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8 Halloween Alternatives to Trick or Treating


Halloween and fall festivities are something each family celebrates differently. Some families will dress up and coordinate, while others will stay home and hibernate. This Halloween, we wanted to offer a few ideas for alternative ways to experience Halloween and October festivities in Arkansas besides trick-or-treating.

Neighborhood Family Fun Night – used with permission from Amanda Farris

  • Something’s Stewing Night – Let your friends and neighbors go out and do their individual family thing, then gather at one house for dinner. Adults like having a place to go, and the children can wind down and do all their candy exchanging. A menu could include:
    • Beef Stew or make it a chili cook-off between the dads
    • Crackers and chips
    • Cookies or a DIY caramel apple bar
    • Sodas, tea, water
    • Alternative idea – you could host a fall foods potluck and assign a meal course to each family and tell them the theme is “fall.”
    • Activity: You can also carve pumpkins, roast seeds, watch a fun family movie together, or just let everyone play and talk.
  • Toddler Taco Feast – This year our Little Man is dressing up as an Avocado, so the weekend before Oct. 31, we are getting some friends and family together for a “GuacStar” party. Just a simple taco pile up bar with Sopapilla Cheesecake for dessert and a taco flavored snack mix to take home as favors. We are not planning anything crazy, but using a costume as a reason to get people together with an easy theme built-in. It’s hard to take a toddler all over town and not always the safest option to go door to door, so we wanted something safe that got our friends together. This same idea would work great for moms of littles looking for something fun to do with friends during the day.


Family Fall  Festival, used with permission


  • Host a neighborhood carnival – Instead of children going door to door, they all come to one spot in a cul-de-sac, open field, or clubhouse and the houses host a “booth” or even a “trunk” with a game and prizes instead of wandering around the neighborhood. Keep it simple with a specific time period that is manageable for families after school and work.
  • Stay in and have a family night by candlelight. Who doesn’t love a simple family night in making memories together? And, ironically, much like “Wednesday night church,” Oct. 31 is one of those days no one plans other events. So, take advantage of everyone being off together and have a family pizza and game night. Play something that everyone can enjoy and that makes your family most excited.


Pink Party Ladies Celebrating – used with permission from the American Cancer Society of Central Arkansas

  • Pink Party – October is also breast cancer awareness month and a fun time to celebrate survivors in your life or remember loved ones for which you fight. This year there will be over 270,000 cancer diagnosis, and 2,200 will be from Arkansas. Get together a group of friends and celebrate with all things pink. Menu and decorations could include:
    • Charcuterie spread – meat and cheese tray with nuts and dried fruit
    • Strawberries and fruit
    • Strawberry Cake or cupcakes for dessert
  • Ghouls Night Out – This can be for a group of gals who don’t have children, their children are grown, or maybe they just want an excuse to get together and make your own party. The menu could include:
    • Tomato Basil Soup
    • Twisted finger breadsticks – refrigerated pizza dough or canned breadsticks
    • Monster Mash pasta or vegetable salad
    • Graveyard Pie – a chocolate dessert layered with pudding and Oreos
    • Monster Mash snack mix*
    • Goblin punch – Green Hawaiian punch with 7UP or Ginger Ale


Reverse Trick or Treat and Spread Cheer – used with permission from Heather Kleber Photography

  • Reverse TorT – Spread Cheer (and treats) – Instead of making people come to your doorstep for treats, take the treats to them. This activity is fun for families with little children or senior adults needing a new activity. Make a snack mix or simple treat and take it to friends at a local nursing home or rehab facility. Even visit a children section of a hospital and make them feel special while they are stuck inside. Check with any of these facilities first and make sure they are ok with visitors and don’t have any dietary restrictions. If you cannot take in food, you could decorate small pumpkins or dollar store decorations and deliver those instead.
  • Host a Mystery Dinner party – This one is super fun for grownups without children needing to get in a holiday mood or a group of grown-ups who want to do something fun without the children.
    • Menu – fall foods potluck or a chili bar with sides or a big charcuterie spread and snacks
    • Brownies, cookies and Monster Mash* for dessert.

Monster Mash Snack Mix

  • 4 cups butter puff corn, popcorn or Bugles
  • 4 cups twisted pretzels
  • 3 cups pumpkin spice cereal like Cheerios or Life
  • 2 cups M and M’s, any flavor
  • 10-ounce bag peanut butter morsels
  • 16-ounce bag Autumn Mix or Candy Corn
  • Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl.
  • Scoop into baggies from the dollar store or simple zipper baggies.
  • Add a label or take them in with you.
  • The children could color on pumpkin shapes, and you could tie them to the bag. Any little thing makes people feel so special when they get a smiling face and
  • ***note, nuts have been eliminated to avoid allergies. One can of roasted peanuts, or mixed nuts could be added. Peanut butter chips should also be eliminated if taking to a kid’s facility.


Arkansas-Based “Non-Trick or Treat” Events in October

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in South Arkansas with her husband and sweet Boxer, Bailey and one-year-old son! Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now she is using all of those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom!

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3 responses to “8 Halloween Alternatives to Trick or Treating”

  1. Keisha @bigpittstop says:

    That munch is the best thing. Mix it up in baggies for favors at a party or to take to neighbors. We are making a set and taking to our “old ladies” who love us!

  2. […] you are looking for alternative ideas to celebrating Halloween, you should check out this article I wrote a couple of weeks ago. It has some great ideas in it and […]

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