Many localities restrict trick or treating to children 12 or younger.   It can be a challenge to figure out how to celebrate this holiday when your kids have outgrown trick or treating.  I am happy to share some of the ideas my Halloween loving family has indulged in to mark October 31st!

1. Have a pumpkin carving or painting contest

This is an annual tradition at our house.  I make a pumpkin patch, where I grow vines and buy pumpkins and put them in the yard.  We go and pick pumpkins and either carve or paint the pumpkins.  We post them online and let our friends tell us which they like best!

2. Get creative with a spooky buffet

We decide on a signature drink or punch (Bonus points for dry ice), and serve them in special glasses.  We also make a skeleton charcuterie board, mummy meatballs, and other spooky themed items.  Check out our recipes in this issue to get some new ideas!  Warning – if your black bat (chicken) wings turn green, no one is going to eat them even though they are delicious!  (Email me at if you want the recipe for those wings!)

3. Find a creative way to give out candy

We have done quite a few events to give out candy.  One year, my husband donned a top hat and stripped vest, we downloaded a spinning wheel app, and had a variety of prizes that kids could spin and win, including full sized candy bars, assorted toys and gift cards.  We had a grab bag of fun sized candy for anyone who didn’t want to spin.  It was a big hit, and even the adults played.  We found that we had time to talk to the neighbors as their kids played.  Last year, we did a duck pond with the number on the duck determining the treat.  It included the little ones a little better than the spinning wheel.  We have also considered a zip line delivery of candy, but haven’t worked that out yet!

4. Make it an outdoor movie night on your driveway as you give out candy

Last year, we also borrowed a blow-up movie screen and projected a movie on our driveway.  In past year, we have streamed movies on a tv brought outside. Make sure your movies are kid friendly during trick or treat hours if you run it in the front of the house!

5. Walk the neighborhood and engage the neighbors

This is a fun one!  We have walked in costume, pulling a wagon, with adult treats (candy and more) and have engaged the parents waiting at the end of the driveways for their ghouls and goblins. A great way to catch up with people.

6. Make a haunted graveyard or haunted house

Create an experience for family and friends by designing your own haunted graveyard or house. Enlist others to be guides and characters. The sky is the limit.

7. Go to an escape room

If time is short and you don’t want to host anything, an escape room is a great place to celebrate Halloween. Grab a group and head out to solve puzzles to escape.

8. Costume party

Put on some spooky music, put out party food, and let your kids and their friends celebrate in costume at your house. They can have a costume contest, watch scary or funny movies, or do Halloween Karaoke!

9. Go to a haunted house or theme park

Theme Parks have great Halloween themed nights. Disney’s is not so scary, where Universal Studios has Horror Nights!  Zoos and other attractions also have great events around Halloween!

Have a Happy Halloween!!