Covid has ruined so many celebrations. From birthdays and graduations, to Christmas and baby showers. We’ve all had to make considerable adjustments to how we connect with the people we love.
The pandemic has been particularly tough on parents who have struggled without their support systems, knowing their kids are missing out on many standard childhood experiences.
With Halloween just days away, we wanted to give you some inspiration for an unforgettable Halloween your kids will love.
Trick or treating might be out of bounds this year, but Halloween fun is still on the table. You don’t have to trick or treat for a fun Halloween.
Covid safe Halloween
Some countries are urging families to avoid trick or treating for disease control during the pandemic. Other countries have different rules because of Covid. While some are going about business as usual, others are in lockdown.
You’ll need to check your government website to find out what the rules are where you live.
Don’t forget to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer and follow the safety protocol that is outlined by the centers for disease control.
Why is trick or treating not allowed during Covid?
If your community is being urged not to celebrate Halloween with trick or treating, it could be because:
- They’re trying to avoid super spreader events. Some countries are clamping down on big events in the hope of reducing community transmission. Large costume parties of unvaccinated children could potentially turn into super-spreader events
- Vulnerable members of the community might prefer to skip trick or treat this year. Those at high risk from Covid might feel worried about people knocking on their door and trick or treating
- They think social distancing might be difficult with large groups of children
- Higher-risk activities are still not allowed in some areas.
Alternative ideas to celebrate Halloween
Although you might feel understandably disappointed trick or treating is off the table this year, fear not – there are plenty of other ways to celebrate. You have still had a Halloween twist this year. We’ve compiled this list of fun and spooky Halloween activities your kids will love.
We’ve all figured out new ways to live during the pandemic, and kids are no exception. Children have embraced the new Covid safe ways of life, from bedtime stories with Granny on Zoom to outdoor birthday celebrations. Now you can show them new ways to celebrate Halloween, too.
Covid friendly Halloween activities
Here are some Covid friendly Halloween activities you can enjoy as a family and with a few friends:
Throw a petrifying party
You might not be able to invite your friends over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t party. Have a Halloween celebration for your freaky family.
Get dressed up in Halloween costumes and make some memories as a family. Be sure to get the parents dressed up too. Kids love nothing more than seeing the stuffy grownups being silly.
You could even invite grandparents to attend a spooky Halloween quiz over Zoom, but they have to be in costume for this virtual costume party.
Decorate the house with cobwebs, bats, and spooky paper chains and create a banquet of creepy foods. You can also do some individually wrapped treats. From mini pumpkins (peeled oranges) to severed finger sandwiches (hot dogs), get creative in the kitchen to impress your kids. Create a Halloween playlist and have a kitchen disco, wearing your costumes.
Killer costume photo shoot
Since you’re getting dressed up for the party, you might as well take advantage of the family all looking their best. You could dress up as a family (Addams family, anyone?) or go as spooky individuals.
Get into character, (your favorite characters), set up a camera with a timer, and take some family shots. Think like a pro, and make sure you have props and decent lighting to perfect your snaps. Be sure to take a mix of family and individual shots.
If you prefer, you could hire a professional to take some scary photographs of you all outdoors from a safe distance (if this is allowed where you live). If not, you can take them yourself with the help of a cheap tripod and a timer.
Hair-raising Halloween trail
If you love the community spirit of Halloween, this is a great activity to organize in your neighborhood. Rather than knocking on doors and trick or treating, a Halloween trail is a walk around the area to find the houses with the best decorations.
This might be a lit-up window display of ghoulish horror for kids to find on their dark autumn stroll or a collection of pumpkins on your front steps.
Try posting on your local social media pages to see if you can get other homes involved. The more houses decorated, the better. A street filled with haunted houses will bring the Halloween spirit home. Once other people have joined in, you can create a simple map highlighting the decorated houses on Google Maps to share online.
Local families can walk the trail in their own time, looking out for the best houses along the way. If you live in a competitive neighborhood, you could ask people to vote for their favorite house, too.
Children can go out in their Halloween costumes, which gives this activity a typical Halloween feel. Be sure to social distance from other families along the way, though.
