Last year we discovered the ribbon pull pinatas. (I don't know the official name for these, but that's what I call them.) The first one we used I bought at Target on sale. We simply don't have a place to hang a traditional pinata and I think our kids are too small to be swinging around a bat in a circle of people.
The way you play is each kid takes turns pulling a ribbon. All but one will pop off easily. Whoever pulls the ribbon attached to the trap door will open up the pinata and let all the candy out. Simple, easy, and SAFE!
Here's how I made our Rapunzel Ribbon Pull Pinata (inspired by a traditional pinata on this blog ).