Alternative Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Home

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

Girls loving this kind of exercises
This time each year, many of us look forward to seeing our porches filled with children in cute or scary costumes, holding open their goody bags while calling out “Trick or Treat.” But this Halloween tradition and others are being dropped by a lot of people this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make activities like this too risky.
Traditional trick-or-treating, crowded costume parties, fall festivals and inside events like haunted houses have all been designated as high-risk activities right now, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even trunk-or-treat celebrations where children pick out treats that are set out in the trunks of vehicles lined up in a parking lot or a neighborhood’s driveways are considered high-risk, according to the health agency. The CDC is asking people to avoid these activities to help prevent the spread of this deadly and contagious virus.
The CDC also asks that people monitor their own health before they join in any Halloween activities. “If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters,” the agency has said.
But there are plenty of ways to get in the Halloween spirit, even if kids don’t go trick-or-treating this year. Here are some lower-risk activities for kids of all ages:

Young Children 

  • Decorating pumpkins with members of your household: With adult supervision, young children can help carve, paint or use markers to draw on pumpkins. These can be displayed inside the house or set on the front porch. 
  • Neighborhood pumpkin display: To create a fun, socially-distanced activity on your street, invite each household to set out their decorated pumpkins on porches or at the end of driveways. Families can stroll around with people from their own households, looking at everyone’s creations. It can even be a friendly competition, with winners selected.
  • Scavenger hunt: Give children a list or bingo-style card of Halloween-themed things to look for. Young children can do this hunt in their own home or yard. Older kids can walk the neighborhood with an adult, checking things off the list as they look at neighbors’ decorations.
  • Virtual costume contest: Even if they can’t trick-or-treat, kids still love dressing up in their costumes. Set up video chats so they can show off their costumes to grandparents and friends. Or turn these video chats into a Halloween story time, with an adult reading a funny or spooky book to the costumed children.

Pre-teens and Teens

Video chats: Little kids aren’t the only ones who like showing off their Halloween costumes. Even middle schoolers might like to do a video chat with friends and show off their scariest costumes, masks and glitter- or color-sprayed hair.
Scary movie watch parties: With streaming services now offering the ability to host watch parties, teens can gather online while social distancing and watch movies as a group. Chat features allow them to talk to each other while they watch.
Photo Credit: Getty

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