14 Ways to Celebrate Halloween With a Toddler That Aren't Trick-or-Treating

14 Ways to Celebrate Halloween With a Toddler That Aren't Trick-or-Treating
Image: iStock.com/amillionsighs

toddler in costume on halloween

I recently asked a mom friend if she wanted to go trick-or-treating with our toddlers, who are both under 2 years old. As we went over all the plans for Halloween night, we quickly realized, our kids don't even eat candy. In fact, they can't walk long distances or even say trick or treat. And their bedtime routine starts before the neighborhood kids are done ringing doorbells. So, this begs the question: honestly -- what's the point at this age?

Sure, it's exciting for first-time parents like us to celebrate big milestones and holidays. But Halloween can be a tricky one for the pre-candy age.

More from CafeMom: 15 Adorable Toddler Halloween Costumes That Even Non-Crafty Moms Can Make

Say one is excited about the fun costumes and treats, but not quite ready to take a tot trick-or-treating yet? Luckily, there are still fun activities to partake in. I asked my mom friends to give me some creative and fun ideas so that those moms with toddlers who are not of trick-or-treating age can still enjoy Halloween. Here are some of my absolute favorites!

More from CafeMom: 5 Not-Too-Scary Halloween Stories for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Whether a crafty mama or a baker, or whether one loves at-home parties or are more into day trips, there's a Halloween idea here for everyone that both mom and toddler will enjoy -- and that will save moms from having to explain to their 2-year-old why she can't eat that Jawbreaker in her plastic pumpkin. 

  • Throw a Halloween Egg Hunt


    "Parents can have a Halloween egg hunt using their Easter egg hunt eggs. Put Halloween stickers on Easter eggs to make them more festive for the occasion. If you can't give your kids candy, fill the eggs with other things or nothing at all and make the activity purely a game to find the eggs around the house." -- Hannah H., Rockaway, New Jersey

  • Go See a Jack-o'-Lantern Display


    "If you live in a town that has a lot of cute shops that will be putting out decorations, that's a fun activity for little ones who can't quite trick-or-treat yet." -- Maria S., Bloomfield, New Jersey

  • Go to a Local Trunk or Treat


    "Trunk or treats were great for my almost-2-year-olds last year. People decorate their car trunks, and kids go from car to car taking pictures and -- yes -- collecting candy too (even if they can't eat it)!" -- Nancy T., Hamilton, New Jersey

  • Host a B.Y.O.P. Party

    kid painting pumpkin
    Vivienne Mendoza

    "You can have a B.Y.O.P. party where kids bring their own pumpkins to paint or carve (if they're old enough, that is). Just put a tarp or blanket to lay on the floor around them because it can get messy, especially with toddlers." -- Vivienne M., Bridgewater, New Jersey

  • DIY With Pinterest Help


    "I steal a lot of fun craft ideas from Pinterest around Halloween season." -- Claire S., Bel Air, Maryland

    Claire has made "ghosts" using paper plates and cotton balls. You can also cut a potato into the shape of a pumpkin and dip it in paint so your kids can use it as a stamp for fun crafts too.

  • Hand Out Candy


    "My kids loved handing out the candy to the big kids who would come to the door. That way, they get to see all of the fun costumes." -- Claire S., Bel Air, Maryland

  • Prepare a Spooky Dinner

    halloween dinner
    May Walker

    "When my twins were young, I made these awesome 'spiders' out of hot dogs and spaghetti noodles. I would cut up hot dogs and insert spaghetti inside them before cooking." -- May W., North Brunswick, New Jersey

  • Pick Pumpkins

    mom and son picking pumpkins

    Visit a nearby farm where you can go pumpkin picking. It's a fun activity for kids of all ages.

    "At the farm near my house, they have a bunch of activities, too, not just pumpkin picking. You can pick other fruit, go on a hay ride, walk through a corn maze, pet ponies, and more." -- Vivienne M., Bridgewater, New Jersey

  • Visit a Local Fall Festival

    little girl with pumpkins

    "Near me, they have these things called fall harvest festivals that aren't Halloween-y, but have pumpkins and apples to pick. They also do a nighttime walk in the woods to look for owls and other nighttime animals." -- Jennifer M., Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Bake Halloween-Themed Treats


    "I love making those super-easy pre-made dough Halloween cookies. My girls help me make them so it's a fun activity too!" -- Claire S., Bel Air, Maryland

  • Make Monster Rocks

    monster rocks
    Meghan McCloskey

    If you want to paint something other than pumpkins, how about some fun rocks?

    "These are so fun to make! My 3-year-old absolutely loved this project.” -- Meghan M., Portland, Oregon

    Get the complete how-to here at MeghansCraftKits.com.

  • Watch Trick-or-Treaters


    "When my daughter was too young to go trick-or-treating, we put her in a wagon and walked her around town when other kids were trick-or-treating." -- Marie M., Cliffside Park, New Jersey

    Seeing costumes is super-fun for them, and they won't even miss the candy!

  • Watch Mom and Dad Carve Pumpkins

    baby and pumpkin
    Maria Suarez

    Watching a pumpkin carving is just as fun! Just keep the tots away from the sharp objects!

    "I know everyone does [pumpkin decorating], but it's my favorite thing to do. Even at a young age, like right under 2. Just put a garbage bag on the floor and let them [watch]. It's a huge mess, but so worth it." -- Maria S., Bloomfield, New Jersey

  • Visit an Amusement Park

    halloween amusement park

    Don't forget about the amusement parks in your area that have Halloween-themed amenities.

    "When the kids were little, we got dressed up and went to a local theme park. There were a ton of things for the kids to do there, like shows, rides, and trick-or-treating for the older kids." -- Joanna M., Monroe, New Jersey

toddler activities halloween

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