Los Angeles canceled trick or treating this year (it later revised its guidelines), and other cities are still considering whether or not to limit Halloween activities. And most schools, which usually do a student Halloween parade, are canceling this tradition out of social distancing concerns.
This leaves parents in a tough spot. How do you make Halloween fun without trick or treating or parades? Here are some ideas to make it fun this year despite any regulations:
1. Take ideas from Easter.
Some parents in my neighborhood are already buying glow in the dark eggs to hide candy in. They plan to have a nighttime egg hunt for their kids on Halloween night. Or, make your kids a “Halloween basket” for Halloween morning – filled with Halloween goodies instead of Easter candy.
2. Get the neighborhood together.
Most neighborhoods have some kind of communication method, whether it’s a Nextdoor account or a neighborhood association. Get together with your neighbors to organize a socially-distanced Halloween – instead of kids’ knocking on the door, have neighbors set out baskets of candy on their porch. You can coordinate this with just your street to maximize caution even more.
3. Do a Halloween photo shoot.
Hire a photographer to do a professional photo shoot of your kids in their costumes. This is a great way to get family photos (you can even combine your Christmas photo shoot with this one for your holiday cards). Think of creative backdrops outside and creative props to make it more fun.
4. Read ghost stories.
Make it a cozy night in for the family by lighting a fire, putting pillows on the floor alongside a big bowl of candy, and reading ghost stories or watching a scary movie together.
5. Go camping.
If you’re in an area where it’s still relatively warm in October, go to a local campsite and pitch a tent. Roast marshmallows and hot dogs, and let them sleep in their costumes.
6. Have a Halloween costume contest.
Put fliers in your neighbors mailboxes advertising a 2020 Halloween Costume Contest. Ask parents to contribute either goodie bags or money for prizes. Let the kids do a short parade around the block and have judges pick a winner.
7. Go to a drive-in movie.
Check our your nearest drive-in theater. They’ll probably be showing a scary (or kid-friendly) movie on Halloween night.
8. Do a “give-back” challenge.
Challenge your kids to do as many nice things on Halloween as they can – whether it’s helping out a brother or sister, writing a note to a grandparent, or painting rocks to leave on neighbors yards. For every nice thing they do, they get a piece of candy.
9. Film a scary movie.
Get your family together and make up your own scary movie (think Blaire Witch Project) that can be filmed on an iPhone. Have your kids write the script and create the costumes.
10. Have a bake-a-thon.
Get a ton of cake mix, icing and other treats and spend the evening baking Halloween-inspired cakes and cookies. Have a family contest for whose concoction is the best.