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No Tricks Here: Halloween Treats Gift Guide

No Tricks Here: Halloween Treats Gift Guide

Heading to a Halloween or harvest-themed bash? Bring the gift of fall

Jane Bruce

Be the best guest at the party and bring these festive treats.

We’re big believers in the giving gifts here at The Daily Meal because, really, who doesn’t like presents? With Halloween around the corner, swap out the usual wine and baked goods go-tos for treats that will surely please the crowd.

What makes these gifts so festive? They’re orange-colored, chocolate-based, and have a hint of spooky.

Our guide, filled with treats perfect for recipients young and old, will make mouths water — beware: your computer screen isn’t edible.

From pumpkin truffles from Godiva to curious cookies from Eleni’s and Harry and David’s edible house — yes, a haunted edible house — and more, we’ve got you covered on what to buy for your pals during the Halloween season!

These are definitely not your average trick-or-treat candies — we’ve upped the ante and you should, too.


No Tricks Here: 5 Local Treats to Enjoy—and Share—this Halloween

Trick-or-treat? We’ll stick to treats made locally. Here are five of our favorites.

If you have school-aged children like we do, I’m sure you’ve heard about being BOO’d. The premise is fairly simple: fill a bag with treats and leave it on your neighbor’s doorstep along with a message that says, “You’ve been BOO’d.” Then, your neighbor affixes the message to their window and then they have to BOO two more people.

In a weird way, it kind of reminds me of Ring-and-Run. Only now, you leave treats in the middle of the night instead of just running away provoking your neighbors to call the cops on you. All kidding aside, being BOO’d is a sweet way to say “hi” to your neighbors and a fun way to kick off this festive holiday.

So when my kids asked me what we were putting in our BOO Bags this year, it got me thinking: could we turn this into a neat little way to support local businesses too?

I ran the idea by the kids and after explaining why I wanted to do this, they got on board with the idea pretty quickly. I’m pretty excited to take BOO’ing to the next level and ditch the mass-produced candies in favor of some locally sourced goodies.

To help you get started, here are 5 of my children’s favorite local treats.


All-Treats, No-Tricks Guide to Vegan Halloween Sweets

With the most sweets-centric holiday just around the corner, it is crucial that we each take a moment to scan our pantries and decide whether or not we are prepared for Halloween. So stop brainstorming costume ideas and make sure you are well-stocked with treats that are free of dairy, gelatin, and other things that go bump in the night before the flood of trick-or-treaters arrives!

Finding inexpensive vegan Halloween candy at the grocery or convenience store is a breeze, with many products making the cut. VegNews offers an incredible list if you want a deep dive, but some easy-to-find names include Airheads Taffy, Charms Blow Pops, Hot Tamales, Pez, and the much-beloved Swedish Fish.

If you’re a culinary whiz and want to wow your guests with homemade treats, Halloween cuisine, being mostly defined by sugar and spooky presentation, offers recipes for all skill (and patience) levels.

Rest in Semi-Sweet Pieces Brownies
makes 12 generously sized burial plots

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup crushed Oreo cookies
  • 12 Vienna Fingers cookies (or similarly shaped cookies)
  • Black cake decorating gel (many varieties are dairy-free)

Preheat the oven to 350 o F.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the wet ingredients. If desired, add chocolate chips and/or chopped walnuts to the mix.

Pour mixture into a greased 9″- x 13″-inch baking pan, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. While the brownies are baking, use the gel to decorate the Vienna Fingers as gravestone markers, leaving the lower third of each cookie blank.

While brownies are still warm, push Vienna Fingers into the brownies, evenly spaced. Once the brownies are cool, cut out the graves between the “markers”, then place the crumbled Oreo cookies in mounds in front of each marker.


62 Frightfully Delicious Halloween Dessert Ideas

Whether your Halloween style is spooky, kooky or somewhere in between, these sinfully sweet homemade desserts are g uaranteed to thrill at your next monster mash . Discover our creative ways to dress up cupcakes, cookies, candy apples and more for Halloween.

Related To:

Bubbling Cauldron Brownies

Double, double toil and trouble! Bewitch your party guests with these two-bite, bubbling brownie cauldrons topped with a whimsical witch's hat.

Marshmallow Spider Web Donuts

Serve up some creepy-crawly fun this Halloween with these purple candy-dipped donuts covered in marshmallow "webs." A spider candy mold is needed for this recipe and can be found at most well-stocked craft stores and online. You can also use ready-made gummy spiders for an easy shortcut.

Lucky Black Cat Pretzels

Made from salty pretzels and creamy chocolate, there&rsquos nothing to fear from these cute Halloween kitties (besides eating a few too many).

