating your Trunk and leaving your car at the end of the driveway with low-contact treats. Make sure everyone is required to safely distance themselves as they walk. Wear your Halloween Masks and grab a treat from the homes that are participating. Perhaps you can get a line up of people participating and provide a map with streets wanting to add a little fun to the day.
11. Bake Halloween Cookies / Halloween Bake Off
My favorite thing to do has always been to bake some sugar cookies and decorate them for Halloween. Why wait for Christmas Cookies when you can whip up a batch of my favorite Sugar Cookies and either ice them or sprinkle with some of your favorite toppings.
Have a Halloween Bake off too! Ask everyone to bake up their best Fall or Halloween Treats, take pics, show them off on a Facebook page or Instagram and vote on the best! Have everyone give their favorite a thumbs up or some heart love. Count all the thumbs or hearts and announce the winner live! Have a Prize via text or email or maybe a basket of baking supplies for the winners you can drive-by and drop off at the end of the driveway.
12. Halloween Hike
Do you remember in Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts going on a Hike to call out to the Snipe? Our Leaders waited until it was dark and then by the light of the moon we would walk around calling out it’s name. Now, of course it’s not real but it was fun when we heard some snapping tree branches or leaves blowing in the wind. You don’t have to wait until dark to have a Hike this Halloween. Pack a Halloween Picnic, wear your costume and add a Scavenger Hunt instead. Grinandprint has a fun Nature Scavenger Hunt that is perfect for some Fall Fun.
13. Halloween Music Playlist
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without some spooky sounds and music. When my kids were young we had a Halloween Karaoke party at their school. I purchased blow up guitars, mics and other instruments at the Party Store and Voila! Instant Monster Mash! You can create your own Playlist on Spotify and do the same with your family. Families can even turn the music on, turn the lights off, add some candles and maybe some flashing lights and hold a Monster Mash Dance Party.
14. Celebrate Fall with Fall Games
If Halloween isn’t your thing then just think Fall! You can still go Pumpkin Picking or find a roadside Pumpkin patch to find what you need. Some Cider mills and Apple Orchards are still practicing social distancing and providing times when you can do what you normally did. Take a Fall or Autumn Scavenger Hunt to make it fun while you are there.
Don’t want to head outside? Decorate inside, grab some Halloween Candy at the Store, order Pizza and play some fall Games. How about Pumpkin Blitz, Halloween Tabletop Twister, Turkey Bowling and more!
15. Drive-in Theater
Drive-in Theaters are popping up everywhere this year. I remember going to a drive-in theater when I was a kid. We would bring blankets, a pizza and popcorn and our favorite candy and soda. This year you can search out a drive-in near you or create one in your backyard. Set up a laptop outside, pick a movie and bring all the same things I mentioned for food and more.
If you can purchase your own movie projector and movie screen for the backyard then do that too! You could socially distance everyone in your backyard with 6ft circles on the lawn. Or tell everyone to bring their own blankets so they can distance themselves and stay safe. Tell everyone to bring their own snacks and hand sanitizer and blankets.
My first movie at the drive-in was “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (the original). Did you ever go to a drive-in? What was your first movie?
16. Halloween Breakfast
Why not get the day off to a spooky start. How about printables to decorate the kitchen and leave Editable Scratcher Card Skeleton Fortunes at each table setting. Make Ghost or Pumpkin Pancakes and play some music in the background. Don’t want to cook? So many restaurants provide Halloween breakfast items during this season. Search your area for places to order carryout. Let everyone have candy for part of the breakfast too! I mean why not, it’s only one day.
We hope this list will inspire you to get the family excited about Halloween this year! Sometimes we just need to make a few changes to the things we used to do. Putting our Celebrations on hold are not an option over here! Let us know what you did this Halloween or Fall?
Check our shop and website for fun ideas and printables to get started. Don’t forget to Favorite Our Shop and Subscribe for even more fun! We want to make your holidays this year stress-free and fun for everyone.
Grinandprint on Etsy