5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween Once You've Outgrown Trick-or-Treating

Whether you love all things spooky and scary or simply enjoy any excuse to dress up and eat copious amounts of candy, Halloween is a pretty great holiday.

For years, we got excited to don our perfectly planned costumes and hit the town (okay, the suburban neighborhood) with buckets in hand that were ready to be filled to the brim with chocolate and other confections—an event fondly known as trick-or-treating.

Two girls holding Halloween-decorated pumpkins in a pumpkin patch

(via Shutterstock)

But what is one to do when you start to notice that more and more of your fellow treat-hunters keep getting younger and younger and this once-fun activity is starting to lose its appeal? Well, we have a few ideas. Here are some fun and easy ways to celebrate Halloween once you've outgrown trick-or-treating:

1. Have a Spooky Movie Night

Whether you're a horror movie buff or a scaredy-cat who prefers to hide their eyes under the covers (guilty), a spooky movie night is always a good idea when Halloween rolls around. Grab your ghouls and gals and cozy up in someone's living room, set the scene with some candles or string lights, keep a bowl of candy at the ready and prepare for some scares. Don't worry, if you or others in your squad aren't fans of truly scary flicks, there are plenty of options that give off spooky without the actual scares: think Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Halloweentown, to name a few.


2. Have a Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Who says you have to make a mess with all those pumpkin guts to decorate a pumpkin? Unless you just really want to bake the seeds for a snack, save the mess for the candy cleanup and opt for painting or drawing on pumpkins instead. If the weather where you live is nice at this time of year, see if you can get some friends together for an evening picnic in a park, bring a pack of sharpies (or paints), pick up a couple pumpkins along the way and get creative with a decorating contest. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration if you don't have any ideas, and the benefit of decorating instead of carving a pumpkin is that it won't go bad so quickly after you're done.

Pumpkins decorated with rhinestones

(via Shutterstock)


3. Bake Some Scary Good Treats

From mummy cake pops to zombie-finger cookies, the opportunities to bake up some scary delicious treats are practically endless. Turn this into a sort of potluck with your friends and have everyone bring their own recipe so you get to try a little bit of everything, or go all out with your friends and try to bake a Nailed It!-worthy cake with whatever Halloween theme you choose.

Pumpkin cake pops sit on a white stand

(via Shutterstock)


4. Host a Costume Contest

There's no need to give up on the fun of dressing up just because you aren't trick-or-treating! Try DIYing a costume this year instead of purchasing a pre-packaged one and have a costume contest (or just a costume party) with your friends. The best part? You don't need to go door to door to get your goodies to have out at the party—you can just buy a few bags of your faves at Target or your nearest store.


5. Find a (Fake) Haunted House

If you're old enough, brave enough and willing to shell out the cash for a ticket, a lot of cities have some form of haunted house event you can attend on or around Halloween. The thrills are something hard to describe until you experience them yourself, but remember that these events are not for the faint of heart. If there's a theme park near you that hosts one, that might be a good start as you can always stick to riding the rides if the houses end up being too much for you or your friends to handle.


So, just because you've outgrown knocking on your neighbors' doors to get your Halloween thrills (and sugar rush) doesn't mean you can't still celebrate this one-of-a-kind holiday. Try one of these ideas (or combine them into one super fun get-together) and enjoy a new way to celebrate the spookiest day of the year.


Need some ideas for the costume part of your Halloween fun? Before that thought starts to scare you, click HERE for some of the costumes that will be everywhere in 2021.