How do you make Halloween festive and fun while avoiding a pandemic? The CDC has labeled many traditional Halloween activities as high-risk for spreading viruses. But these considerations don’t mean we have to cancel the celebrations altogether. There are still so many ways to make this socially distant Halloween special for our children.
We usually go big for Halloween. It’s my son’s birthday so it’s extra special in our family. This year is going to look different for our family as we have made plans for a socially distanced Halloween. Our Octobers are traditionally packed with activities every weekend, including all the trick-or-treating events we can attend. Things are looking different for our 2020 Halloween but there is no reason for COVID-19 to stop us from filling the month with extra fun!
18 Socially Distant Halloween Activities
- Scavenger Hunt
We will have a few fun craft projects hidden around the house for each child. They’ll get clues for their special mission to hunt down all the Halloween fun.
- Haunted House Kit
These are the creepy cousin of the gingerbread house. A great way to get in the spooky spirit and let your children get creative.
Mom and Dad will hide little plastic pumpkins stuffed with candy or small toys. We found the perfect pumpkins for this at Target and I’m sure similar products can be found at party supply shops or online.
- Cup Punch
If you’re looking for something with carnival vibes, this prize punch board is a fun project. It’s also something you could set up in your front yard or at your front door for trick-or-treaters if you expect any in your neighborhood.
- Bean Bag Toss
Set a small basket or box out with some bean bags inside and a bean bag toss board. Don’t forget to leave out a basket of candy for players to choose from. This is something you can set up for passers-by on the day of or something fun you can do at home.
- A Very Introvert Halloween
For those who want to treat visitors without having to interact with them, there is always the option of setting out a basket of treats with a note that lets visitors know to take one (or as many as they’d like). We have done this and it’s always so sweet to hear kids cheering with excitement when they see a sign saying to take all they would like.
- Plot With Your Pod
If you have a playgroup, learning pod, or extended family who are willing, set up a trunk-or-treat. It can be outdoors and during the day or whatever works best for the group.
- Treat Hunt
Think Easter Egg hunt but with individually wrapped candy. Hide the pieces around your home or outdoors, if the weather is nice, and let the kids dress up in their costumes and go hunting. Tip: Count the candy before you “hide” it to be sure you don’t accidentally forget anything.
- Pumpkin Carving
This is something many of us already do in October and it really lends itself to pandemic life. If you want to step it up, find some friends who are willing to FaceTime or Zoom for a pumpkin show-and-tell after the carving is done.
- Pumpkin Baskets
This one borrows from Easter. Take those $1 plastic pumpkins and fill them not only with candy treats but also with a few toys or boxes of crayons. It could become a fun new tradition. I’m actually thinking of keeping this as my back-up plan for the years when Halloween gets rained out.
- Halloween Countdown Calendar
Grandma decorated Halloween countdown calendars for the children. So cool! My children have been talking about Halloween for months. They’re going to love counting down to the big day.
- Trick-or-Treat at Home
Let the kids knock on doors in your home with mom, dad, and older siblings or grandparents on the other side. They still get the experience of trick-or-treating and there is no worrying about spreading (or catching) any viruses with strangers.
- Drive-thru Halloween
There are some cool family-friendly drive-thru opportunities locally. The AAC is offering a Drive Boo Halloween and The Farmers Branch Historical Park is offering a Tour of Frights.
- Halloween Movie Marathon
Choose some special age-appropriate movies to watch. This can be a fun way to introduce young children to your childhood favorites. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” comes to mind.
- Zombie Zoom
Host a video call with friends or family. Costumes required! And vote together on the cutest, scariest, most creative, etc.
- Pin the Nose to the Pumpkin
Make a large drawing of a pumpkin and tape it up. Put tape on the back of pieces of paper cut into triangle noses and take turns trying to get the nose centered on the pumpkin’s face while blindfolded.
- Scary Stories and S’mores
Make a fire pit in the back yard or cook your s’mores in the microwave. Whatever works for you. Then tell some spooky and fun stories or read some Halloween books aloud.
- Neighborhood Ghost Hunt
Set up a neighborhood ghost hunt. Get in touch with your local mom friends and ask people to put ghost cut-outs in their windows or draw some with chalk on their driveways or sidewalks. Then take your littles on a drive or a walk to hunt for ghosts around town.
The beauty of Halloween is all the opportunities it provides for special micro-moments we can have as a family. There is no reason this season can’t be filled with magic and joy for our children.