Candy Bucket Cake

Remember that pumpkin-shaped candy bucket you took trick-or-treating as a kid? Recreate it in cake form by stacking two bundt cakes together, smothering them in orange icing and stuffing full of your favorite Halloween candy. This nostalgic dessert is surprisingly easy to make and will elicit plenty of "boos" and "aahs" from your party guests.

Candy-Covered Apple Pops

Kiddos will love this fun treat that uses leftover Halloween candy to decorate dipped apple slices. Serve these handheld desserts as a Halloween party snack or whip some up with the family after the trick-or-treating is over.

Goofy, Green Monster Apples

Turn tart apples, dried fruit and nuts or seeds into healthy treats for your favorite trick-or-treaters &mdash they'll love the silly monster shapes and you'll love that they're getting their daily serving of fruit.

Candy Corn Brownies

Candy corn? Meh. Candy corn brownies? Yes, please. Colored sanding sugar gives basic brownies an instantly recognizable, Halloween upgrade.

Surprised Ghost Pretzels

How cute are these salty-sweet party treats? Arrange them on a tray or add them to a big bowl of party snack mix at your next soul-ful shindig.

Frankens'mores

Delight your Halloween party guests with this frightfully cute spin on a classic campfire recipe. Turn chocolate-covered graham crackers filled with gooey marshmallow into a Frankenstein-themed treat pop for a fun-to-eat party favor.

Bundt-kin Cakes

Grab a mini bundt cake pan to craft these petite pumpkin pastries. Topped with ooey-gooey orange glaze and peppermint leaf candy stems, these handheld desserts will put anyone in the Halloween spirit.

Scary Strawberries

Take a bite out of Halloween this year with these spooky-cute fruit monsters. Paint terrifying chocolate monster teeth onto blood-red strawberries for a treat that's equal parts healthy and horrifying.

Candy Corn Layer Cakes

Fall&rsquos favorite candy gets reinterpreted as a colorful mini cake &mdash just the right size for little guests. The exposed, layered look is easy to recreate and makes a gorgeous centerpiece when displayed on a cake stand on your Halloween table.

Furry Snowball Monsters

How cute are these marshmallow-coconut cake creatures? Serve them at your next not-too-spooky costume party or save the recipe for a night of Halloween baking fun.

Cake Pop Eyeballs

Kids' favorite party treat &mdash cake balls &mdash get a ghoulish makeover for your Halloween get-together. Just the right size for small hands, these sweet treats made with red velvet cake and cream cheese are sure to get two thumbs up from your favorite trick-or-treaters.

Spooky Candy-Dipped Apples

Looking for a fun Halloween project to do with the kids? Well, look no further! These candy-dipped apples look just like a jack-o&rsquo-lantern and are as much fun to decorate as they are to munch.

Pumpkin Pudding Dippers

Treat small Halloween guests to a snack-size cup of pudding that looks like a mini jack-o'-lantern. With just three ingredients, they're a snap to make and a great interactive Halloween activity for kids &mdash especially since they get to eat their creations when they're done.

Mummy Cupcakes

Cupcakes are adorable treats for any party, but when frosted like mummies, the kids won't be able to resist them. Surprise your favorite ghouls and ghosties with this sweet Halloween treat that's fun to make and even more fun to eat.

Pumpkin Clementines

Candy's great and all, but a treat that's cute, yummy and healthy? Sign us up. Here, peeled clementines get the pumpkin treatment with the addition of green gumdrop "stems." Find more ways to spook-ify your fruit below.

Witch Hat Sandwich Cookies

Bippity-boppity-brew up a batch of these one-bite, witchy treats for trick-or-treaters and guests alike. Follow our recipe to make the dark chocolate cookie base from scratch or save time with store-bought sandwich cookies.

Rice Cereal Monsters

Classic rice cereal treats get a spooky upgrade with the addition of frightful toy vampire teeth. After finishing their dessert, little monsters can wear their souvenirs for a night of monstrous fun. Get the recipe and our free 'Beware of Monsters' printable sign below.

Easy Halloween Cake Pops

Kids love food on a stick &mdash especially cake pops. Make your own using a basic cake pop recipe then coat the balls in orange candy coating. Top with black nonpareils for a pretty, bite-size Halloween treat.

Mummy Snack-Cake Pops

Transform a box of Twinkies into a terrifying troop of mummies with a layer of ooey-gooey chocolate and frosting "bandages."

Halloween Peppermint Patties

A candy corn-colored mint filling makes up the cool, crisp center of these homemade peppermint patty candies. Serve them to guests or surprise your neighbors with a package of sweet DIY treats this Halloween.

Toasted Marshmallow Fruit Dip

This year, take a healthier approach to Halloween and celebrate with a tray of spooky-cute fruit and toasted marshmallow dip. This delectable fruit dip calls for only two simple ingredients and is toasted lightly to create a crisp, crave-able topping.

