Like every other holiday in 2020, Halloween is likely going to look pretty different this year! Some neighborhoods are cancelling or changing their Trick or Treat plans in light of the need to stay as contact free as possible and many families are opting instead for some socially distant, COVID-friendly options to celebrate Halloween this year. This is a great opportunity to get creative and hang on to the fun of the holiday while still keeping your family and neighbors as safe as possible.
Ideas for Socially Distanced Halloween Fun
We asked our team of writers for their best brainstorms for fun and festive ideas to enjoy this Halloween that were as contact-free and socially distant as possible. We also want to remind everyone that part of being as safe as possible on Halloween includes accounting for those with allergies and making an effort to be as allergy-friendly as well. Looking for some ideas that don’t involve candy? We’ve got some suggestions there too!
Trick or Treat Alternatives and Variations
- Create a “Trick or Treat Garden” by taping various candy to sucker sticks or popsicle sticks and placing them all around your yard. Trick or Treaters can grab a stick of their choosing without having to approach your door for close contact. Pro Tip: Don’t do this too far in advance or the squirrels will ruin your beautiful handiwork!
- “Boo” your Neighbors – Leave a little package of treats and a “You’ve Been Booed” sign at your neighbor’s doorstep
Order a Trick or Treat Basket from Little Sprouts Play Cafe! Perfect for families that want a little extra fun this Halloween season. The basket includes bunches of treat and non-treat goodies delivered in a Trick-or-Treat Pumpkin, including: A mini balloon bouquet (helium inflated for pickup & local delivery only), our Halloween-themed surprise ball, spook-free tattoos, Halloween stickers, bunches of Halloween candy (allergy-friendly is an option). CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
- Host a Halloween-themed Egg Hunt: Rather than roaming the neighborhood, get your kiddos dressed up in their costumes to search for goodies and perhaps a trick or two you’ve hidden around the yard. And if you have some leftover plastic eggs lying around from the spring, all the better! You could even hang candy from branches on string or stick them with tape on a fence.
- Vegan Halloween Treat Delivery: A small group of local vegan folk and vegan businesses are pooling together to put on Milwaukee’s First all-Vegan Halloween Treat Delivery!
- Trunk or Treat with a Small Crew: Have a group of friends or family members you feel safe being around (from a distance, of course)? Plan to meet in a public parking lot or line up in a cul de sac and decorate your vehicle’s trunk for a “Trunk or Treat.” Kids can rotate around the vehicles in family clusters to maintain distance while still enjoying the company of your favorite people!
- Candy Chute: Have a railing that leads to your door? Install a PVC pipe down the top so so you can send candy down the tube into the waiting bucket of a Trick or Treater.
- Piñata Party: Build or purchase a Halloween-themed piñata to hang in your backyard or living room. Fill it with goodies, get in costume, and go to town!
- Flashlight Hike: Grab flashlights and wait until darkness falls to go for a nighttime hike complete with spooky stories!
Activities, Games, and Interactive Fun
- Neighborhood Decorating/Pumpkin Carving Contest: Enlist the neighbors for a fun little competition. Vote on the festive decorations or pumpkin carving masterpieces displayed outside the house by virtual ballot or even by walking around the neighborhood in costume and making a chalk tally mark on the sidewalk or leaving a color-coded Post-It Note. Winner gets bragging rights or maybe a gift basket of local goodies!
- Pumpkin Bowling: Use 2-liter bottles and some adorable little pumpkins to create a Halloween bowling alley in your driveway or on the sidewalk. A perfect activity for little ones that can easily be scaled up in difficulty for big kids and grown-ups.
- Outdoor Movie Night: Grab a projector and either rent an inflatable screen or make your own using PVC pipe and a sheet or just use your garage door to create an outdoor movie theater. Set up seating with camp chairs or pillows and use a fire pit or patio heater for warmth and enjoy a Halloween classic flick. Some of our teams favorites: Hocus Pocus, Ghostbusters, Hotel Transylvania, Casper, Addams Family, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Halloweentown
- Disney Halloween Fireworks: Enjoy these amazing fireworks via video (preferably on a big screen) thanks to Disney Parks on YouTube!
- Halloween Yoga: Yup, Cosmic Kids has a Halloween Yoga Adventure! This is the perfect activity for before naptime or bedtime or post-movie.
- Host a Potions Class: Ever thought about how cool it would be if the Potions lessons from Hogwarts were real? Surprise your kids with a real life Potions Class! Grab glasswear from the thrift store and some spooky decor (like spiderwebs) and use some ready-made printables and simple ingredients (like baking soda and vinegar) to have an interactive experience that doubles as science class!
Halloween Sweets, Treats and Drinks
- Make Pumpkin Butter: Delicious, seasonal and easy enough to make that even the small chefs can help, you’ll want to slap this stuff on everything. Awesome as an apple dip too!
- Serve a Halloween-themed Feast: Pinterest is your friend here! Turn pretzel rods into witch fingers. Croissants wrapped around hot dogs become mummies. Use a bat-shaped cookie cutter to make spooky shaped sandwiches. Guacamole on hard-boiled eggs becomes zombie brains. Get creative and have fun making food into the Halloween activity!
- All Things Pumpkin and Apple: Do we even need a reason to indulge in these delicious fall recipes?
Crafts and Creative Fun
- Scary Mask Making: Grab some simple supplies (paper plates, markers, glue, googly eyes, paint, etc.) and everyone make a scary mask
- Pumpkin Painting: A variation on the carving, use tempura paint to either paint with brushes directly on the pumpkins or try a unique rainbow drip painting technique.
- Face Painting: Even if you can’t take your amazing creations around the neighborhood to show off, grab some face painting kits to create fun creatures or art on your face and post photos on social media or send to family members.
- Make Scarecrows: All it takes is a bunch of clothing (flannels, jeans, etc.) and a whole lot of straw or leaves and you can make a family of scarecrows to grace your front porch or yard.
- Write Your Own Ghost Story: Make it Mad-Libs style or just write from scratch a spooky story of your own creation. Don’t forget to illustrate it! Each family member then gets a turn telling their spooky tale by the light of a flashlight.
- Learn about Global Traditions: Go beyond just Halloween! Research and larn about the different traditions this time of year, like Dia de los Muertos, All Saints and All Souls days, the Autumnal Equinox, Samhain, and more.
For the Grown-Ups
- Host a Virtual Murder Mystery Party: Costumes optional, but how fun would it be to grab snacks and beverages and participate in a “who-dunnit” via the computer with your friends?
- Costume Game Night: Use the House Party app to meet up with friends or family for a game night, but do it in costume! Decide on a theme (i.e. Pop Stars, Characters from a TV Show, etc.) in advance but leave the big reveal until you log on!
With a little creativity and patience, plus a willingness to be flexible, this Halloween can still be as fun as ever! What are your plans for the holiday?