Halloween is only two weeks away, and this year everyone is panicked that the scariest night of the year is likely canceled due to COVID-19. The way that kids and parents used to celebrate the spooky holiday (and any special occasion) might have changed, but that does not mean that you cannot still have a Happy Halloween.
There are many different alternatives that you can do to ensure that everyone still gets to have a fun time. You can either have a party at home with family or find creative ways social distance while going trick or treating. Here are some of the best and safe ways to celebrate this year.
1. Decorate your house
Get some store-bought Halloween decorations or create your own and turn your house into a terrifying scene. Add spider webs to bushes, signs, animatronics, jack-o'-lanterns, and/or inflatables (if you do not have cats) to intensify the background. Feel free to also decorate the inside of your house if you want. Some ideas include putting a pumpkin in the window, hanging a scary image on the front door, and putting up Halloween decals.
2. Make a Candy Graveyard
This is a fun way for kids to trick or treat while being socially distance. Place fake tombstones around the front yard of your house. Make individual treat bags with candy and set them down next to each one. Kids can then walk through the graveyard one at a time and collect the candy.
3. Host a Zoom Costume Party or Pumpkin Carving Contest
Invite your friends to a zoom call and have them show off their scary or funny costumes. Host a contest and decide on a winner based on the creepiest and most creative outfit. Put on a playlist of Halloween music to set the tone. You can also have a remote pumpkin carving contest or tell scary stories.
4. Reverse Trick-or-Treating
This Halloween alternative requires driving by houses and throwing candy to the children wearing costumes or delivering it to them. It works just like COVID-19 birthday parades. This is a way to give candy to kids without them needing to walk around the neighborhood. For extra safety, the candy should be wrapped in individual bags.
5. Make a Candy Chute
After everyone heard about the candy chute that Cincinnati dad Andrew Beattie built, they wanted to create one as well. The chute is made using an Amazon delivery tube. It takes 20 minutes to put together, decorate, and attach to the railing of your front stairs. This is a fun and creative way to make contactless trick-or-treating possible.
6. Plan a Halloween Movie Marathon
For those that wish to stay home during Halloween, you can host a Netflix party with family and watch Halloween movies and shows. Whether you want to see a regular horror movie, slasher film or one with comedy depends on what you prefer. If you have young kids, it's best to watch a Halloween-themed movie for the whole family. Get some popcorn and enjoy.
7. Decorate Face Masks
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 you cannot go anywhere without a cloth or surgical mask, but you can still make it festive for Halloween. This is a fun activity you can do with your family. Get a cloth face mask either plain and design it yourself to pair with your costume or buy one with an image already on it. Now you can still go trick-or-treating while remaining safe.
8. Drive-Thru Haunted Houses
Even though crowds will not be able to visit haunted houses this year, they can still go to haunted roads or drive-thru haunted houses. These scary alternatives are becoming popular during the pandemic. Halloween attractions are placed along roads. Drivers head down the path while they get spooked by scare actors and other surprises along the journey.
9. Go to a pumpkin patch
If you have not done so already, head down to the nearest field and get a big pumpkin for Halloween. Safety precautions are enforced however. Be sure to wear a mask, use sanitizer, do not bring too many people, and remember to practice social distancing. The pumpkin can be placed in the window, turned into a Jack O' Lantern or made into a pumpkin pie.
10. Try a Virtual Escape Room
It is fun to visit an "Escape Room" with friends and family. The puzzles are sometimes challenging, but it definitely builds teamwork. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, escapes rooms are now virtual. Find one that is right for you and have fun.
11. Bake Halloween Treats
For those that would like their kids to skip trick-or-treating this year, let them help you create scary or amusing Halloween-themed cookies and snacks. Make skeletons, pumpkins, ghosts, monsters and other creatures. These can be fun treats to have during a family movie marathon or perhaps after dinner. Just because they could miss getting candy this year, doesn't mean they cannot have a fun day.
12. Do a Scavenger Hunt Candy Search
Instead of trick-or-treating, this is a fun activity for kids and even teens. Parents will hide individual bags of candy around the house. Everyone gets a flashlight and has to search in the dark to find the candy. The winner is the person who finds the most bags of candy within 1 to 2 hours. To get into the spirit and make the game more fun, have a selection of Halloween themed songs playing in the background.
13. Have a Family Halloween Party
Even though big Halloween parties are cancelled this year, you can still throw one at home. Put spooky decorations on the inside and outside of your house. Carve a pumpkin, watch scary (or funny) movies, have a costume contest, and enjoy a Halloween-themed cake for dessert. Be creative because the list is endless when you are celebrating Halloween at home.
14. Put a Halloween pinata in the backyard
For those with young children, one fun activity is getting a Halloween piñata, stuff it with a variety of candy (peanut free in case someone is allergic) and have them hit the piñata until it breaks open. Make sure to take turns. Everyone can wear their costumes and it's a great exercise as well. This is a fun way for children to still get candy for Halloween without going trick-or-treating at least this year.
15. Have an outdoor movie night
Similar to drive-in movies that have become popular during the pandemic, one alternative to celebrating Halloween with moderate risk is setting up the necessary equipment and projecting a movie onto an outdoor screen. The film can be scary and mysterious (if you are not watching with young kids) or family friendly. If you want, make it a double feature. You can also invite some friends to see the movie, but make sure it's 10 or less and have everyone sit 6 feet apart from each other.
16. Visit a one way walk-through corn maze
Corn mazes are fun during October, but to avoid large crowds, search for a corn maze or haunted forest that is one pathway. You walk along the trail while keeping 6 feet apart. Although they are not as crazy like regular ones, this activity maintains safety protocols, which is important right now. However, there are enough scares to keep the spirit of Halloween alive, so not all is lost.
17. Have an outdoor costume parade or contest
Instead of going trick-or-treating, kids can have an outdoor parade where they march down the street (6 feet apart) and show off their Halloween costumes. For those who prefer to stay at home, you can stand outside and have a costume contest. You still get to show your neighbors your unique outfits without having to travel around the block. This allows you the chance to get of the house while still getting to enjoy Halloween.
18. Neighborhood Candy Night
This is a fun and socially distanced activity. Tables are set up outside of homes in the neighborhood with individually wrapped candy on each one. Parents drive their kids to the houses, get out to grab one piece of candy each, and then drive to the next house. This is a great system where each block in the neighborhood can safely organize trick-or-treating.
19. Trick or Treat Balloon System
Here is a way to practice social distancing while continuing the fun tradition. Find out which of your neighbors want to take part in the activity. Ask them to attach an orange balloon to their mailbox, and leave some bags of individually wrapped candy on the steps. Try to get a limit of five to seven participants for each block, so kids will know which houses to skip.
20. Remote Trick or Treating
This is similar to the driving system, but different. Instead of handing out the candy or delivering it, parents set up the tables with individually wrapped candy (about 20 to 30 bags) at least 10 feet down the driveway from their house. Parents bring their kids to each house and grab one bag of candy each. This is the perfect way to continue the Halloween tradition while avoiding contact.