Safe and Fun Halloween Alternatives to Trick or Treating

If you are concerned about taking your little ones out for trick or treat night in your city, there are other activities that still get kids in the spirit of the season, while giving parents some peace of mind.

Try one of these four alternatives and your children are guaranteed a ghoulishly good time!

1. Neighbored Halloween Party
You don’t need to be part of a neighborhood association to organize a successful Halloween event. Just grab some of your closest friends or go door-to-door and speak to other parents who may be interested in helping you to plan a safe but spooky gathering for family and friends who live nearby.

Consider creating–along with a select group of neighbors–your own “haunted house hop,” where children can go from house to house completing a “task to win a prize. For example, grab a blind fold, a large bowl and peeled grapes. As children-with eyes covered–dunk their hands in the bowl, tell them they have to reach into a pot of “eyeballs” to get the prize. (The host can dress in costume and play scary music for added effect.) Cold pasta, can feels like “brains,” or some 7-up with green food coloring can be “witches brew.” Cover doorways with cotton stretched thinly like cob webs to make the experience uber-yucky. The haunted house hop, then becomes a fun and active competition loaded with giggles, goodies and gifts!

2. School or Neighborhood Costume Parade
One of the most exciting aspects of Halloween (other than the candy) is the fact that children can dress up as their favorite character or hero. Let them get some use out of that costume, by holding a “costume parade” either in your school’s gymnasium or in your neighborhood. Award prizes for the “goofiest,” the “scariest,” the most creative and so on. After the parade, put on the Monster Mash and let the children have a mini sock hop!

3. Trunk or Treat
Try converting your school or church parking lot into a mini Halloween tailgating party. All the participants can decorate the trunks of their cars and then all the kids go “trick or treating” around to all the trunks. For added excitement, give prizes for the best decorated trunks, carve pumpkins, have apple cider and hot chocolate. It will be a blast!

4. Craft and Cookie Party
Combine creativity with confections and you have a recipe for fun! Invite your child’s closest friends or neighbors to a get together where the children can get creative with Crayolas, finger paints, paper and glue – and let them really make a mess. If you prefer something more structured, choose from one or two crafts that each child can choose to make. Try a witch’s broom, made out of cinnamon sticks, or a homemade Halloween mask out of paper mache.

While the crafts are drying, take a break from the creations and give the children cookie cutters shaped like various Halloween characters, Like black cats, pumpkins and so on. Make some homemade icing in several different colors using food coloring, and have a ball decorating the cookies in your own personal style. Save the best part for last-eating the sweets!

There are many magazines and websites which give unique and helpful tips around the holidays for making your own decorations and sweets. You don’t have to be Julia Childs to throw a fantastically freaky Halloween for your kids. And, you will rest assured that they are being supervised by people you trust. Why not make one of these Halloween alternatives a yearly tradition in your home?

One of my personal favorite festive recipes, which is very simple make, is roasted pumpkin seeds:

Recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After carving the pumpkin, simply roast the pumpkin seeds for an interesting fall snack.
1 cup pumpkin seeds, cleaned
1 tablespoon LAND O LAKES�® Butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Heat oven to 350�°F. Combine pumpkin seeds, butter and salt in medium bowl.
2. Place mixture onto ungreased 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until seeds are dry and begin to brown.
Makes 4 (1/4-cup) servings.
VARIATION: Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Omit salt. Prepare as directed above except use 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt. Bake as directed above.

The following also provide helpful information for creative cooking and crafts during the holiday season:

Good Housekeeping Magazine
Country Living Magazine

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