Candy Corn Surprise Cake

Candy corn lovers unite! An avalanche of sweets spills forth when you cut into this yellow, orange and white bullseye cake. But the best part? Each slice looks like a giant candy corn kernel when cut.

Ghoulish Cake Pops

Halloween cake pop ideas are endless &mdash get creative and dream up fun new ways to decorate your own this season. These adorable, edible ghosts were made by securing chocolate chip "arms" to the cake balls, drenching them in melted white chocolate, then finishing with cute candy eyes.

Marshmallow Jack-o'-Lantern Cookies

These little jack-o'-lantern marshmallow bites are as cute as they are tasty. Make the orange, sugar-covered marshmallows several days ahead of your Halloween party to save time (and stress) the day of.

Haunted Gingerbread House

Who says gingerbread houses are just for Christmas? Grab the kids and settle in for a night of ghoulish fun crafting miniature candy corn wreaths, broken chocolate bar windows and marshmallow spider webs to decorate your own edible, spooky shacks.

No-Bake Pumpkin Truffles

Three ingredients are all you need to make these perfectly seasonal pumpkin pie truffles. Get the instructions plus more delightful ways to use a can of pumpkin pie filling below.

Licorice Broomsticks

Sweep guests off their feet with these easy-to-make licorice broomstick snacks. Print our free flag template onto card stock and glue to the top of rock-candy sticks for an extra-magical presentation.

Poison Apples for Halloween

Just one taste of the poisoned apple will . have your guests coming back for more! Made from b lack food coloring and branches from the garden, these delicious candy apples are not actually poisoned, but certainly look it. Learn how to create this spooky twist on the classic fall treat at the link below.

Mummy Haystacks

Combine crunchy potato sticks with smooth butterscotch, creamy peanut butter and melted white chocolate to create these irresistible, salty-sweet desserts. They're so good, we won't blame you if you want to keep them under wraps.

Sweet + Salty Popcorn Mix

Mixed with candy corn and drizzled in sweet almond bark, this popcorn snack is too good to pass up. Mix up big batches for Halloween get-togethers or to pass out to your favorite trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Cupcakes-in-a-Jar

Layers of devil's food cupcakes and creamy orange frosting make up this pretty, handheld Halloween dessert. Mess-free glass jars are p erfect to take on the road to holiday parties, give as gifts or bring to school events. They're also an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic or wax paper containers &mdash just rinse and reuse.

White Chocolate-Dipped Candy Apples

Welcome autumn in style with these elegant, candy-coated apples. Embellishments like a sprig of gilded greenery and a leaf-shaped kraft paper tag will look gorgeous on your rustic yet refined fall dessert table.

Pumpkin Pie Phyllo Bites

Crunchy, creamy and packed with mouth-watering pumpkin filling, these bite-size treats are basically mini pumpkin pies. Make a batch for you and you crew, then package up a few more to deliver to friends and family this Halloween. Get this recipe plus more treats you can make from a can of pumpkin pie filling below.

Boo-Nilla Milkshakes

Transform basic vanilla milkshakes into frothy, friendly ghosts with just a few basic craft supplies and swirly whipped topping.

Chocolate + Red Wine Chiffon Cake

There's something about red wine and chocolate that feels downright seductive, especially when those sinful flavors are combined in a devilishly delicious chiffon cake. Grab your favorite collection of ghost stories, pop open a bottle of pinot noir and celebrate All Hallow's Eve with this oh-so-tempting dessert.

Pretzel Webs

These beautiful, delicate webs are easier to make than they look. Arrange pretzel sticks in concentric groups of nine on parchment paper. Heat white candy melts in 30-second intervals in the microwave until smooth, stirring between each interval. Pour melted candy into a sandwich bag or piping bag and snip off a small corner. Pipe a large glob in the middle of the pretzel circle to "glue" the ends together, then pipe a thin circle of melted candy about a 1/2 inch out from the blob, then another 1/2 inch out from the first circle. Add a raisin or candy spider to the center, then refrigerate until candy is set.

No Bones About It

Mini candy bones give these marshmallow treats a crunchy texture kids love. To create them, skewer a regular-sized marshmallow onto a 6-inch lollipop stick. Dip into melted chocolate and, while the chocolate is still warm, roll in candy bones (we found ours in the baking section of our local craft store). For a perfect presentation, display in small cupcake liners and top each stick with a little black bow.

Creepy Cranberry Pecan Tart

Who needs blood and gore when you can give off understated creepy vibes with blood-red cranberry filling, instead? This sweet, crunchy tart is filled with the decadent cool-weather flavors of fresh cranberries, pecans and gooey caramel and it's purple-black hue look right at home on a Halloween dessert table.

All Eyes on "Boo" Cookies

Give basic sugar cookies a spooky upgrade by dividing store-bought dough into fourths and adding different food colors to each fourth. Bake following the normal process and once done, add candy eyes to each cookie before they cool for an instant snack table upgrade.

