Creative Halloween Ideas for Grandparents

**UPDATED: September 2023 – Previously Titled: Social Distancing Halloween Ideas for Grandparents (created in 2020, of course, but creatively updated for now)

Back in 2020, I did it! I designated 2020 as the “year of weird.” There just had not been much of anything that year that was “normal.” And Halloween 2020 was no different. Back then, it meant needing to explore social distancing Halloween ideas. . .I mean, isn’t that what we were all doing?

Those social distancing ideas were pretty creative ways to do trick or treating. And since Halloween is the perfect holiday for being creative, it seems that it is worth keeping some of those creative “weird” ways to celebrate. So whether you are helping your grandkids celebrate or treating the kids in the neighborhood, try out some of these creative Halloween ideas.

(As a side note, growing older sometimes means that getting up to answer the doorbell every few minutes is more than we want…or are able…to do. So, these ideas can save you some grief if answering the door gets to be too much.)

Candy graveyard - Creative Halloween Ideas for Grandparents - Adventures in NanaLand

Creative Halloween Idea #1: A Candy Graveyard

This is a fun idea that I saw on the Oriental Trading website. Make a little maze that cuts through your yard and have some fun “stops” along the route. To mark the path, put arrows on the ground, luminaries along the path, numbers, the letters “Happy Halloween”, or just rope it off.

Then have a little sign that says “Enter Here” or “Enter at your own risk” or “Treats This Way.” Whatever you think won’t scare the kids off too much. That way they will know where to begin.

Along the path put out buckets with candy, toys, a sign with a joke, a fun picture, or other decoration, etc. Make it a fun little walk for the kids to go through, but make sure they can go through quickly. You don’t want them to dilly dally on the path.

I think you get the idea. Let your imagination go “weird” and think up some creative Halloween ideas. Check out these yard decor ideas.

Here’s a blog post from the Oriental Trading website on how to do this.

Candy wall - Creative Halloween Ideas for Grandparents - Adventures in NanaLand

Creative Halloween Idea #2: Candy Wall

This idea also came from Oriental Trading. You can put up a “wall” of some kind. You need something that you can decorate and hang candy from. I was thinking a gate from an old chain link fence might work. Or you could stand up a piece of plywood against your house. Or even build a simple stand out of PVC pipe.

After you have your “wall,” just cover it with something festive. You could put up an old white sheet with some spooky black eyes. You could hang strands of Halloween garland or pumpkin leaves. Or you could stand some corn stalks against it. You may even consider putting a giant spider web across it with a giant spider in the corner (not me, thanks, I’m SUPER arachniphobic – eeeewwww!).

From your festive “wall,” hang candy with push pins or clothes pins and let the kids walk by and grab one from the “candy wall.” Here is the idea from the Oriental Trading website.

Creative Halloween Idea #3: Glow-in-the-dark Egg Hunt

We’ve done a glow-in-the-dark Easter Egg Hunt, but what a novel idea to do a Halloween Egg Hunt! This is done the same way as the Easter hunt. Simply put mini glowsticks (1 ½” – 2”) inside colorful plastic eggs. OR you could get some actual glow-in-the-dark eggs. (One thing I like about these eggs is that they are a little bigger than the regular-sized eggs since I like to include either candy or small toy inside the egg.)

If you are using glowsticks, you will want to wait to break the glowsticks until you are within a couple of hours before putting the eggs out for the hunt because they usually only last about 8 hours or so.

As an added bonus, these would also be great for lining the path through the “Candy Graveyard.”

Creative Halloween Idea #4: Decorate a Treat Table

This is one of the most simple creative Halloween ideas. Decorate a treat table and set out treats for the kids to just come by and grab. This can be a really easy way for everyone to get their candy without you having to answer the door each time if that’s a hardship.

Think about decorating your table with a theme. For instance, you could use The Nightmare Before Christmas as inspiration. You could make a mock spinning wheel with Oogie Boogie nearby. You could dress up as Jack or Sally and stand behind the table if you want. Or you could simply have a black and white striped tablecloth with decorative pumpkins on the table. . .and don’t forget the big bow!

You could decorate a table with fun, cutesy pumpkins and cornstalks. Throw in a few fall leaves and you’re all set.

Perhaps you like things a bit more scary and do the giant spider web and spider from the suggestion above. (Again, not me!!)

After you decorate your table, put out small bags of treats for each little ghost or goblin. OR you could poke holes in a pumpkin (with an ice pick or drill) and put lollipops in each hole. Then the trick-or-treaters can just grab out a lollipop as they walk by the table. Here are a few examples of that:

Woman’s Day (a short YouTube video)

Keeping Up with the Kiddos

Creative Halloween Idea #5: Doorstep Drop Off

This idea is more for what you could do for your own grandchildren than the neighbor children. It’s similar to a doorbell ditch secret service but with a Halloween twist.

Prepare a bag of treats (candy, toys, or whatever you like) or a box of Halloween snacks and attach a note that tells them they have been “Boo”-ed. If your grandchildren are long distance, you could send this in a Halloween Scare Package. Here is a printable to download if you would like to use it:

You've Been Boo-ed printable - Creative Halloween Ideas for Grandparents - Adventures in NanaLand

Leave it on the doorstep, ring the doorbell, and hide. At this point, you can either just leave or reveal yourself. Your choice.

Note for those Long-Distance Grandchildren: Simply by design, this works quite well if you send your treats to your long distance grandchildren through USPS or UPS. Because. . .what do THEY usually do? They ring the bell and leave the package on the doorstep. Ha ha! Same effect, but you were able to do it long distance without having to drive all the way yourself!!

Creative Halloween Idea #6: Throw candy – Reverse Trick or Treat

This one is kind of fun for you and the grandchildren. Literally, it’s reverse trick or treating. It’s was definitely the ultimate social distancing Halloween idea by far. Ha ha! However, now it’s just another creative way to celebrate with those Littles.

Have your grandchildren come into their front yard. Then, from your car, you can throw candy out the window into the yard. The children can run around and collect the candy you have thrown. It’s kind of like breaking open a pinata.

Bonus Long Distance Creative Halloween Idea: Scavenger Hunt

Halloween candy - Creative Halloween Ideas for Grandparents - Adventures in NanaLand

This is a fun activity that you can do with your grandchildren a couple of weeks before Halloween.

Hide candy or treats around your home – inside or outside. Then get your grandchildren on video chat with you and start roaming around the room or yard. Turn your camera so they can see the surroundings. Tell them to shout out “Trick or Treat” when they see something.

Collect all the candy or treats into a bucket or Halloween bag. Tell the kids you will send their treats in the mail to them. When you send the treats, don’t forget to write them a fun note telling them how much you enjoyed the activity with them.

For an added measure of fun. When the kids receive your package, tell them to hide the treats at their house and you can be the “seeker” this time. (However, when all the treats are found, please don’t make them send the treats back. That game would be endless. Ha ha!)

I’m sure there are plenty of other creative Halloween ideas that you could come up with. As a matter of fact, if you do, please share them in the comments below!

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