Many families are starting to think about new and creative alternatives to Halloween. They are starting to turn Halloween on its head and make it a day to celebrate things they’re thankful for, connect with their friends and neighbours and contribute to the community in a meaningful way. We have developed 10 fun family alternatives to Halloween if you would prefer to avoid scary themes for your young children and inspire your kids to think of helping and connecting with others in a positive way. Always remember to keep your children safe by going with your children if they knock on doors in your community. Please remember to adhere to your state’s relevant COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for all activities. Click here for NSW COVID Safe Advice for Halloween.
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1. Door Knock For Others
A wonderful way to teach your children to care for others in need is to go with them from door to door in your street to collect pantry items for Gateway Family Services, Belong Blue Mountains Community and Neighbourhood Services or Anglicare’s Toys and Tucker Christmas Hampers (donate to your local Anglican church).
Your children may like to give out a small treat to neighbours and in return ask for a pantry item for one of our local organisations. All donations benefit local Blue Mountains families and your children will discover the joy in giving! You may like to treat your kids to a special dessert afterwards to thank them for their selflessness and continue the fun with one of our other suggestions on this list.
2. Bush Scavenger Hunt
Take a walk around the neighbourhood, equipped with a clipboard and pencil each (and perhaps binoculars, a magnifying glass and a satchel to collect any small items found) to find a variety of objects in nature. Rather than collecting items, your children may take pictures instead. You might plan to do this with another family to make it a fun, social event. Ideas to include in your scavenger hunt can be found here. Be inspired with more outdoor bush activities here.
Buy toothpicks and a variety of different sized marshmallows – from the minis to the large toasting marshmallows, colourful twisted ones and your regular sized marshmallows. Make animals or people from a variety of marshmallows. Take photos for memories, then eat them up (if not painted!). NB. Cut off the sharp edges of toothpicks before your children use them.
4. Fire Pit
Set up a fire pit (pending fire restrictions) and get together with other kids in the neighbourhood or passing by trick or treaters to toast marshmallows, make popcorn or damper over the fire (supervised closely by adults of course!). This way kids get to get to know one another and develop relationships with other local children, as they chat over toasting marshmallows.
5. Blue Mountains Local Fun
Since Halloween 2020 falls on a Saturday, during the day you may like to plan a bushwalk, visit your local Blue Mountains market or go fruit picking in Bilpin. Follow up the evening with one of our other creative alternatives to Halloween.
Another fun and creative local idea is to paint a variety of rocks with ‘Blue Mountains Mums’ written on the back and hide them around your local area. If you find a rock, post it in our Blue Mountains Mums Facebook Group to let us know that you found one!
6. Give Treats
If your children are keen to go door-knocking, go with them with a basket of treats to give out to your neighbours. Bake cookies, cupcakes or buy a few treats from the supermarket. You may like to write a positive note to attach to each treat. A note of encouragement might be appreciated, considering the year that has been. Just wait and see the looks of surprise when your children give a treat on Halloween, rather than ask for one!
7. We’re Going On A Lolly Hunt
If your children don’t want to miss out on lollies at Halloween, but you’re not sold on the idea of kids knocking on doors to collect them, create a (wrapped) lolly hunt at home in your front and back yard. Kids can keep the lollies or give them away to neighbours. Of course, friends should join you!
8. Party Time!
Plan a get-together or party with friends as a fun alternative for Halloween. You might organise a bunch of friends to meet at a local play centre, have a picnic dinner by the Nepean River near the playground, gather at your local skate park (Glenbrook Skatepark has plenty of space for a picnic), skating rink or your favourite Blue Mountains local park. Kids might like to dress up, play games and do a lolly or scavenger hunt at the park too.
9. Games and Movies
If you are after a quiet alternative on Halloween, you may consider a family afternoon at home playing games, followed by a movie night with special treats to eat. You could combine this idea with Marshmalloween, for example, to add some creativity to your night in. You may be surprised by how much your children love this quiet, quality time as a family!
10. Dance Party!
Your children will enjoy getting dressed up in their favourite costume to dance the afternoon away with friends at home! Create a playlist in advance and let your kids dance to their heart’s content. Cast music to the television if you would like video clips too. Combine your disco with any other suggestions on this list for extra fun!
There are plenty of fantastic fun family alternatives to Halloween. Your kids won’t feel like they missed out on the fun, they may connect with friends and children of the neighbourhood and possibly still eat lots of delicious treats!
Do you have any other alternatives to Halloween to share? Please comment below.
More from Blue Mountains Mums
‘Pick your own fruit’ farms and orchards welcome families to visit throughout the year. This is a lovely activity to do on a weekend with the kids.
Check out what markets are on this weekend in the Blue Mountains in our Markets Guide.
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Join our Blue Mountains Mums Local Facebook Group to connect with other local Blue Mountains Mums.