Crunchy + Sweet Popcorn Treats

These irresistible, sticky popcorn balls are chock full of chopped chocolate bars, chocolate chip cookies, salted almonds and colorful candies. Serve them up at your Halloween party or package them in cellophane to give as favors or gifts.

Skellington Pops

Instantly recognizable and easy to recreate, Jack Skellington's smiling, spooky face transforms plain white cake pops into dessert table superstars. Make your own using your favorite white chocolate cake pop recipe or pick up some plain, premade pops from your local bakery and decorate them at home using an extra-small piping tip and black icing.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake

Combine all the best flavors of fall in one tasty autumn-inspired treat. Coffee cake is topped with pumpkin spice buttercream to create bite after bite of delightful pumpkin spice latte goodness.

Zombie Push Pops

The best thing about these spooky pudding cups? Half the work is already done for you. Find ready-made edible zombie hands and empty push pops in the baking aisle of your local craft store and pick up the classic cookie "tombstones" at the grocery store. Fill with your favorite chocolate pudding and crushed cookies and you've got a dessert to die for.

Speedy Spider Cupcakes

In a hurry? Pick up some ready-made chocolate cupcakes from your grocery store bakery and quickly transform them into spooky spiders with the addition of chocolate sprinkle "fur," candy eyeballs and licorice legs.

Banana Mummies

Satisfy your sweet tooth while getting your daily serving of fruit with these white chocolate-wrapped banana mummies.

Candy Bar Cookies

There's no such thing as too much chocolate &mdash especially at Halloween. Turn leftover Halloween candy into decadent, chunky cookies with our easy recipe.

Marshmallow + Pretzel Skeletons

White-chocolate-covered pretzels and marshmallows combine to create a fun Halloween treat that kids will love helping to assemble before they devour them.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Dress up your classic chocolate brownie mix for fall with rich swirls of pumpkin-flavored cream cheese. Find this recipe and more at the link below.

No-Bake Owl Snack Cakes

Say happy "Owl-Oween" with these cute woodland creature-inspired snack cakes. Banana-flavored marshmallow snack cakes can be found at most well-stocked grocery stores, but if you can&rsquot find them, chocolate or oatmeal snack cakes are tasty alternatives.

Allergy-Friendly Spider Pretzel Cookies

Beware of any food allergies guests may have with this gluten and peanut-free dessert. Sandwich sunflower butter between two, round gluten-free crackers, then insert 8 gluten-free pretzel stick "legs" dipped in melted chocolate. Top with more melted chocolate and finish with allergy-friendly candy eyeballs. You can even make these treats dairy-free by using melted dairy-free chocolate chips . Note: Always check and double-check ingredient labels before serving to guests with allergies.

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Bat Cups

Looking for a fast and easy dessert to conjure up for your next witchy tea party? Remove the filling from store-bought chocolate sandwich cookies, then cut the cookies in half to make wings. Use icing or melted chocolate to attach wings to bite-size peanut butter cups, then finish with fun, edible googly eyes. Abracadabra! Guests will go batty over these scrumptious treats.

Gelatin Worms

Really want to gross out your guests? Serve them worms &mdash delicious, edible worms, that is. These creepy-crawly critters are made by pouring red or orange gelatin into straws, then squeezing them out when set. Get this recipe and more at the link below.

Spider Web Cookies

Create the display by mixing up cupcakes, cookies and candies, all tied together by their black and white color scheme. Royal icing spider webs add an elegantly spooky feel to the cupcakes. To make royal icing decorations, simply pipe your desired design (using thick royal icing) onto parchment paper, and allow to fully dry. Royal icing transfers are very delicate, so be sure to make more than you'll need.

Jack Skellington Marshmallows

A whimsical addition to your Halloween cocoa bar or served in a bowl on their own, these marshmallows inspired by the Tim Burton classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas, scream "This is Halloween, this is Halloween!" To make your own, grab an edible black food coloring marker and reference a picture of Jack Skellington to draw his face onto jumbo white marshmallows.

Vampire Cookie Sandwiches

Eat if you dare! To make these spooky sweets, cut store-bought chocolate chip cookies in half and cover the back of each half in blood-red icing. Place four mini marshmallows along the edge of the bottom cookie half, top with the other half (like a sandwich) and finish with almond-sliver fangs.

Drunken Gummy Worm Margarita Cupcakes

Who said cupcakes are just for kids?! This adults-only version turns your favorite creepy-crawly candy into a boozy sweet treat.

Half-Wrapped Cookies

Need to throw together an easy dessert ASAP? Go the semi-homemade route with these mummy-inspired treats made from store-bought cookies. Dip milk chocolate-filled sandwich cookies halfway into melted white chocolate. Lay cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the fridge until firm. Melt more white chocolate and spoon into a piping bag or sandwich bag. Snip off a tiny corner of the bag and apply lines of chocolate in a zig-zag pattern across the cookies. While chocolate lines are still wet, press two chocolate chip "eyeballs" into the top portion of the cookie. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes.

