3 Halloween Party Ideas That Have Nothing to Do With Candy

The temperatures are dropping and there’s that unique chill in the air that can only mean one thing… Halloween is near! There’s nothing quite like throwing a party to celebrate the spookiest day of the year… one that centers around creepy creatures and sugar highs. But about those sugar highs… let’s be honest, beyond the energy bursts, they bring with them obvious empty calories and dental risks. While you likely can’t get away with a completely candy-free party, you can throw a less sugar-laden version. Here are three ideas to get you started:

1. Bobbing for apples. It’s a traditional game that’s still kind of brilliant. You fill a tub with water, pop some cleaned apples in it, then take turns bobbing to catch the apple using only your mouth (no hands allowed)! It’s a fun party game that’s sure to prove entertaining – not to mention that everyone wins a prize: their apple. It’s nature’s candy. This year, perhaps everybody gets their own bucket to keep things safely social distant.

2. Obstacle courses. Bring some activity to the party with a DIY at-home obstacle course. You can do this on the cheap: Paint signs and directional arrows on tagboard or even leftover cardboard boxes. Use things you have lying around the house to tie it into a theme. For example, you might start the race by having to put on at least five pieces of costume apparel, then gallop on a broomstick to the second obstacle where you place your forehead on the broomstick end and spin five times. From there, you walk the balance beam over the trail of plastic spiders before having to forage through hanging plastic bats while wearing a white sheet with eye holes (dressed like a ghost) to find the painted black prize key. You get the idea.

3. Pumpkin painting contest. Pumpkin carving might be a bit ambitious (never mind that managing that many kids with carving tools may take a few years off your life), but painting them is doable for kids preschool age and up. Line your tables with newspaper or butcher paper, then equip stations with paint, jewels, feathers, and other craft materials. Let each attendee decorate a pumpkin, then assign each a number. Have everyone vote by number (blind voting so no one knows which pumpkin belongs to which person) and award a prize.

Though, trick-or-treating is most likely part of the ultimate Halloween celebration, it doesn’t have to carry through to the rest of the party: There are lots of ways to have fun that don’t center around candy! Happy Halloween!