This Halloween, there will be spooky activities for locked-up children.

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Traditional trick or treating may be out of the question for thousands of New Zealand children who are being held in detention this Halloween, but there are plenty of other Halloween activities to enjoy.

Orange pumpkin in a protective medical mask, Halloween during covid-19 pandemic times. New normal, year 2020 concept

Trick or treating might be of the cards for many kids this year. Photo: 123rf

Most children LOVE Halloween. They scheme costumes for months, changing from one idea to another, plan tricks to scare their neighbours and dream of all the treats they might gather.

For those in lockdown, Halloween will be a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be fun.

Here is a list of 10 entertaining and spooky ideas to celebrate Halloween, without trick or treating the way we usually do.

Trick or treat at home

Plan a mini trick or treat adventure around your home and garden, hiding treats the children can collect, and some tricks – if you dare.

Make it more fun by getting everyone to dress up, and if you have older children or lots of people in your household, they can play along and scare the kids along the way (if your kids are into it).

Halloween art and crafts

Whether you have five minutes or five hours, why not take some time to create some Halloween art. From spiderwebs made out of ice block sticks and string to creepy puppets, there are plenty of art projects to dig into.

If you have some paper plates lying around home you could make a hanging skeleton or Frankenstein, or try making these paper lanterns.

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Check out more art ideas in the video below:

Spooky movie marathon

Grab some treats, get comfortable and settle in for a Halloween movie marathon. One Auckland mum is doing this with her family and offered the following ideas.

For the under 10s: Coco, Frankenweenie, Nightmare Before Christmas, the Addams Family (animated 2019 one), The Book of Life, ET, Hocus Pocus, the three Hotel Transylvanias, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and the recent remake of The Witches.

For tweens: The original Addams family (1 & 2), Coraline, the original Ghostbusters, Harry Potter movies and Casper.


Perhaps this is the year you finally make a Jack-o-lantern. This website has clear step by step instructions, while this one has some unique ideas on what to carve.

If pumpkins aren’t your thing or you just dread the mission of cutting into them (I understand), try out Jack-o-lantern capsicums instead.

Halloween baking

While we’re on the subject of food, there are plenty of sweet and savoury Halloween treats you can make at home to enjoy.

How about some spider biscuits, slime pie, Dracula dentures or Halloween baked potato pizzas.

Our friends over at BBC have a list of 23 Halloween baking ideas ranging from hooting owl cup cakes to a freaky finger red velvet cake that looks as creepy as it does delicious.

Neighbourhood decorating contest

Get out the cobwebs and the witches you hid away last year and get decorating. If your street or community has a Facebook group, you could dedicate one person to be the judge of the best decorated Halloween house.

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Mum of three and owner of cleaning company Clean for Good Stephanie Ray Ullrich is running a contest in Devonport, where she lives. She’s reached out to the community via the local Facebook group and will be wandering around the neighbourhood with her children on Halloween looking for the scariest house – and handing out prizes to the best three.

Monster make up challenge

Challenge others in your family to a monster make up challenge, and work in pairs to transform each other into creepy creatures. You can buy fake blood, teeth, scars and so on, or just use makeup already in the home and get creative.

Scary science

Get messy and make some glow in the dark slime, or [ghost rockets] using film canisters, citric acid, cornstarch and water.

As expected, The Dad Lab has done it again, sharing some great STEAM Halloween activities to his millions of followers online.

Virtual Halloween party

Join family and friends from anywhere in New Zealand or the world for a virtual Halloween party. Dress up and catch up, and if you’re feeling in the mood, you could have a virtual dance together too.

Chase or be chased

Something younger kids love is to either be chased, or to chase. Have someone in the family dress up and chase them to their heart’s content. Or reverse it, and have them dress up and chase you. Stick some treats to yourself using tape, and you’ll soon see how fast they can really run.

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