Zombie Cinnamon Rolls

Zombies have a very &hellip specific diet. Luckily, everyone loves cinnamon rolls, so these gross-out guts are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Donut + Pretzel Spiders

Donut be surprised when these sweet and salty spider treats disappear. To make them, insert pretzel pieces into store-bought chocolate donuts and seal the holes with melted semi-sweet chocolate. Finish with some edible googly eyes for a funny, not-too-spooky dessert that monsters of all ages will love.


No Tricks Here: Halloween Treats Gift Guide - Recipes

Boo! The season of spook has officially begun, which means it's time to choose a scary costume, carve a ghoulish jack-o-lantern, and watch your vegan candy pail overflow. Here at the VNHQ, we love everything about Halloween&mdashfrom overdosing on vegan candy to baking fluffy pumpkin bread and downing a glass or two of witch's brew, there's nothing about All Hallows' Eve that doesn't delight our devilish side. This year, take the business of trick-or-treating to the next level with our favorite potions, party tips, and spellbinding sweets.

Halloween stands alone as the only holiday we can think of that centers almost entirely around sugar. And for this reason, we, and our dentists, look forward to it with great anticipation. While over-indulging in candy and sweet treats such as Gooey Pumpkin Brownies sets the obvious standard, don't forget to balance out sugar-highs with savory, pre-witching-hour dinners as well. From scrumptious Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing to Creamy Harvest Pasta, there are plenty of hearty recipes to serve before ripping open those vegan candy bars. And, if you can keep a batch of Pumpkin Spice Delights looming in your kitchen for more than 10 minutes, well, lets just say you clearly didn't invite us to your Halloween party.

Need more recipes? VegNews and VegWeb have more than 13,000 vegan recipes at the ready. Get cookin'!

Whether you're planning a kid-friendly evening of vegan candy collecting or a festive adult fête fit for Frankenstein himself, these tricks and cruelty-free treats will make this your most exciting Halloween ever. If tips for carving a seriously scary jack-o-lantern are what you're looking for, consult VN contributor Dan Piraro's ghoulish guide. Or, maybe our trusty list of vegan-friendly candy can make your haunted holiday a little less stressful. Whatever your needs, these tried-and-true tips will put the monster mash in your graveyard smash.

Vegan Candy Guide click here
Eco-Conscious Costumes click here
Crafty Pumpkin Carving click here
Apple Picking Adventures click here
Vegan Trick or Treating click here
Throw a Monster Bash click here
Pumpkin Patch Picking click here
Homemade Vegan Candy Corn click here
Creative Costume Ideas click here
Product Review: Pumpkin Spice Soymilk click here
Product Review: Hot Apple Cider Tea click here
Product Review: Maple Leaf Cookies click here
Product Review: Organic Licorice Twists click here
Product Review: Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts click here

Some of us define having a great Halloween as performing the "Thriller" dance after a few too many vegan candy bars, but apparently there are other ways to have a scary good time. From walking costume-clad in veggie pride parades to entering your homemade goodies in a vegan candy competition, these stellar events happening around the US are spirited ways to spend All Hallows' Eve.

LOS ANGELES: COK Halloween Party click here
LOS ANGELES: Veggie Pride Costume Parade click here
SAN FRANCISCO: Haunted Veg Shindig click here
MINNEAPOLIS: All Hallows' Eve Fête click here
AUSTIN: Vegan Halloween Party click here
BOSTON: Veg Food Festival click here
NYC: Veggie Conquest Halloween Bash click here

Who doesn't love a good bargain, especially when stocking up on vegan treats for family and friends? Saving a penny now means more cash for vegan candy bars&mdashwhich we're sure you'll agree is a win-win. Don't miss these great deals!

From all of us at VegNews and VegWeb, we wish you a very happy, haunted Halloween!


SOCIALLY DISTANCED HALLOWEEN IDEAS

If you're a returning reader, you already know I have a general list of socially distanced party ideas that covers everything from birthdays and anniversaries to graduations. With Halloween coming up, I wanted to get specific. Halloween has always been one of my FAVORITE holidays, and all kids love it. After all, this holiday is all about dressing up and getting free candy. I can't think of any kid who doesn't love that. I love that with a little creativity there are absolutely ways we can all STILL keep our plans, but maybe just done a little different. I'm giggling at the term "Coronaween" that I've seen floating around. So, I've come up with some ideas that involve zero physical contact and way more than six feet of separation to help you celebrate this spooky holiday without worry. If you like to plan WAY in advance, these no contact Christmas ideas are amazing, too.

