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 since the pandemic started in 2020, everyone’s Halloween traditions have been a little different. I know every family is different, so if you choose to stay at home this Halloween, don’t worry! That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Here are seven ways to celebrate Halloween at home!

mom and kids for halloween

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.”

Watch Scary Movies

This one is almost a no-brainer, but since we’re spending more time at home during Halloween this year, you can let each kid pick their favorites! During your scary movie marathon, 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,” “Hocus Pocus 2” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” are family favorites. For older kids and adults, binge-watch horror movies like “Friday the 13th,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” or “The Exorcist.”

halloween treats

Make Some Spooky Snacks

Just because you’re not throwing a Halloween party doesn’t mean you can’t make party food! What will you snack on while you’re watching scary movie night? 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!

girl in halloween costume holding snacks

Dress Up!

Whether or not you choose to trick-or-treat this season, you can still dress up in your 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 extra scary. And don’t forget to take some photos to remember this unique Halloween at home!

family in halloween costumes

family in halloween costumes

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

Play Some Spooky Games

If you’re looking for something more interactive, why not play some spooky games? You can try traditional Halloween party games like “Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin,” or get creative and make your own scary scavenger hunt. Or if you have older kids, try a virtual escape room or murder mystery game for a thrilling Halloween night in.

Have a Pumpkin Carving Contest

Since you won’t be attending any pumpkin carving parties this year, why not have one at home? After you pick the perfect pumpkin at your local pumpkin patch, get the whole family involved and see who can carve the spookiest or most creative pumpkin. You can even make it a contest with prizes for the winner. And don’t forget to roast the pumpkin seeds for a tasty post-carving snack.

Have a Virtual Costume Party

Take your dressing up to the next level by organizing a virtual costume competition with friends and family! Set a theme, make some fun categories (like “best DIY costume” or “scariest outfit”), and have everyone dress up in their best costumes. Create a virtual costume parade, then you can vote for winners over video chat or social media.

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

family holding pumpkins
boy carving pumpkin

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.

Halloween Crafts

Depending on the age of your littles, you can do everything from quick crafts like coloring books to costume making. What’s great about this is you can also get started with easy Halloween crafts for the whole month 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 out at Halloween parties! 

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

Gift 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 as 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!

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

Full moons on Halloween are pretty rare. The next one won’t occur until 2039.

mom and kids at halloween

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!

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.

couple in kitchen during halloween season


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