It’s probably no secret that Halloween is the favorite holiday of the Schaffer six. What can I say, we love a good costume! When it comes to Halloween we have so many fun traditions that pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and spooky parties are just second nature for me and my kids. But this year, everything is a little different. San Diego has officially canceled Halloween so there’s no more trick-or-treating and we can’t throw any big parties for the kids and their school friends. It’s a little bit of a bummer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun! Here are seven ways we’re going to be celebrating Halloween at home!


Trick-or-treating has existed since medieval times. Back then, it was known as “guising” in Scotland and Ireland. Young people dressed up in costumes and asked for food or money in exchange for songs, poems, or other “tricks.”


family in halloween costumes family in halloween costumes

Watch a Scary Movie

This one is almost a no-brainer, but since there’s more time at home during Halloween this year, you can let each kid pick their favorites! Just make sure it’s age-appropriate for everyone in the house!

We won’t be watching anything too spooky but classics like “Hocus Pocus,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” are family favorites.

Dress Up!

Just because we’re not trick-or-treating this season doesn’t mean we won’t be wearing our spookiest outfits! It’s just not Halloween if you’re not in costume. Whether you’re dressed up to watch a movie, make some crafts or bake some spooky cookies, just being in costume will make it feel like a normal Halloween.

Check out all my Halloween ideas on the City Girl Gone Mom Pinterest board!

family holding pumpkins boy carving pumpkin

Halloween Crafts

Depending on the age of your littles you can do everything from coloring books to costume making. What’s great about this is you can also get started a week or two before Halloween and create lots of things to decorate your home with! It will get them in the spirit early and they won’t even notice that they aren’t trick-or-treating this year!

Can’t think of any crafts your kids will want to make? Don’t worry—pumpkin carving counts!


Now Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday in the country. It comes after only Christmas. Consumers spent approximately $9 billion on Halloween last year.


Social Distancing Gifting

This is treat-or-treating—sort of. Instead of going door-to-door, create a Halloween bag for your neighbor with some of your favorite treats then leave it on their front doorstep with a note inside to pass it on. Then they can create a bag for the next neighbor and so on.

If you have a close-knit neighborhood like we do, this is a fun idea for the kids so they don’t completely miss out. Plus this can be done over a few days so when a bag of goodies shows up at the front door it’s a surprise!

halloween treatsgirl in halloween costume holding snacks

Make Some Spooky Snacks

Just because you’re not throwing a party doesn’t mean you can’t make party food! What will you snack on while you’re watching Casper? Pull out the baking tins and whip up some of your favorite spooky snacks with the kids. And it doesn’t all have to be sweet and sugary—there are plenty of fun Halloween treats that are healthy and yummy that you can make at home!


This year will be the first Halloween in 19 years to have a full moon. Full moons on Halloween are pretty rare. The last time there was a full moon on October 31, it was 2001 — and before that, it was 1955. The next one won’t occur until 2039.


Halloween Dance Party

For us, this one is a no brainer. We have random dance parties all day, every day, so a Halloween-inspired dance off is perfect for us. Make sure your playlist is Halloween-themed—“The Monster Mash,” “This Is Halloween,” or even “Thriller.” It’s your dance party, let your kids pick their favorite spooky songs then get down and boogie!

Check out Boss Baby Brody’s dance videos! Subscribe to City Girl Gone Mom on YouTube!

mom and kids at halloween girl decorating for halloween

Scary Stories Around the Fire

If you have a fire pit in your backyard, a fireplace in your living room (or even a bunch of candles on your coffee table), gather the family around to tell each other scary stories! You can make it a game to see who tells the scariest or silliest story. Depending on your child’s age you can also make this storytime, and read them their favorite Halloween-themed book.


Keene, New Hampshire, holds the record for the most jack-o’-lanterns on display. In October 2013, the city broke the record with 30,581 lit pumpkins around town.


mom and kids for halloween

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