Halloween Alternatives to Trick or Treating by Mitzi Hathaway

Halloween Alternatives to Trick or Treating by Mitzi Hathaway

Halloween is a time for creativity and thinking out of the box! That is why it has always been my favorite holiday. The same reason why I love my job at the Chamber. For being innovative means we are all able to experience new things!

While Covid-19 mandates and safety measures have required the cancellation of trick or treating across the country including our own Old Town tradition on Bay St. here in Florence, there is still fun to be had.

As a NW native, planning outdoor activities have always been a challenge. No more than Halloween night. One year it could be 70 degrees and clear, the next year bitter winds and freezing tempatures required heavy coats over my child’s carefully chosen costume. Leading to tears because my son’s Buzz Lightyear wings won’t fit and my daughter’s Princess butterfly wings would now have to be left behind.

More years than not, the cold heavy NW rain has been the obstacle. Looking out the window while hoping for a break in the clouds, if only for an hour or two so our town’s festivities could go on as planned. Sometimes we were lucky, other years, trick or treating was a complete washout! That’s when us resilant Northwesterners were forced to make the best out of the situation and that is what we will all do again this year.

Halloween is the one day of the year that you and/or your children can be anything or anyone you wish. It’s as if your favorite story book or movie has come to life! A child’s imagination is so important, no more than this year.

For those of you who are having a hard time coming up with ideas for alternative ways to celebrate, the Chamber is here for you!

1) Booing your neighbors and friends! Fill a small bag or pumpkin with candy or small gifts, hang on their door with instructions along with two notes. One that says: You have been booed! The other that says I’VE BEEN BOOED! For them to post on their door. Include instructions, along with additional notes so they can pass on the fun while BOOing someone else!

2) Decorated Driveway Table – Organize with neighbors. Then set up during a designated time frame. Place candy bags with a sign that says touch and take just one! Be sure to tell your kids to they have to take the first one they touch! ????

3) Add a Mini Block Parade – Stagger start times (From low house street number to high) for families to pick up their treats (and show off their costumes) from other set up tables on your street. In order to be able to watch from a safe distance.


1) Embrace your artistic side by painting pumpkins! While carving pumpkins is usually reserved for older kids and adults. Painting pumpkins is an activity the entire family can do together.

1) The family that cooks together has fun together! Halloween Bake Off! Place a plastic tablecloth down, fill cupcake tins with candies, sprinkles and Halloween picks and let your inner pastry chefs emerge!

2) What’s for dinner? Mini pizza is one idea! Toast English muffins then add pizza sauce and your favorite ghoulish toppings. Or roll out your favorite dough and cut into Halloween shapes.

3) Backyard Candy Hunt! Think Easter only the hiding is now under fall leaves instead of flowers bushes. If you have plastic eggs, decorate as Jack O’ Lanterns with felt tip pens and fill with candy or mini toys. For older kids wait until nightfall and supply flashlights! Add in clues for older kids and make it a scavenger hunt.

4) PHOTO OP – Decorate your backyard or a room in your home with various Halloween props and let your child’s imagination take over.

5) Live Costume Dance Party – With your favorite Spooktacular tune playing, show off your costume and best moves live via Facebook or favorite face time app! From Monster Mash to Thriller your friends and family from afar will be sure to join in!

6) Game Night – Whether it be themed Charades with the entire family, Candy Land for the wee ones or Clue with the Teens. Make sure you add a prize for the winner and of course candy treats for the non-winners!

7) FILM FESTIVAL– Halloween night’s end would not be complete, without a showing of a favorite film or two.
Here are some suggestions from our film library:

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Monsters Inc.
Hocus Pocus
Scooby Doo
Toy Story Tower of Terror
Hotel Transylvania I & II
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie

For older kids/teens:
Halloweentown (Filmed in St. Helen’s Oregon)
Goonies (Filmed in Astoria, Oregon)
Monster House
Addams Family
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Young Frankenstein
Harry Potter Series
Anything by Tim Burton but especially Nightmare Before Christmas

From all of us at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. We hope you have a safe Halloween. Be sure to snap several photos and videos to share with us. With a bit of creativity and flexibility, you can make this nontraditional Halloween of 2020 your child’s most memorable and fun!