Is it even possible to have a socially distant Halloween?
As autumn events around the U.S. announce their cancellations, many of us are wondering… is Halloween canceled too?
We certainly hope not. It just might look a little different.
This year feels a bit like we’re all living in a horror movie. We’ve already sacrificed so much from vacations and visiting grandparents to school and graduations. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up the holidays just yet.
With some creativity and flexibility, we think a fun, safe, and socially distant Halloween is absolutely possible.
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Don’t Skip The Costumes
Halloween costumes are still an absolute must.
Part of the Halloween fun is brainstorming the perfect costume. I know my kids spend weeks (or even months!) thinking about and designing it.
Some important considerations:
- While admittedly scary, dressing up as a virus isn’t a cute idea. It will likely rub your neighbors the wrong way. Too soon.
- If you plan on going out in your costume, consider choosing one with a built-in mask. Think ninjas, doctors, astronauts, monsters, etc.
- Brainstorm costume ideas the kids would want to use for dress up later on in the year to get the most use for them.
You Can Still Decorate for a Socially Distant Halloween
Decorations are the most socially distant Halloween activity there is!
In fact, plan to go crazy this year.
Decorating your house both inside and out allows you to celebrate as a family all month long. Not to mention it puts a smile on the face of your entire community.
Trick-or-Treating in 2020
It is absolutely possible to have a safe, socially distant Halloween trick-or-treating experience this year. It just might look a little different than previous years.
When organized within your community, this can be a fun idea!
Kids dress up in their costumes and sit outside their houses during designated hours.
Adults from the neighborhood drive by and throw candy in their direction.
Ditch the Halloween Bowl
The thought of multiple people reaching their hands into a bowl of candy is enough to make many parents cringe.
Ditch the bowl of candy and opt for preportioned bags. Or at least lay individual candies out on a table so they don’t have to rifle through a bowl.
Socially Distant Trick-or-Treating
Have neighbors set up lawn chairs on their driveways or porches during a set time. Kids can parade through the neighborhood showing off their costumes.
Tables with candy can be safely set up at least 6 feet away from the neighbors.
This way kids get the exercise and thrill of walking through the neighborhood. Neighbors get to see the costumes and wave to the kids from a distance. And everyone still gets to enjoy some candy!
Find Trusted Neighbors
If you want to be cautious but also want that true Halloween experience, keep it small by going to a few houses of friends who you know are socially distancing to your comfort level.
If you are worried about the candy being contaminated from multiple hands reaching into dirty bowls, consider quarantining your candy.
Buy some of your favorite candy ahead of time to indulge in on the night of. Then you can save the collected candy for a few days down the road when any germs have likely died off.
Skip the Knocking Altogether
Go on a walk to see the decorations, just skip the knocking-on-doors part.
End the night at home with a big bowl of candy that you purchased yourself. Bonus, you don’t have to worry about any of that cheap, subpar candy. Win-win!
Business as Usual
If you opt to participate in the usual and customary Halloween festivities, good for you! Just make sure to stay safe.
Ensure that you, your children, and your neighbors are all wearing masks appropriately. We also recommend keeping each house visit short.
Halloween At Home
If your community isn’t doing any trick-or-treating, or your family isn’t feeling comfortable going out, you can still have a festive Halloween at home.
Candy Scavenger Hunt
Take a page from the Easter bunny and hide the candy this year.
You can hide a candy bag or each individual piece. This also makes a great indoor or outdoor activity. It’s also easy to accommodate a wide range of ages by adjusting how hard the candy is to find. If you really want to get creative, try out these glow in the dark eggs for hiding.
If you’re hiding the entire candy bag, consider organizing a scavenger hunt with clues.
Trick or Treat at Home
Little kids will definitely have a blast trick or treating from room to room in the house.
To up the fun and authenticity, cover all of the interior doors of the house with spooky Halloween decorations. Your toddlers will probably enjoy knocking and shouting ‘trick-or-treat’ over and over.
Let’s be honest, you will likely tire of this activity first.
Haunted House at Home
Older kids are less likely to be thrilled by at home trick or treating, but they may be up for a haunted house.
Pick an area of the house (a basement is ideal) and go to town with the spooky decorations. Based on your kid’s ages, you can make it more scary or more silly.
Then your kids can explore it and you can even pop out to scare them.
Older kids may even want to get in on the scare-ing so you can take turns.
**An Important Note: Some kids will love this, but some would be legit terrified. It is definitely not for everyone. You know best whether it will be fun or too frightening for your children.**
Throw A Party
You can still have a fun party with just the members of your household.
Pump up the jams and dance to Thriller or The Monster Mash in your costumes! You can break out some glow sticks for a fun treat.
Play some games! Halloween Bingo is a fun, festive option. Or try out a classic and ‘bob for apples’!
Some creepy decor and festive finger foods set the mood.
Start A New Tradition
Take this year as an opportunity to begin a new family tradition.
For instance if your kids are into crafting, you could make some fun Halloween decorations together. Here is a whole post full of Halloween crafts for kids.
Or maybe you decide to watch a scary movie or make Halloween cookies. There’s so many fun and festive things you could incorporate into your holiday, we have a great list of ideas here.
Check Out The Decorations!
In lieu of trick or treating, you could just walk the neighborhood and take in the sights.
Just like you may go out to see Christmas lights, many people really go all out with the Halloween decor (especially this year when most of us have more time at home).
This is a fun way for young kids to feel like they get to show off their costume. Take it up a notch by referring to your walk as a “parade”.
And in the event that the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can hop in the car instead. A few candy snacks and a cup of apple cider can make the ride feel extra special.
Try To Stay Upbeat
It’s been a tough year. We’re all feeling the strain.
It’s been tough on everyone, including our kids. Plus, they pick up on our emotions too.
This Halloween might be different, but that doesn’t have to mean bad. Keeping a positive outlook about the holiday can help our kids do the same.
The idea of skipping the trick-or-treating is sure to be disappointing for many children. But that doesn’t have to ruin the holiday.
You can still have a fun and awesome socially distant Halloween. In fact, your attitude can help shape your child’s.
The creative celebration you come up with this year could end up being the one your child remembers as the best ever.