Trick-or-Treat Hacks & Party Ideas for a Fun, Safe, 2020 Halloween

COVID isn’t taking the day off on October 31 – but, fear not, Halloween 2020 will still be a blast! 

We just need to think out of the box – and, thankfully Halloween is the perfect holiday for creativity! Here are some fun ideas for showing off costumes and collecting candy, while staying safely, socially distant.

Get Ready Early

Halloween House
Photo Credit: Wayne Sheridan // Chris Donaubauer, a Missouri dad, goes Griswold on Halloween decorations.

First things first, make sure to check out the “Make It Safe Halloween” website. With guidance from CDC, they have mapped out risk levels throughout the United States. Whether your county falls in green, yellow, orange or the red zone, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate this ghoulish season.

Then, lift spirits all October long with a Griswold-amount of Halloween decorations. During a tough year like 2020, nothing says “everything is going to be ok” to the kids in your neighborhood like a giant skeleton in the front yard – frankly, it’s what we all need. But, seriously, decorations will cheer up kids (who are missing out on trick or treating) and help bring the neighborhood together in celebration. Plus, they’re contagious — in a good way. If you put up your giant skeleton, you just might see 10 others pop up on your street as well. 

How to hand out candy without really handling the candy:

This year instead of dishing out 200 mini chocolate bars to masses of kids, it’s going to be all about keeping distance while making “one each” fun. 

Halloween Pumpkin Trees
Photo Credit: Annie Haddlesey (Pinterest)

Decorate your trees with goodies. We like the idea of pre-packaging treats in small paper bags and dangling them from your trees or fence. Get creative with pumpkins or ghosts. Alternatively, you can dress up a table with a spooky theme like a seance or Frankenstein’s lab and leave the bags out for self-serve grab and go.

Candy graves are perfect for reminding little ghouls to maintain 6 feet apart! Use the tombstones as social distance markers and tape the candy or trinkets directly to the graves or place baskets of goodie bags nearby. The same can be done just as effectively by scattering glow sticks 6 feet apart in your yard (or you can decorate popsicle sticks with glow-in-the dark paint) and tape the treats to them. M&M packets work well for this.   

Create a candy chute like this dad. His clever contactless innovation made it on Buzzfeed!

Organize a candy attack (reverse trick-or-treating) in your neighborhood. Who says you have to go door to door to score your loot? Instead have friends and family drive by and toss treats out of their car window while your child(ren) wait on the lawn. 

Ghost your friends (a.k.a. ‘Gettin’ Booed’) by leaving a candy surprise at their door. Once you’ve been booed or ghosted, hang a note or picture of a ghost on your door and pay-it-forward by doing the same to 2 or 3 other homes – sort of like a neighborhood, candy-chain letter. With everyone on high alert for safety, it’s best to include a card and/or text them to let them know that you delivered them a treat. 

Share Halloween ideas with your neighbors. Halloween is really a neighborhood celebration for kids – of course, some neighbors have kids, others don’t. For those that don’t, they might be looking for ways to safely participate. Make sure to share the ideas ideas above with them so they feel included and have an opportunity to participate in a way that they feel comfortable.

It doesn’t just have to be about the treats! Stay in and…

Halloween Dip
Photo Credit: Sumptuous Spoonfuls

Throw a terrifying family dinner and make this graveyard taco dip or witches finger cookies and chase it down with a vampire crimson punch! Here are some other spooky food ideas.

If the weather is nice, host an outdoor movie night with family or a pod-mates and watch these favorite Halloween classics: Hocus PocusNightmare Before ChristmasEdward ScissorhandsThe House with the Clock in its WallsGhostbustersGoosebumpsBeetlejuiceThe Addams Family or The Haunted Mansion.

Host a virtual Halloween escape room party to keep older ghouls entertained with tricky problem solving that will surely twist their brains. 

Create your own Halloween piñata for your family or pod, it’s guaranteed to be a huge hit (no pun intended)! Skip the sugary treats and fill it with Halloween favors that you can pick up at Target or the dollar store (think eyeball erasers, spider rings, vampire fangs, pumpkin eggs). Here are 10 DIY piñatas ideas to inspire you. 

Have a glow-in-the-dark, costume bike parade. Traditionally, bike parades have been reserved for May Day and the Fourth of July – but why not Halloween? Don your costume and decorate your bike with glow-in-the-dark decorations. Then, parade your neighborhood at dusk as an alternative to trick or treating. Don’t forget some noice makers, bells and horns!

What are your plans for Halloween 2020? Share your tricks on how to creep it real while being safe during this frightful coronavirus pandemic!

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