If you're like me, I love to plan ahead. Having festivities up in the air is stressful, so exploring all of the options no matter what the scenario helps. These socially distanced party ideas for Halloween will allow us to keep some normalcy while still taking some precautions if you choose. Use these ideas to host a great party for Halloween or as a stepping stone to something else that might be even more epic - and physically separated. Let's get to haunting!

NO CONTACT TRICK OR TREATING IDEAS

Lets face it. The treats are the BEST part of Halloween. Here are some fun ways to ensure everyone gets mostly treats and no tricks!

NEIGHBORHOOD CANDY NIGHT

This one gives kids all the fun of trick or treating with none of the contact. You might want to plan earlier in the day on Halloween or on a the day before so uninvited guests don't drop by. Get together with the neighborhood parents and create your own candy night for the kids. Each candy host can set out a table with individually wrapped and packaged candies OR treat boxes. Plan it so that only one family can pull up to each home and take one item each from each bowl that has been set out. After every child in the family has taken a piece, the next family comes through. Be sure to have the kids wear their costumes so everyone in the neighborhood can see.

Make sure to plan ALL of the details out so that everyone knows the rules in advance so there is no confusion during the timeframe. Be sure that only ONE family comes to the buffet at a time. It's also a good idea to have disinfectant wipes on hand so parents can wipe down candy as they put it in their kids' trick or treat bags.

TRICK OR TREAT BALLOON SYSTEM

Was scrolling on Facebook when I saw someone share a fun idea. Rally up your neighbors and see who wants to participate in trick or treating. Have them tie an orange balloon to their mailbox if they are participating. That way everyone knows where to go and where to skip. Participants can leave pre-packaged treats outside their doors if they want to avoid contact or use some of the tricks below.

HALLOWEEN CANDY HUNT

Think Easter Egg hunt, but make it Halloween Candy. Depending on your plans, you can do this with just your own family, neighbors/neighborhood OR join up with a few other trusted families to plan one. Can be indoors or outdoors. Create your own fun.

REMOTE TRICK OR TREATING

Same fun, different approach. Leave individually wrapped treats on a table or tray about 10 feet down your driveway from the house. It's a great way to keep that traditional Halloween feel without having any contact whatsoever.

USE A GRABBER TO GIVE OUT CANDY

Love this idea for a more personal way to hand out candy. Use a grabber or tongs to pick up the candy from the dish to hand out. Easy peasy no-contact Halloween candy solution! They have some pretty cool grabbers out there. Think skeleton hands or witch hands. Muah ha ha.

DRIVE BY PARTY TABLE FOR HALLOWEEN

If you want something a little simpler, be the host with most! Set up a party table outdoors and invite your friends, family and neighbors to come pick up a party box filled with fun individually wrapped Halloween treats and candies that they can take home with them. Be sure to stagger your invite times for easy no contact pick up.

SET UP A COMMUNITY HALLOWEEN PHOTO BACKDROP

This is a fun way to get to have fun dressing up in costumes and making for a memorable holiday. One or more families can host a halloween photo backdrop in their driveway. Families can take turns coming to get their photos taken in their costumes.

Have participating families donate individually wrapped treats and candies that kids can pick up after their photoshoot.

NEIGHBORHOOD DECOR PARTY

Get together with some families in your neighborhood and see if they want to join forces is decorating outside extra special for Halloween. If everyone is on the same page, you can plan to have things lit up so that everyone can walk by and enjoy them. Take it to the next level by individually wrapped treat bags at the end of the driveway for easy pick up on the walk through.

HALLOWEEN CAR PARADES

We've all heard of Trunk or Treating by now, but what about a car parade like the ones so popular for birthdays right now. Deck out your cars and arrange for a fun drive-by. Switch turns so everyone gets a turn to watch.

Phew! That's all I got for now. I will update this list in the upcoming months as I come up with more ideas.

Now onto other ways to celebrate Halloween.

SEND HALLOWEEN SURPRISES

I've been pretty obsessed with the idea of sending surprise treats to friends and neighbors. Ever heard of Booing or getting Boo'd?

This would be PERFECT for Halloween, too.

One of my favorite ideas are boxes where surprise balloons pop out when opened along with other goodies.

AMP UP YOUR HALLOWEEN FESTIVITIES

If there's anything I know, it's that keeping as much normalcy as possible is EVERYTHING. So this year, why not do it even BIGGER and SOONER. Decorate for Halloween both indoors and outdoors. Get the whole family involved. The garage is a fun place to decorate if you're into creepier ideas.

How to take Halloween decorating even more special?

VIRTUAL DECORATING PARTY IDEAS

For many of us, one of the best parts of Halloween is decorating. We can turn that activity into a group party using Zoom, Facetime, Snapchat, and other similar apps to decorate with friends or family. Using these apps, the kids can talk to each other about what decorations are being put up, show each other the decorations as they go up, and even make suggestions to one another. For the adults, this is a great way to foster community, as well, giving us an outlet for human contact without actual contact. Don't forget the snacks!

