9 Halloween Alternatives for Christian Families

Mother and daughter carving pumpkins at home

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Many Christians choose not to observe Halloween. As one of the most popular holidays in our culture—for some, more celebrated than Christmas—it presents a unique challenge for Christian families, especially when children are involved. Rather than discuss all the "whys" and "why nots," and what the Bible says about Halloween; instead we'll explore some fun and practical Halloween alternatives to enjoy with your family.

A better option than focusing on the negative aspects of Halloween might be to turn the holiday into a positive, relationship-building tradition for your family. These ideas offer creative alternatives to customary Halloween activities. They are simple suggestions to start you thinking and planning. Add your own spin and there's no limit to the possibilities for family fun.

01
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Fall Carnival or Harvest Festival

A boy plays on a tractor at a harvest festival

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Holding a Fall Carnival or Harvest Festival has been a popular Halloween alternative among Christian churches for years. These events give children and parents a place to go and celebrate together with other families on Halloween night. Bible-themed costumes offer an endless source of amusing choices.

A new variation to this tradition is to create a carnival atmosphere. With well-thought-out planning, you can involve groups from within your church to host carnival booths. Each group can choose a theme, such as a "hoola-hoop" contest, or a gourd toss, and set up a carnival midway of entertaining games. Craft activity booths and creative prizes can also be incorporated. You'd better get started now!

02
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Youth Pumpkin Patch Fun-Raiser

Boy and girl picking pumpkins in a pumpkin patch
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Instead of the usual youth car wash fundraiser, why not plan something totally different this year to raise money for the youth winter camp or teen mission trip? Consider helping your church organize a pumpkin patch and create an exciting Christian alternative to Halloween. The church youth can sell pumpkins, with profits going toward funding their next youth camp. To pump up the interest level, other pumpkin-related activities can be incorporated, such as a pumpkin carving contest, a pumpkin cook-off, a carving demonstration, or even a pumpkin bake sale.

Another option is to organize a pumpkin patch project with your neighbors instead. One family might even sponsor such an event on a small scale in your own neighborhood as an alternative to trick-or-treating.

03
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Family Pumpkin Carving

Mother and children carving pumpkins

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For a more family-centered Christian alternative to Halloween, you might consider planning a pumpkin carving project. This is a great way to cultivate fellowship with the members of your family. Conclude the festivities by partaking in a slice of homemade pumpkin pie! Remember, family traditions don't have to be gigantic, just memorable.

04
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Fall Decorating

Scarecrow decoration
Janice Chorlton

Another home-based Halloween alternative is to plan a fall decorating event with your family. The changing season inspires the atmosphere for the occasion, and by including the whole family in the process, it becomes both meaningful and memorable.

05
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Noah's Ark Party

Cookies for a Noah's Ark Party

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A Noah's Ark party could either be planned as a church-wide event or one you could host for neighbors and friends. Read the account of Noah's Ark in Genesis to get inspiration for your planning. For example, party food selections could follow a "pet food" or "feed store" theme.

06
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Skate Party

Person Roller Skating in Illuminated Rink

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Consider helping your church organize a skate party at a local skate park or arena for an alternative to Halloween. This could also be planned on a smaller scale with a group of families, neighbors, and friends. Children and adults can have the option to dress up in costumes, and other games and activities can be incorporated.

07
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Evangelism Outreach

A man walks past an advertised haunted house

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Perhaps your church would like to take advantage of the holiday to plan an evangelistic outreach. Halloween is the perfect night for an outdoor venue in a park. You can rent a space or use a neighborhood park. Music, drama presentations, and a message can easily draw a crowd on a night when many are out and about. Consider involving the youth of your church. Put together a cutting-edge sound and some well-rehearsed dramas, complete with makeup and costumes. Make it an attractive, quality production, and the interest level is sure to be high.

Some churches even put together a "haunted house" and invite the crowd inside to hear an imaginatively delivered evangelistic message.

08
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Creative Witnessing

Closeup of a gravestone

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Another idea is to make Halloween a night for creative witnessing. Some Christians go "all-out" for Halloween, turning their front yards into a graveyard scene. The gravestones are engraved with Scriptures that prompt visitors to think about death and eternity. This type of creative witnessing usually sparks questions and various opportunities to share your faith.

09
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Reformation Day Party

Illustration of the Great Reformers
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In honor of Martin Luther nailing his famous 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door on October 31, 1517, some Christians hold a Reformation Day party as an alternative to Halloween. They dress up as their favorite Reformation characters, play games, and engage in trivia challenges. One suggestion is to re-stage the Diet at Worms or the debates between Martin Luther and his critics.