8 Alternatives to Trick or Treating During the COVID-19 Pandemic
October has arrived, and families have one of the most exciting holidays for kids to look forward to at the end of this month, Halloween! Yes, we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, but that also means that families are in need of some normalcy and SAFE fun more than ever.
Fortunately, if you don’t feel completely comfortable with traditional trick or treating, there are still plenty of ways to make the most of Halloween this year and have a blast. These eight alternatives to trick or treating may even be the start of fun, new traditions that can add to your celebrations every year!
1. Boo Your Local Friends
Booing your local friends and neighbors is an awesome way to spread Halloween cheer this month. Simply create a bag of Halloween goodies. Think pumpkins, Halloween decorations, packaged candy, and spooky treats. Then leave it on the doorstep of a friend with an anonymous note with instructions on how they can pass that boo-tiful fun along to others to keep the Halloween excitement flowing throughout your area.
2. Halloween Drive-By
Organize within your neighborhood to bring the Halloween fun right to your home. Kids can dress in their Halloween costumes at a specific time and stand out in their front yards or in front of their homes in a socially distanced way. Then, adults and older kids can drive through the neighborhood gently throwing individually wrapped candy and treats out of their windows as they drive by.
3. Halloween Spooky Scavenger Hunt
Create a scavenger hunt around your house or neighborhood by making a list of frightful clues for your kids to follow. You can make it even spookier by using glow in the dark materials for the hidden items and treats while strolling through a dark evening with flashlights. This is also a great way to repurpose plastic Easter eggs.
4. Trunk or Treat
Choosing a theme, thinking creatively, and then building a fantastic trunk or treat setup at the end of your driveway is a super fun way to extend the Halloween fun throughout the weeks leading up to Halloween. With so many exciting trunk or treat theme options, the preparation will make up practically all of the fun for a family who loves to be artistic together. On the evening of Halloween, you can fill your trunk with treats and sit back in socially distanced chairs to watch trick or treaters come by to grab treats out of your trunk and admire your handiwork.
5. Virtual Halloween Party
Most families have had more than their share of Zooming this year, but while everyone is comfortable using Zoom, it’s a great time to think outside of the box to create a virtual Halloween party to celebrate with friends and family who are not part of your immediate home bubble. You might consider dressing in costume and having a costume contest, carving pumpkins together, playing a game of spooky charades, or creating Halloween crafts.
6. Spooky Halloween Yard Party
If you have a yard or shared outdoor space with an approved place for a fire pit or bonfire, use it as a setting for a spooky outdoor family party. Picture Halloween songs playing, the fire crackling, the family dressed in costumes, ghost stories around the fire or Halloween books being read aloud, and Halloween themed treats roasting over the fire.
7. Trick or Treat Graveyard in Your Yard
This is another option where the creation of it makes up almost all of the fun. Create a graveyard of physically distanced headstones throughout your yard or in a neighborhood park. You can order graveyard props from the store or make them from scratch. You can place bowls of individually wrapped treats at each of the distanced headstones in your yard. Your own kids can take a spin through the yard first to discover their own treats, and then it can be a distanced way for other trick or treaters to visit your home as well.
8. Outdoor Halloween Movie Night
If there was ever a time to buy a movie projector, this is it. Hang a white sheet on the side of your house, and load up your family’s favorite Halloween movies. Picture how much spookier the movie watching experience will be viewing them outside on a crisp and cool October night with the owls hooting in the background and the trees rustling behind you.
Halloween Safety Tips for COVID-19
- Be sure to review the CDC’s latest safety guidelines for celebrating holidays.
- If you plan to celebrate Halloween with people outside of your immediate family, remember that it is always safest for everyone to wear masks that cover their noses and mouths and to spend time together outside in fresh air rather than being indoors.
- When preparing, handling, or sharing Halloween treats and in general, make sure everyone washes their hands often for at least twenty seconds with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer made with at least 60% alcohol if it’s not possible to wash hands and make sure a hand washing station or hand sanitizer is easily accessible for everyone.
- Remember that Halloween can provide the worst kind of scare for kids who have food allergies. If you are booing friends or putting out treats of any kind, be sure to choose treats that do not contain the most common food allergens and/or provide a food allergy-friendly option like Halloween pencils, stickers, or small toys.
- Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others. In addition to the trick or treat alternatives above, consider other safe and physically distanced ways to provide treats for others like candy tables outside of your front door or at the top of your driveway, and creative ideas like candy chutes and treat zip lines.
- Do not use costume masks in place of cloth masks. Masks to prevent COVID-19 should be made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face. The CDC also recommends not wearing a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
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