Sinister serve-yourself sweets, trick or treat
If the idea of Halloween without candy is giving you bad vibes, you might like this idea. Trick or treaters can still fill their candy bowls, but you won’t need to worry about spreading Covid. Small treats are the best – whether it’s candy, plastic eggs, candy chute, great pumpkin, face mask, etc.
Trick or treating isn’t a great idea because when households mix they can spread the virus, but leaving sweets out for people to help themselves should be ok. It’s worth checking with your local authority to see whether this is allowed where you live.
It might not be traditional trick or treating, but it has all the fun of trick or treat without the risk. Opt for individually wrapped candies to reduce germs from grubby fingers.
You could create a washing line of creepy candy bags so that children can help themselves outside your property. If you’d prefer more of a hell-raiser vibe, you could drill holes all over a pumpkin to stick lollipops in so that kids can choose their favorite.
Get your kids to decorate a big sign with the words TRICK OR TREAT so people know they can grab sweets as they pass.
Terrifying treasure hunt
If you have older kids who like to be spooked, they will love this terrifying treasure hunt in the dark. Hide candy and other treasures in your garden for your children to find.
You’ll need glow sticks, torches, and some treasure. Hide each piece of treasure with a glow stick. You can pop them into a transparent bag together, so they are easily seen in the garden.
Send the kids out with torches to try to find the treasure.
Your kids will love this scavenger hunt in the dark, but be sure to be careful of potential trip hazards. Torches will help them to see where they’re going in the dark.
Mysterious movie night
If you’re a family that loves to snuggle up and watch a movie, you’ll love a Halloween movie night. There are lots of Halloween movies for all ages to choose from. Younger kids will love the TV adaptation of Room On A Broom, whereas older kids will like being spooked by Goosebumps. Of course, Hocus Pocus is a firm favorite with many families.
Treat the family to some matching Halloween pajamas and stock up on Halloween treats for movie snacks if you want to go all out.
Petrifying pumpkin patch
Depending on the rules where you live, you might be able to visit pumpkin patches and pick your pumpkin this year. However, these places are likely to attract crowds, so if you’d rather avoid this, you can create a pumpkin farm at home.
Choose a selection of different-sized pumpkins from your local greengrocer or supermarket and hide them in the garden. Then send the kids out to your pumpkin patch to choose the one they want to carve.
Once everybody has a pumpkin, it’s time to decorate them. There are so many options when it comes to modern pumpkin displays. Some people choose to paint theirs or cover them in glitter. Others go down the traditional route of pumpkin carving, although designs are very elaborate these days.
Younger children might find it easier to draw their design in marker on the pumpkin for you to carve out, but older kids will love doing it themselves.
Once you have a family of beautiful decorated pumpkins, you can set up a display on your front step for the whole neighborhood to admire. Be sure to use battery-operated candles to reduce the fire risk.
Why not whip up some deliciously terrifying Halloween goodies in the kitchen? For example, you could make gingerbread ghouls for the kids to decorate or mummify gingerbread men. Chocolate brownies with lashings of white chocolate drizzled across make great spiderweb brownies.
For savory options, you could knock up some mummified sausage rolls or homemade Jack-o-Lantern shaped pizzas.
If you’re feeling creative, let your kids choose what they want to bake and then challenge them to put a Halloween spin on it.
Children love making a mess, so it’s no wonder they love arts and crafts. Add to your home Halloween decor by making decorations yourselves. You can start this in advance, so it will draw out the fun of the holiday.
Use tissue paper and glue to turn a glass jar orange. Now, you need to add a Jack-o-Lantern face and pop a battery-powered candle inside for a creepy glow.
Toddlers will love using apple halves and orange paint to print pumpkin shapes onto paper. Now all you need are some googly eyes and green stalks, and you have some rather cute pumpkins.
Empty toilet rolls can be painted black and turned into vampire bats. All you need to do is cut out some bat wings and stick on some googly eyes and sharp blood-sucking fangs.
Why not design your own haunted houses complete with unearthly residents? For example, if your children have a dolls house, they could decorate it for Halloween and create a miniature haunted house to play with.
Younger kids will love this sensory activity, and it’s super easy to do. Find some plastic toys, then hide them in a bowl of jelly. Once the jelly has set, leave your children a note from the toys asking for help. An evil witch has trapped the toys, and only your child can free them. Oh, and they have to do so with their bare hands. Things are about to get messy!