by Jill P




Halloween is fun, but now it’s time to figure out what to do with all of the Halloween candy. There’s a ton of it, right? Check out our listing for ideas below.

2016 Halloween Candy Buy Backs


Operation gratitude

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude is collecting candy to send to deployed U.S. Service Members. In addition to donating candy, have your children write a letter or draw a picture to be included in the care package. You can also send along toothbrushes/toothpaste with the candy and letters!


Operation Shoebox

Operation Shoebox volunteers love packing boxes year-round with candy, but especially for the holidays. Collect individually wrapped candies (heat-resistant candy is best) and check out the website for shipping instruction.


The Switch Witch

The idea of the Switch Witch is to have your children trade their candy for a special present on the night of Halloween. The switch witch is a GOOD witch and she loves candy, so much so that she is willing to trade toys for candy. The kids leave their candy (all of it, or perhaps a selected amount) out by the pumpkins and in the morning they’ll awake to find a present just for them, courtesy of the Switch Witch. If the notion of a witch coming to your home is a little too scary, she can go by different names such as the Candy Fairy or Great Pumpkin.


Bake With It

Sometimes it’s just too tempting to give all of the Halloween candy away. Here’s 27 Tasty Ways to Use up Leftover Halloween Candy. Halloween Candy Hot Chocolate anyone?



Halloween Candy Buy-Back Programs

If you’re looking for something a little more local where the children can participate, then consider the candy buy-back program. Participating dentists will “buy back” children’s Halloween candy at scheduled events.

Susan M. Dennis, D.D.S.

8150 Moorsbridge Road, Portage, MI 49024 | 269-327-3400

Candy can be dropped off to Susan M. Dennis office on Monday, November 2 from the hours of 8:00 am – 5:30 pm. The office will pay $1.00 for every pound of unopened candy. There will also be a raffle for children to win an iPod Touch! For questions contact the office at 269-327-3400 or visit their website.


Lindenwoods Dental Office



Other Tips To Use Halloween Candy


  • Use it as a filler for gifts – a gift basket or coffee mug filled with chocolate pieces is sure to delight!
  • Let kids practice counting or do their math homework with little pieces of skittles or other candy.
  • Freeze it for later. You can freeze candy in small plastic bags to use for baking or special treats later in the year. You can organize your candy before you freeze it by type, color or your child’s favorites. You can even use your thawed out candy to decorate a gingerbread house in the winter.
  • Make a special Halloween version of trail mix by tossing in a handful of candy pieces with pretzels, raisins, and dried fruits.
  • Use the candy to fill a piñata for someone who has a fall or winter birthday.
  • Did you know that you can use all sorts of candy to do science experiments that will amaze the kids? Get instructions for making lifesaver lights, playing sink or float, getting the “m” off the m&m’s, and lots more at
  • Decorate the house with it. Make a great Thanksgiving or Christmas decoration.
  • If you’re feeling generous, you can even have your kids trade-in their Halloween candy for cash or that special toy that they’ve had their eye on.


Please share any other ideas you have for donating or sharing Halloween candy!









By | 2016-10-27T12:34:11+00:00 October 24th, 2014|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Newly Published, Parent resources|2 Comments

About the Author:

Robin is a native Michigander and mother of two. She has a keen eye for discovering deals and an honest desire to share local activities and family fun. In addition to enjoying early mornings with strong coffee, she likes hanging outside with her kids, biking and reading.


  1. Renee October 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Wow, I love this! Thanks for sharing such a great list!!

    • Jill P October 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks for the feedback!

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