Halloween While Social Distancing

Halloween will not look or feel as it has in the past due to Covid-19 restrictions. But with some creative thinking, you can still make this holiday special. Here are a few ideas to get you started. The goal is to keep kids socially distanced and prevent them from all touching the same candy, which seemed so normal just last year. It is also a wonderful chance to start new family traditions and try celebrating in ways you never before considered.  

Say Boo on Zoom. When my daughter’s eighth birthday rolled around in April, we had to think fast to make sure she did not miss out on an enjoyable party with her friends. We had planned to have an animal-themed birthday at a local nature center, so we took the party online. The kids absolutely loved seeing all the creatures on their computer screens and asked tons of questions. For Halloween, you can set up an online party with family and friends and play lots of games. Some ideas include trying to guess who everyone is in their costumes, having a costume contest, doing a quiz such as Name That Tune, and playing Halloween Bingo.   

Parade Safely. We have seen many families over the past several months celebrate special occasions like birthdays and graduations with a socially distanced parade either on foot or from cars. My neighborhood held a meaningful parade for all the graduates in May. All the kids wore matching grad shirts and stayed the recommended six feet apart from one another as they made their way through the community. This can easily be done for Halloween as well. A car parade would also be a hit since all the cars could be decorated in a spooky way.

Dig Into Some DIY. Take the focus off your kids missing the trick-or-treating by working on several creative projects together as a family. Let this be the year you plan ahead and make all of your costumes from scratch. This will be such a rewarding experience as your kids get to choose exactly who they want to be and wear what they worked so hard on. You can also fill the day with enjoyable arts and crafts projects that you typically do not have time for if you are running around your neighborhood and off to Halloween parties. 

Have Your Own Haunted House at Home. Many kids look forward to walking through a haunted house at school or in their neighborhood. With social distancing, this will not be possible this year. A great project for your kids is to set up their own haunted house. Not only will this be a creative endeavor, it will also take up lots of time and keep them busy for a while. Depending on your own family’s social distancing rules, perhaps you can invite grandparents or cousins over for a fright night. 

Focus on Fall Foods. We can so easily get sucked into all the sugary sweets during Halloween. In my house, that candy ends up sitting in the pantry for months. Plus, so many kids have bad reactions to junk food. This can be the year to focus more on all the wonderful fall foods that go along with harvest time. Stock up on apples, pumpkins and different types of squash, and turn them into tasty dishes. We always love toasting our own fresh pumpkin seeds after we finish carving our jack-o’-lanterns. If you feel comfortable and live in an area near an apple orchard or farm with pumpkins, you can head over and pick your own.  

Make It a Movie Night. Another wonderful way to distract your kids is to set up the big screen to scare them silly. Well, we don’t really want to scare our kids too much. Look for age-appropriate movies for Halloween that they will love, such as The Addams Family, Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, Hotel Transylvania, Beetlejuice, and of course It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. 

Go Against the Grain. With so much upside down in 2020, this might just be the best year to go contrarian and ditch all the sugar. Why not make it a healthy family night by putting together colorful, delicious treats out of fruits and veggies? Just hop on Pinterest for endless ideas to turn fresh produce into incredible creations that your kids will love. 

I know this year feels different, but there are so many ways to make it even better than before. Take advantage of this opportunity to spark some creativity for your family and you all may be thrilled with the memories.

Sandi Schwartz is a freelance writer.