VIRTUAL MOVIE NIGHT

We all have smartphones, and at this point with all the homeschooling, we also all have Zoom or some other form of video conferencing. We can use that to our advantage to have a virtual movie night. You and your fellow parents can choose a couple of movies - or more if you want to make it a virtual sleepover - on your favorite streaming service so the kids can all virtually watch together. Pop up your popcorn, throw a big double-handful of candy into a bowl, and set the kids up for a night of movies. Synchronize your movies, and fire them up at the same time. The kids can all enjoy the Halloween entertainment together, and they even get to have their candy!

VIRTUAL SLEEPOVER

You can extend the fun with a virtual sleepover. Have plenty of snacks on hand and lots of entertainment like movies and video games (most kids these days have online play). The same idea as a virtual movie night applies here, except that the kids will be up all night having fun. The only downside to this is that you will also be up all night. 😉 Of course, if Halloween falls on a weeknight, you'll have to wait for your Halloween celebration until the weekend, but it will be worth it. Some fun things you can do during your virtual sleepover include movies, snacks, video games, and telling scary ghost stories (make sure you have flashlights for that spooky face glow)!

SOCIALLY DISTANCED PARTY IDEAS

Remember, just because we choose to be physically apart doesn't mean you need to be emotionally separated. Use these socially distanced party ideas to help keep the sense of community that we all need so desperately and have a ton of fun in the process.

MORE HALLOWEEN IDEAS

Celebrate a cute and spooky movie night with this adorable ghost cake.

Live where it's warm like I do? These Frankenstein popsicles make for creepy fun.

Looking for something hauntingly hearty? This fun mummy snack board will be a hit.

Do you have any fun ideas to share? We'd love to hear from you!

Hi there. I'm all about cute & clever ideas. Food, crafts & coffee make me smile. I've been blogging 10 years and enjoy every minute of it. I adore creating & snapping pics in sunny Florida.


Veggie Villains

Do you frequently put out veggies for your house to snack on? Us, too. That&aposs why we were so excited when we saw this festive platter of veggies with monster eyes from Berry and the Boards𠅊.k.a. one of the cutest ways to eat our veggies that we&aposve ever seen. Not sure how we didn&apost think of carving veggies ourselves, but now that we&aposve seen these jack-o&apos-lantern cucumbers and monster kiwis, it&aposs pretty much the only thing we want to snack on from now ‘til Halloween.


Halloween Treats…No Tricks About It!

Halloween is such a fun time of year. All the cute little ghosts and goblins running around the neighborhood trying to collect as much candy as possible. It’s kind of like the Super Bowl of events for children.

Check out my Halloween printables that are sure to get your little one excited. I’m including a candy and a non candy version to help out those mama’s who have little ones with allergies.

Bugs and Kisses was inspired by my overwhelming amount of spider rings that I have left from an event I did at Halloween. Each treat bag includes 10 Hershey’s Kisses and 3 spider rings.

Here is what you need to make Bugs and Kisses at home:

To assemble the Bugs & Kisses is super easy. The printable has 4 labels on a page. Trim out one and fold it in half and finish by stapling twice at the bottom. Easy peasy!

Children LOVE glow jewelry and on Halloween I’m a pretty big fan, myself. It makes it so much easier to see my littles as they are running the streets in front of me.

Here is what you will need for Web of Friends to assemble at home:

My Web of Friends printable is so easy to assemble you won’t even believe me. Simply print and trim out. Punch a hole in the top right and one in the lower left. I did make two punches together so there was a little more room to slide the glow stick through but one will be just fine. Slide through the holes including the spider ring before going second hole. Done! Easy, right.

Heads up: Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through, order and purchase. As always, I only blog about and recommend products I use and love myself. All opinions are my own.


Trick-or-Treating with Food Allergies

If you have a child with food allergies, you already know the vigilance required, especially when eating foods you haven’t prepared yourself. Halloween can present a particularly tough challenge for families dealing with food allergies 1) because you’re likely to end up with with a wide variety of treats – and that means a LOT of label reading, and 2) because in the excitement of the moment, kids are going to be tempted to get started on their stash as quickly as possible. If you have a child with allergies, be sure to reinforce the importance of caution with them before you head out so that they remember to be patient for the sake of their own safety, even if their friends get to start eating candy before them.

For the issue of food allergy safety during Halloween, we looked to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) for best practices when trick-or-treating with food allergies. Here’s what they had to say:

The Teal Pumpkin Project®

The Teal Pumpkin Project is not only a great way to notify others of your child’s allergies, but it is also a great way to raise awareness of food allergies. By carrying a teal pumpkin collection basket, your child can wordlessly and easily alert others to their special needs. Likewise, if you would like to provide allergy-safe treats, you can place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep, letting families know that you’re providing allergy-friendly treats.

