Alternative Ideas to Trick or Treating for Halloween 2020 – Halloween will feel so different this year but I’m not keen on naysayers claiming things are ‘cancelled’, when they’re not.
We just need to find alternative ideas to traditional trick or treating. Firstly, and obviously, children can still dress up, which represents a massive chunk of the fun to them.
TRICK OR TREATING
If you do still want to trick or treat, then the first different idea emulates the NHS rainbow posters that kids stuck in windows earlier in the year. Except, this time, children paint/draw pumpkins providing a trail of pumpkins in the streets. Every time you see a pumpkin in a window you give your own child a treat that you’ve brought with you, into their own bucket. This saves touching gates and doorbells or rifling through sweets left on doorsteps.
I think it sounds really workable, and even if you venture out and you don’t find many pumpkins, then just improvise – every time we hear a spooky noise you’ll get a treat. Tip toeing round the streets, looking for black cats and listening for the unexpected. [Listen out for particular official guidance regarding trick or treating in your country or region.]
STAYING IN – OUTDOORS
-Do the Harry Potter jumping broomstick trick at home! Popular at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. And learn how to levitate a magic wand. Even the photo fails are great fun.
-I think we’ll stay in this year but we’ll be doing a Halloween Hunt, a bit like an Easter Egg hunt but with halloween treats rather than chocolate eggs (obvs). Claim the mischievous witches have visited the garden, so wrap up warm, shine torches, and hunt for treats in the darkness.
–Ghost stories – I’m got my husband a fire pit for his birthday, and realised we can take that out and tell ghost stories around the fire. A bit of Tam O Shanter perhaps as the flames take hold, some marshmallows too.
–Star gaze and claim shooting stars are witches flying at super speed. Basically just use your imagination!
STAYING IN – INDOORS
-In terms of cooking there are so many cute recipes. It can be something simple and hearty like making pumpkin soup together, banana ghosts (really simple with bananas and choc chips) or something more intricate like piping chocolate to create spider cookies.
-If you don’t have a garden or if it’s raining, then creating some kind of Halloween den with sheets and torches and treats will do the job. (obviously no fire pit!)
-Plan a movie night with relevant films such as Ghostbusters, the Addams Family, Casper, Scooby Doo. Perhaps add some atmospheric lighting.
-I don’t think my kids have ever dunked for apples – this year they will. I’ve also bought cooking chocolate, sprinkles and lolly sticks so we can make chocolate apples.
-I’m personally not so into crafts, I’m a bit rubbish, but with a little bit of time and organisation you could create something simple like green and black paper chains, or up the ante with bright orange pumpkin paper chains. A pal also has been gathering milk bottles with the green lids, then drawing a scary face on them with black markers, cut the bottom off and place a tea light underneath (a non flame one), and it’s really effective. Just a bit different.
-Put green food colouring in food and claim the witches visited. (My kids love this! They are so freaked out). Green milk is always a favourite.
-Older kids might enjoy a Halloween photo shoot, where they dress up and do their makeup, before getting their pics taken.
-Carving pumpkins is another obvious suggestion.
So many official spooky events or pumpkin picking experiences are sold out but there are lots of other things to do.
-The new film The Witches is out, based on one of my favourite books by Roald Dahl, so I’m definitely up for seeing that. I believe it’s bypassing cinemas, and being streamed instead.
-Something for older children – get historic. There are so many sites where real witch hunts and burnings took place, such as Dornoch, Aberdeen, North Berwick, Tranent etc. There’s probably a historic witch story near you, witch hunts were tragically so prevalent in Scotland.
-For more symbolic witchcraft then find spooky destinations to explore. If you live in Ayr you’ve got the Tam O Shanter story on your doorstep, such as Alloway Auld Kirk where Burns’ witches danced. Or in Morayshire there’s Macbeth’s Hillock, where the king is said to have met the three witches who prophesied his doom. Aberdeen’s Crathes Castle is apparenntly home to a green lady.
Or simply make it up. For example, if you visit a forest on Halloween afternoon, and ask the kids if it’s haunted, chances are they’ll say yes! Any ruined castle would also fit the brief.
In a way we’re lucky Halloween falls on a Saturday night. I know there will be a lot of exceptions, but it should be easier to grab some family time at the weekend. Overall there’s an appetite for alternative ideas to keep the (black) magic alive this Halloween. Have fun.