After talking with some friends about their Halloween plans, so far it looks like about half of them will be letting their kids trick-or-treat, and half are looking for ways to celebrate Halloween with taking any health risks. I mean, granted, some of our kids will be wearing masks but they're not exactly medical grade. And of course, your kids can always wear their costumes at home--they probably already do anyway.

Thankfully, there are many fun ways to enjoy this spooky holiday closer to the house:

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Have a movie night with spooky movies. I know there are scary movies galore on the various streaming platforms. Yes, some are more geared toward adults, but there are many others that you may be okay with your kids enjoying. A few that come to mind?

Some of my favorites to watch this time of year are Practical Magic, Casper, Ghostbusters, the Harry Potter movies, or even "scary movies" from decades past. Somehow watching a black and white film about a ghost is more charming than frightening to our de-sensitized modern eyes. ;)

Make fun snacks with your family. Hey we decorate cookies at Christmas time, so why not during Halloween? Instead of gilding your sugar cookies into snowmen and Santas, why not create your own little cookie monsters. I also love popping popcorn and doing different fun flavors. Create a "topping bar" and let everyone fix up their own bowl before sitting down to watch aforementioned spooky movie.

Set the musical mood. I adore listening to Danny Elfman's music this time of year. He's the guy who wrote the music for movies like Edward Scissorhands and Nightmare Before Christmas. (Also great movies to add to the movie list.) Something about his style evokes feelings of whimsical spookiness that are so much fun.

Teach your kids a "magic trick." This could be as simple as a card trick or you could go all out and buy one of those how-to books and see what you can come up with together.

Take a nature hike. This is a delightful time of year to tromp about outside. If it's been awhile, go to a pumpkin patch and pick out a few. If you'd rather not carve a foreboding glare into the face of your pumpkin, make it happier. Or if you'd rather not involve knives at all, you can also paint them.

Any other ideas you could add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Here's to a safe and happy Halloween to come for all of our kiddos--young and old.

Also, never underestimate how much fun playing classic board games as a family can be. Here's a few to consider: