Halloween is a top-grossing holiday and consumer spending will hit record highs in 2016. Young and old alike eagerly anticipate trick-or-treat, spending an average of $83 per person on costumes, spooky house venues, decorations, and candy. Not everyone looks forward to #Halloween, however. Some children are terrified by scary costumes. Some parents are rabidly anti-Halloween. But most parents only want to avoid the creepier aspects. Is it possible to celebrate a haunt-less Halloween? Absolutely!

Halloween alternatives 

Try Truck-or-Treat or Trunk-or-Treat. Organize a parenting group to pass out candy from the trunks of their cars or truck beds.

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Choose a non-spooky theme, like Disney movies, and host a costume contest. Families can even decorate vehicles in keeping with theme. Establish safe houses. Ask around your neighborhood to find out who plans to decorate with a haunted theme. Map out a trick-or-treat route that bypasses those homes.

Alternative Halloween costumes

Sick of the ultra-scary or "sexy costumes"? Opt for educational costumes. There's a whole world of non-scary costume ideas to choose from. Base costumes on characters in children's literature, kids' shows or nursery rhymes. They might dress as famous people, favorite animals or in occupational attire. Encourage kids to create costumes from recycled materials. This saves money too.

Group Halloween games to avoid door-to-door dangers

Host a candy hunt. Maybe you live far from town or in a rural area? That makes trick-or-treating challenging enough as it is.

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So skip door-to-door. Instead, hide candy in the yard and let children hunt for it. Let children dress in costume. If you have a large piece of property, this could be a great adventure.

Do a LARP candy quest. Turn your backyard or house into a non-spooky, live-action role play Halloween video game. Decide on a theme and let children invent a character and create costumes. Parents or older siblings might draw a treasure map, set tasks children must complete or write riddles to help little ones find candy

Play Life-size CandyLand. Create a living CandyLand board game in the backyard. Invite neighbors to participate. Adults dress as characters and create stations based on the game. Pinterest has tons of ideas for costumes and DIY prop tutorials.

Skip Halloween altogether and do a harvest festival. Focus on fall. Set up autumn crafts and game stations in your barn, backyard or garage. Make a hay maze. Hide candy in leaf piles. Carve or paint pumpkins. Bob for apples. Make popcorn balls.

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Serve cider and donuts. Make homemade donuts. Provide lots of non-candy snacks. 

Pay Halloween holiday forward

Visit nursing homes for trick-or-treating. Here's a win-win idea: children get to trick-or-treat in safe, controlled environments and lonely elderly folks get to enjoy Halloween with the kids. Check senior homes in your area for trick-or-treat opportunities.

Turn one of the Halloween game ideas into a fundraiser. Teach children that Halloween can be about giving as well as getting. Sell tickets and donate the proceeds. In lieu of a fee, collect canned goods for a food pantry. Gather animal care supplies for your local Humane Society.

Be sure to film the frolics, to share video copies with family far away. Non-scary Halloween is just as fun. It just takes a little ingenuity and resourcefulness for everyone to have a good time. #TrickorTreat #Health