Last night, the health director of my county let residents know that trick-or-treating is not going to be permitted this Halloween. We all understand that letting dozens of kids rummage in a candy bowl to pick the perfect treat is a health risk in the age of corona. But it doesn’t take away the sting of losing a beloved tradition.
Parents in my social media feeds almost immediately started brainstorming ideas to replace trick-or-treating for all of our kids. Nothing will totally take the place of the annual ritual of kids running through the neighborhood in costume and collecting all the candy they can carry. But with a little creative thinking, parents can make some plans that will be almost as good as a regular Halloween.
- Halloween egg hunt — Let The Great Pumpkin take a cue from the Easter Bunny this year. It’s not hard to find plastic eggs in Halloween colors, or even some that glow in the dark. Fill them with candy and scatter them around your yard for your kids to hunt for at twilight. If you don’t have a yard, you can hide them inside and make the experience spookier by turning off lights and letting the kids use flashlights to find treats.
- Halloween pinata — Who doesn’t love a pinata? Jump online and find a Halloween theme pre-made pinata that you can fill with treats. Or, if you’re feeling crafty, break out the papier-mache materials and let your kids make custom pinata for the occasion. Stay on-theme by using a “witch’s broom” to bust the pinata open.
- Car costume parade — Car parades have been a staple of COVID-lockdown celebrations. Add a ghostly twist to the idea by getting together with friends for a car costume parade. Decorate cars and drive around your neighborhood at sunset. Bonus points if you blast “The Monster Mash” with the windows down as you drive!
- Trunk or Treat — Trunk or treat activities are already popular additions to the Halloween lexicon. Participants set up in a parking lot and hand out candy from the trunks of their cars. If local rules allow for it, a modified version of trunk or treat could make for socially distant fun. Participants can decorate their cars so kids can don costumes and walk by a series of cool displays, while staying 10 feet away from other families, of course. Organizers can pre-pack goodie bags for all kids to pick up at the end of the route.
- Video costume parade — Apps like Flipgrid allow friends to compile and share videos. It’s easy to invite some friends put one together. Kids can dress up in their costumes and film themselves once they’re fully decked out. Add the videos to the app and send it around to all the participating kids so they can see what their friends decided to be for Halloween. Older kids might have fun directing mini-films with lighting, effects, and even a jump scare or two.
- Decorate like crazy — If you ever dreamed of being the Halloween house that people drove from miles away to see, this is your year! Get online and start hitting “Add to cart” to order all the cool outdoor decor you can find. Get those fake gravestones and artificial spiderwebs. Add a smoke machine and lights to project onto the walls. Want a 6-foot tall inflatable pumpkin? Get one! Show your Halloween spirit in a big way!
Do you have more ideas for fun, socially distant Halloween celebrations? Share them in the comments!
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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