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COVID-Friendly Halloween: Trick-or-Treating Tips, Home Celebrations, and Costume Ideas

jack'o lantern placed on brown steps with blue face mask over mouth and eyes lit up looking to the side
October 13, 2020

Halloween is just around the corner, and like everything else in 2020, it’s going to look different this year. Each family needs to make the best decision for themselves about how to celebrate, but here are some tips to keep you safe while having fun.

TRICK OR TREATING

The CDC lists traditional trick-or-treating as a “high risk” activity. However, by minimizing contact it’s reduced to a “moderate risk.” Here are some creative no-contact ways to hand out candy this year.

Candy Web
While contact with packaged food isn’t a huge risk for coronavirus, setting out a large bowl of candy for kids to dig through means more and more germs in the bowl. Use this cute idea to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters while maintaining a safe distance. Janice Van Dyke used this idea one year when she wasn’t home for the trick-or-treaters, and it’s a perfect COVID solution! Use yarn to make your own web and clothespins to attach the candy, or buy a pre-made giant web from a retailer. Hershey’s also has a DIY tutorial for a similar idea!

Candy Chute
Still want to see all the cute little goblins in their costumes? Then hand out candy from a distance with a candy chute! Make one out of PVC pipe, a cardboard tube, or a piece of gutter. Just make sure it’s at least 6 feet long!

Individual Bags
You don’t have to make things overly complicated. Just set out individual bags (or hang them from a board or rope) and replenish them between visitors.

Play Toss!
Mark a spot on your sidewalk for trick-or-treaters to wait. Toss the candy and have them catch it in their bag.

HOME CELEBRATIONS

Staying home this year doesn’t have to be boring! Here’s how to make it special for your kids.

Fancy Hair
Give your child extra-wild “Halloween hair” with these ideas:

Candy or Scavenger Hunt
Just because they’re  not trick-or-treating doesn’t mean they miss out on their favorite part of the holiday. Hide candy around the house for them to find, or take it to the next level with a scavenger hunt.

Pumpkin Carving
Jack-o-lanterns never last until Halloween before rotting, anyway. Save your carving until the day of.

Make Fun Treats (or Turn it Into a Baking Contest)
Find some cute or spooky Halloween-themed treats and make them together. If you’ve got older kids, you can even do a friendly family “Nailed It”-style baking competition and let your friends on social media choose the winner. You could even compete with another family that’s in their own home and compare your results!

Quarantine Family Fun: Baking Competition!

Traditional Games

Do traditional games and activities like bobbing for apples, decorating caramel apples, potato sack races…here’s a great list of 40 to choose from!

COSTUMES

This weird season is rife with relevant costume opportunities. But, let’s try to keep it clean and classy. Here’s a cute one you can DIY:

Hand Sanitizer Costume

DIY HAND SANITIZER COSTUME

And if you just want a costume idea that can easily incorporate a cloth or medical face mask (note the CDC recommends AGAINST wearing a Halloween mask over a protective mask, and warns that Halloween masks do not provide adequate protection against respiratory illnesses), here is a great list!

More tips on celebrating Halloween safely in the time of COVID are available here and here. Have fun and be safe, everyone!

RELATED:

Allergy-Friendly Halloween Treat Options

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