“Are you trick-or-treating this year?” seems to be one of the top questions parents are asking friends and online strangers right now. And though many families are adamant that they’re still going trick-or-treating despite COVID-19, others have decided to partake in other activities throughout the month that might allow for new family traditions around Halloween instead. Here are a few of their ideas.
This is an informational post, not medical advice or recommendations.
1. Have a Spooky Movie Night
Make popcorn or caramel apples, something fun that you only make together on this special day. Then turn on a family-favorite fall/Halloween movie or TV show. This is definitely best for older kids, but even the little ones may enjoy an evening of Halloween episodes and family time.
2. Go Decoration Hunting
I don’t know about your toddler. but mine is obsessed with finding scarecrows, spider webs, pumpkins, skeletons, and Halloween decorations galore wherever we go lately. So much so that I’ve started a running list with local homes that have decorations for us to drive by all month long! It’s become a fun Halloween hunt for us, and a great little activity for daytime or evening walks & car rides.
3. Start a Costume Contest
A fun family costume contest might be just the thing to brighten your kiddo’s day. You can all dress up based on a theme, or come up with your own costumes and try to make them based on what you have around the house. If the kids are looking forward to picking out costumes at the store, let them wear them for the costume contest, or even all month long (maybe while looking at decorations).
4. Get Pumpkin Decorating (or Carving)
An afternoon with craft supplies and pumpkins? What could be more fun? Turn your pumpkin into a mouse, into a house, into their favorite character, or a scary jack-o-lantern.
5. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Have the kids “trick-or-treat” around the house by looking for clues to find the next surprise. You can hide candy, toys, or the movie for family movie night. Older kids might enjoy a glow-in-the-dark version of this activity.
6. Bake Halloween Treats
Work as a family to create some delicious Halloween themed treats! These could be special recipes made year-after-year or something new you found on Pinterest. Maybe make a game of trying to create a Halloween treat that looks just like Pinterest!
7. Decorate the House
Have everyone in the family pick which part of the house they want to decorate (inside or outside) and then do a walkthrough of all the fun ideas everyone came up with! Toddlers love to help decorate and preschoolers will want to do it all themselves. The older kids may need a contest or creative reign as a nudge to participate. Once all decorations are up, watch as decoration hunters or regular trick-or-treaters enjoy your family’s hard work.
8. Make it a Game Night
If your family doesn’t regularly have family game nights, Halloween will be a great time to start one! Pick up a Halloween themed game or create your own! The kids could even do little mini-contests for building with candy or playing card games to win Halloween prize baskets or gift cards.
7. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Many pumpkin patches are now open and offer fun mazes and other activities for families to do on an admission-basis to limit the number of people on-site at any given time. The good news is the admission often includes a pumpkin! Check your local pumpkin farms to see when they’re opening and how you can safely support them (and get those cute pumpkin pics).
8. Throw a Bubble Party
Throw your own caramel apple, pumpkin carving carnival of sorts with close friends and family in your COVID bubble. A get-together might include most of the items listed above like a scavenger hunt, Halloween movie, costume contest, and pumpkin decorating. Or it could simply entail eating some tasty food and catching up with family.
9. Got to a Trunk-or-Treat
Some communities are gathering together to put on a trunk-or-treat, where kids go to trick-or-treat from car to car instead of door to door. It’s on a smaller scale than regular trick-or-treating and in a less crowded environment, which some families find to feel safer.
Did I miss any other options? Please share your ideas in the comments below!