2020 has brought us enough tricks to last for the next decade of Halloweens, but try explaining that to kids.
While many families are understandably uncomfortable with traditional trick-or-treating during a pandemic, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate. Here are 10 safe and affordable ideas to bring some fun to your family’s Halloween in quarantine.
1. Create spooky face masks at home
There’s no shortage of inspiration for Halloween masks that will help you and your family comply with face-covering ordinances — with a seasonal twist. Of course, you can buy pre-made masks, but why not try to create them at home with a simple DIY. Let the kids pick out their favorite Halloween fabric or use old clothes or sheets to turn 2020’s most unexpected accessory into fun family time.
2. Haunt your house
Decorate your home and yard to your Halloween heart’s content! This activity can be a family exercise, or a surprise treat for the kids if you want to do the haunting yourself.
You can transform your house on a dime using materials you already have on hand, from leftover tin cans for ghostly windchimes to toilet paper roll glowing eyes. Besides, some new decor might be a welcome visual change after months of quarantine.
3. Backyard candy hunt
There’s no rule that states Easter is the only holiday where kids can search the yard for treats. A Halloween candy hunt can be a great alternative to trick-or-treating (and gives you a bit more control over their sugar loot).
Have fun preparing ahead of time by giving those Easter eggs some Halloween flair with spooky stickers.
4. Swinging for sweets
While we’re borrowing traditions from other celebrations, a Halloween piñata brings home the thrill of the candy hunt, without the need for touching neighbors’ hands, doorbells, and railings. There are plenty of designs that you and the family can easily make at home, too.
5. Costume game night
Dressing up is the ultimate sign of Halloween spirit — and it can be quarantine friendly! So, whether you’re going scary or sweet, wear your costume and have a game night with the kids.
Here’s a great list of kid-friendly options to get you started.
6. Scary movies galore
With no trick-or-treaters coming to your door every few minutes, you’ll have the perfect uninterrupted excuse to have a Halloween-themed movie night. Streaming and cable networks often add scary choices to their line-up throughout the month, giving you plenty of options.
If the weather is nice, you can put up a projector and a large white sheet in the backyard and invite a few neighbors over for a socially distanced viewing party.
7. Pumpkin carving neighborhood
Pumpkin carving contests are a great way to feel connected to your neighbors this Halloween, without risking anyone’s health. Use your imagination or start from one of these templates, and make it a family craft night.
Participating neighbors can line up their jack-o’-lanterns in front of their houses, and everyone can easily vote online for their favorites. Bonus points if the neighborhood starts a small pool for a winner’s prize!
8. Fun with printables
Printable masks, decor, games, and more are a click away. Not only is this a no-cost way to turn up the Halloween in your house, but it’s also another great excuse for an enjoyable craft.
Your kids can pick their favorites, and you don’t have to worry about them choosing the most expensive item in the store.
9. Drive-by trick-or-treat
Many families have already adapted birthdays and graduations by having drive-by parties, which allow friends and family to visit and celebrate from the safety of their cars. Why not apply that to trick-or-treating?
Your kids can show off their costumes and pick up some candy. Tip: Rather than have kids rifle through a bowl of sweets, put pieces of candy in individual bags so they can grab them and go.
10. Visit local drive-thru events
Entertainment by way of car is catching on, so check your city’s website or local social media channels to see if there are any drive-thru haunted houses, costume contests, or other seasonal socially distanced events.
And those houses that go all out with Christmas lights? Many of them bring that same energy and creativity to Halloween, so pack up the car with some treats and go check out the best-decorated homes nearby.
Don’t let COVID-19 ruin your Halloween! These fun and low-cost trick-or-treat alternatives will help ensure the kids don’t miss out on all the excitement this season.