Halloween is arguably one of the most fun nights of the year. Everyone gets to dress up in popular costumes, stay up late and eat lots of candy. In fact, people in the U.S. spend about $3.1 billion on candy each year. By the end of the night on Oct. 31, kids and parents alike will be knees-deep in Reese’s, Skittles and every other kind of candy favorite.
If you’re the one staying home this year to greet the little munchkins when they knock and say “trick or treat,” consider handing out something besides candy. You can stand out as the memorable neighbor who handed out candy alternatives for Halloween.
The kids will think you’re creative and cool and the parents will love you for not adding to the sugar mounds piling up back home. We’ve got you covered with ideas for more imaginative options than candy.
10 candy alternatives for Halloween
Whether the grocery store was out of candy or you simply wanted to pass out non-candy Halloween goodies, we’ve created a list of different items that are equally as sweet. We’ve got non-candy treats and non-food items for you to consider. No matter what you choose, it’ll be a hit when the kids go home to count their spoils.
1. Caramel apples
The blend of crisp apples and smooth, sweet caramel makes this the perfect fall treat. You can make caramel apples yourself and decorate them to look like different Halloween creatures. You could stick on edible googly eyes or drizzle white frosting around the apple to make it look like a spider’s web. No matter how you dress the apple, handing out caramel apples is a fun and yummy candy alternative for Halloween.
2. Apple cider or hot chocolate
After walking from door to door, kids (and parents alike), need a little pick-me-up. Brew some apple cider or hot chocolate and pass it out in paper Halloween cups or hand-crafted apothecary jars. You could add some dry ice to the cauldron you’re serving from to add an extra spooky touch. Serve up your potion to trick-or-treaters and they’ll be thrilled.
Go nuts with donuts! Sometimes, people will string donuts in front of their yard or front door and make the children eat it while it’s hanging from a string. This is a fun way to make trick-or-treating even more entertaining! Or you could simply pass out pumpkin-shaped donuts for the kids to have a snack while walking around.
Caramel, cheese, butter or plain popcorn are all delicious candy alternatives for Halloween. This treat is easy to make and wrap up in cellophane bags, tie with black and orange ribbon and pass out to the kids who come knocking on your door.
5. Coloring books and crayons
You can find Halloween-themed coloring books at local grocery stores, art stores, office supply stores or even the local dollar store. Get a stack of spooky coloring books and little packets of crayons and pass them out on Halloween. The candy will go quickly but the coloring book activity will last for weeks on end.
Similarly, you could get decorative pencils and erasers to distribute on All Hallows’ Eve, too.
6. Stickers or temporary tattoos
People young and old love seasonal stickers or temporary tattoos as a candy alternative for Halloween. Purchase a booklet of stickers or temporary tattoos that have Halloween creatures on them. Find ones with spiders, witches’ hats, black cats, eyeballs or ghouls. Pass out one or two per kid and they’ll have a blast using them later.
Bubbles are universally fun. Go to your local craft or party store and get little containers of bubbles from the party favor aisle. You’ll likely be able to find orange and black bottles to make it more festive. You won’t pop the kids’ bubble by not having candy because they’ll be thrilled for the soapy surprise!
8. Glow sticks
Glow sticks make for a one-of-a-kind treat on Halloween. These sticks filled with colored dye glow in the dark when snapped. Kids can snap the sticks, twist them into different shapes and have fun waving them in the dark. Not only are they fun to play with, but they can help keep kids safe on the dark streets as they are walking to and from houses asking for treats.
9. Play-Doh or slime
Sensory toys like Play-Doh or slime are a hands-on treat that everyone seems to love. You can make your own play-doh or slime using DIY recipes. Or you can purchase little play-doh or slime kits as a candy alternative on Halloween. If you want to go even further with the activity, you could hand out Halloween-shaped cookie cutters for the Play-Doh craft.
10. Halloween trinkets
Now, this candy alternative idea is really full of possibilities. Check out your local party store or Halloween pop-up and get a variety of trinkets like spider rings, squishy eyeballs, Halloween rubber ducks, pumpkin decorating kits, novelty glasses or vampire’s teeth. Put them all in a witch’s hat and have the kids pick one treat (or trick).
It’s fun because everyone will get something different and it’ll be a surprise to see who pulls what from the hat.
Treat your neighbors this Halloween with candy alternatives
As your neighbors walk through the apartment complex trick or treating, you’ll be waiting at your door with some candy alternatives to spook them with. Make this Halloween the most memorable one yet when you step away from candy and step into these creative potions we’ve brewed up for you. We think these 10 non-candy options will have just the right amount of magic needed to charm everyone.