Fun Alternatives (or Additions) to Traditional Trick-or-Treating

Ideas & Tips for a Uniquely Spook-tacular Halloween 

Looking for a fun way to shake things up this Halloween? Take the witch-tastic holiday to a whole new level by starting some new traditions – check out these fun alternatives (or additions!) to traditional trick-or-treating to make the highly-anticipated celebration one that is remembered for years to come.

Fun Alternatives or Additions to Trick-or-Treating

Go “Ghosting” – Let a friend, family member or neighbor know that you’re thinking about them with a bag of Halloween-themed goodies. Decorate brown or white paper bags (pumpkins and ghosts, maybe?) and fill them with homemade crafts, candy, non-food Halloween treats, and a special note that reads: “Thinking about BOO!” Leave it at the door or on the porch for a special surprise.


Costume Contest – Host a neighborhood costume contest. Rope off a ‘judging area’ in your yard or on your porch for participants to show off their costumes and have your selected judges sit nearby to take notes so they can choose a winner after seeing all entries. Use SignUp’s free tool to have participants sign up for a time slot to keep things moving (and to supply you with their email address, in the case that they win). Make the prize a gift card to a local restaurant or store.


Costume Parade – Organize a walking costume parade with folks in your neighborhood. Designate a time and path so viewers can set up on their porches or lawns to watch. Dress up your pups and bring them along, too!


Block Party – Weather permitting, set up game “stations” in your yard (designate a corner of the yard for a game of cornhole, set up a hula hooping station for a head-to-head competition, set up an area of tables for pumpkin carving, etc.). Use SignUp to help coordinate volunteers to run the stations. (Pro Tip: Use this block party checklist to prepare!)


Halloween Scavenger Hunt – For a more independent option that still lets the kids run around the neighborhood in their costumes, give them a list of Halloween-themed things to search for, then head out for a walk around the neighborhood to admire the seasonal decorations. Reward them for their efforts with Halloween candy when you get home.


Halloween Movie Night – Set up a projector or big screen TV in your backyard and invite a few friends to join you for a viewing of your favorite Halloween film.

Trick-or-Treating with a Twist – This could be organized a few different ways:

  • Host a Trunk or Treat event in the parking lot at the school, football field, park, or local grocery store. 

  • Organize a Plaza or Mall Trick or Treat event where shops and parents set up treat (or trick!) stations. 

  • Gather a group to visit the local nursing home(s) decked out in their costumes – participants get to show off their Halloween getups while providing entertainment to the home's residents. (Pro TipAsk local businesses to donate candy or funds for candy to provide the nursing home residents with goodies to hand out.) 

  • Hang lollipops from tree limbs or attach individually-wrapped pieces of candy to a tree in your front yard, and create a little sign that reads something like: “Take one if you dare!” Then enjoy the costumes from your porch. (This is a perfect solution for introverts who love to see all the costumes, but may not be up to interacting with visitors.)

Get even more ideas for Halloween and general Fall fun here!


Neighborhood Halloween party SignUp


Simple DIY Halloween Costumes

Halloween Planning Center

Fall & Halloween Printable Cupcake Wraps

Halloween Class Party Planning Tips & Checklist