Not everyone likes to get spooked. Halloween can be a time to be wary of strobing lights, excessive gore and motion-sensor-activated ghosts. If you have a child who is sensitive to stimulation, consider these alternative activities.
Hand out treats from home.
One way to ensure a calm environment is to not stray from home. Celebrate the spirit of the holiday by putting on a charming movie such as “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.
Host a low-key, friends-only party.
Keep it chill with a friends-only party that you know your sensitive kid will enjoy. You control the menu, activities and soundtrack. Everybody loves those classic “dirt cups” that are made out of Oreos, pudding and gummy worms; making popcorn balls is always a fun hands-on activity; and who doesn’t love dancing to “Monster Mash”?
Check out community events near you.
Not everyone is into Halloween. Some churches and community centers offer alternative “harvest parties” that are open to all and celebrate fall-themed fun, costumes, food and games without the spookery. Civic organizations get in on this, too. A quick Google search for events happening in your area should give you plenty of options.
Trick-or-treat at local businesses.
There are plenty of pros to this plan: Well-lit, safe and friendly, bottomless buckets of candy at your disposal — check, check, check. You could also pull that classic parent hack of picking up some shopping essentials while you’re out. You didn’t think you’d get the full day off for the holiday, did you?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published a few years ago, and updated in September 2022.