To participate in FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project, you can download free resources, find an interactive map of participating homes (or add your home to the list), get ideas for allergy-friendly treats, and find ways to spread the word. Be sure to check out these incredible resources if you or another family you know is dealing with food allergies this Halloween.

General Safety Tips for Families with Food Allergies

In addition to the Teal Pumpkin Project, FARE has some other great tips for keeping your family safe from food allergies this Halloween:

Make a trade. Keep safe treats or inexpensive non-food items on hand so that your child can trade in an unsafe candies they receive while trick-or-treating.

Instate the “no eating while trick-or-treating” rule, so that you have time to review all food labels.

Stay away from any candies or foods that don’t have ingredients listed.

If your child has an epinephrine auto-injector (epi-pen), keep it readily available, even when out.

Remember that mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size versions of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.

Start a new a tradition and have kids leave their unsafe candies out on Halloween night for the “Good Witch” to collect and leave behind small gifts and safe treats.

Make safe goodie bags for your kids ahead of time and deliver them to your neighbors or friends in advance. Let your neighbors know to be on the lookout for your child and try to stick to the houses that you’ve delivered treats to. This can also be a great way to spread the word about the Teal Pumpkin Project!

Depending on the severity of your child’s allergy, you may want to skip trick-or-treating altogether and have a party at home with safe treats or non-food items.

ALWAYS READ THE LABELS! Remember that recipes change – a candy that has been safe for your child in the past may have different ingredients. Take this opportunity to go through labels with your child and teach them what to look for.


No Tricks Here! Free, Online Halloween Treats for Kids

I love Halloween! It&rsquos one of my favorite holidays, especially since there is so much to do, and it&rsquos so much fun for the kids. I also love that you don&rsquot have to spend a lot of money. Sure, you could go to the store and buy brand-new costumes and decorate your house like crazy, but it&rsquos also a holiday you can do on a budget. Secondhand costumes purchased from Facebook swap groups? Check. Dollar store decorations? You betcha. Hitting up the free local trick-or-treating events? You can bet all of your Fun Size M&Ms on that.

Going online is a great way to celebrate Halloween without spending a penny, never mind a 100 Grand.

If you&rsquore looking to get creative with your little ghouls and goblins this year, there are some great Halloween stencils available at the Totally Inspired blog. There are 15 free, printable Halloween pumpkin stencils which are great for creating awesome jack-o-lanterns, to decorate tote bags or t-shirts, or even to make your own Halloween decor. If you want more of this, The Spruce Crafts has a great list of free Halloween printables for kids, including coloring pages, invitations, and games.

There are loads of Halloween-themed games online at Disney.com featuring characters from movies and shows such as Toy Story, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Gravity Falls, and Phineas and Ferb. At Nick.com, you can find games and episodes from the likes of Spongebob Squarepants and Henry Danger. And, for the preschool set, Nick, Jr. has a section of Halloween offerings, including games, activities, and full Halloween episodes from some of their shows.

One of my kids&rsquo favorite activities is to practice drawing at Kids Art Hub, which a friend introduced us to over the summer. They have a whole section of Halloween drawings to watch and follow for free on YouTube.

A new activity this year is the Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest podcast from Pinna and best-selling children&rsquos book author Adam Gidwitz. I&rsquom especially excited about this treat, because I&rsquove been working as part of the team launching this project!. There will be 10 episodes of this spooky-but-still-kid-friendly podcast, with one released each day from October 21 through October 31. These can be listened to for free on the Apple Podcasts App.

If you are looking for some music to get you in the spooky mood, Pandora has a half dozen Halloween stations to stream, including a Family Halloween channel. You just need a free Pandora account to listen.

One thing about Halloween that I do not love is the pumpkin carving - what a disaster! ABCYa! has a fun, free virtual pumpkin carving game. However, I do love to roast the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin, and my go-to recipe for that is from The Pioneer Woman. I also use this recipe for roasting the seeds from butternut and acorn squash.

Finally, as a parent of a child with a severe peanut allergy, I applaud the work of FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) and its Teal Pumpkin Project. This is a way of making Halloween safe for children with food allergies. Simply print out a sign and hang it on your door, indicating that you are giving out non-food treats for kids who may not necessarily be able to eat the Halloween candy given out by your neighbors. When the big night arrives, have some little toys or pencils or stickers ready to hand out to the children with allergies. I know I have a pile of stuff ready to give out myself.

Have a fun, safe, and frugal Halloween!

Jennifer Niederhoffer is the founder of Impress Media, an independent lifestyle & entertainment public relations and editorial services firm. You can follow her on twitter @impressmedia or @themommysreview.