Each year, Halloween is an exciting time for families to venture outside and mingle with their community. While COVID continues to affect how we socialize with others, this does not mean that the spooky festivities need to be put on hold. Instead, Quarantine-O-Ween is the at-home alternative that is fun for both kids and adults.
Sara Skirboll, Trends & Shopping Expert at RetailMeNot, has put together a list of ideas for celebrating October 31st. Below are just a few ways your readers can get their spook on this year:
Decorate Your House to the Max
Haunt the neighborhood with store-bought or DIY (or shall we say boo-it-yourself) Halloween decorations to transform the inside of your home, porch and more. We’ve compiled DIY ideas that range from Ombré Candy Corn Wine Bottles and Glow-in-the-Dark Slime, all of which you can tackle with the kiddos.
Also, apparently people are turning their Christmas trees into kitschy Halloween trees. I am here for that. Plus, there’s this super-popular RJ Legend 15-inch Halloween Ceramic Tree, which is constantly selling out but available right now at Amazon.
Set up a Candy Graveyard
I got this idea from Oriental Trading! The concept is extra cool because your yard gets decked out for Halloween and gives kids a way to social distance while trick-or-treating in it. Set up fake tombstones in your yard with prizes and candy piled up next to each tombstone. You could have each kid enter the graveyard one at a time and package up candy and prizes into individual treat bags for extra safety.
Host Zoom Costume Parties and Pumpkin-Carving Contests
Host a Halloween-themed costume or dance party on Zoom for friends and family. Create a spooktacular playlist for everyone to shake their boo things to, and have attendees show off their costumes on camera.
You can also gather remotely to decorate and carve pumpkins safely from your own homes. Interact while you craft by sharing spooky stories. At the end, award prizes (virtual prizes or ones you send via snail mail) to the best looks!
Attend a Trunk-or-Treat
Trunk-or-treating is one of the trends buzzing this year in terms of socially distant trick-or-treat substitutes. An organized event usually held in a school or church parking lot, trunk-or-treating entails decorated vehicles, and kids go trick-or-treating from car to car. You can host this in your neighborhood, too, with neighbors setting up trunk displays in the driveway and passing out candy. Note: Consider having designated adults (who commit to applying hand sanitizer) give out the candy rather than encourage lots of little hands to reach inside the bowl.
Party City has a list of 17 trunk-or-treat ideas for inspiration!
Be on the Lookout for Socially Distant Bicycle Parades and Reverse Trick-or-Treating in Neighborhoods
Another trend we’re hearing about are Halloween parades or a form of drive-by trick-or-treating. With the former, costume wearers take to the street as a catwalk to show off their costumes and hand out and collect candy. People also decorate bikes, wagons, golf carts and cars to show off their looks!
With reverse trick-or-treating, you’ll see people drive by houses similar to the COVID-19 birthday parades. Those in the car will throw candy at the kids in costumes in their yards.
Boo or Ghost People
No, not that kind of ghosting of people, y’all! Spread anonymous cheer by dropping a Halloween goodie bag or pumpkin on the doorsteps of friends and loved ones as a contact-free way to celebrate. This usually works by sneaking to your boo-ing subjects home after dark, ringing the doorbell, leaving the treats on their doorstep and running!
Have a Halloween Movie Marathon
You can choose to do this one via a projector in the backyard, through Netflix Party or just with your family bubble on the couch. Pop some popcorn and throw on your favorite spooky movies and TV shows. Check out our list of Halloween-movie recommendations categorized by age.
Organize a Glow-in-the-Dark Egg Hunt
Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. Buy Halloween-themed eggs at Amazon, or Halloween-ify old plastic eggs you already own (glow sticks work, too!) with stickers or markers. Add candy, and hide them in the yard or around the house! Grab glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark eggs at Amazon for a nighttime search.
Set up a Trick-or-Treat Driveway Table
Ditch the traditional communal Halloween candy bowl and have adults set up decorated tables or booths in their front yards where they can hand out individual bags or cups of candy. This keeps contact to a minimum while also still showcasing decorations and hauntingly good personality.
Oriental Trading has ideas for a Fortune Teller Halloween Table, Ghoul Gang Halloween Table, Peanuts Halloween Table and so much more. Plus, they’ve got you covered on all the items you need to achieve the look.
Whip Up DIY Treats or Order Halloween Specials From Restaurants
IHOP, Papa John’s and Chipotle are expected to resurrect their themed pancakes, Jack-O’-Lantern pizza and boo-rito!
Try Out a Drive-Thru Haunted House if You’re Feeling Brave
Haunted houses will certainly look different this year, too. But drive thru, contact-free Halloween experiences are starting to make headlines. Search online for “haunted roads” or “drive thru haunted houses” to see if there is one near you!
Head to a Drive-In Theater for Halloween Movies
Drive-in theaters have made a major comeback during the pandemic. Search for a drive-in near you. Many plan to screen Halloween movies and host socially distant activities.
Make a Reservation at a Pumpkin Patch
This is TBD, but we’re expecting (and some are already announcing this) pumpkin patches to open but with safety precautions, such as cashless payment, masks, hand sanitizer, limited capacity and maybe even by reservation only to ensure social distancing and safety.
Celebrate Halloween Around the World but From Home
You might not be able to travel the globe right now, but you can do so in spirit. Educate your family and friends on Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Samhain in Ireland and Scotland, Dzień Zaduszny in Poland or Ghost Festival in East Asia. Celebrate these other traditions, and consider cooking or baking traditional foods and making crafts associated with those international events.
P.S. The Halloween Tree is a great animated movie to watch with the family; it educates and celebrates the origins and influencers of Halloween around the world. The movie is based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, and he even narrates the film!
Halloween Piñatas, Anyone?
Surprise Your Halloween-Loving Friends With a Spooky Celebrity Shoutout
Cameo is a service that allows you to pay actors, musicians, reality TV stars and other public figures for personalized shout-outs. Request a Halloween message on Cameo from creepy characters and beloved actors from Halloween movies, including Pennywise, Mark Patton (Jesse from Freddy’s Revenge), Danielle Harris (from Halloween) and Kimberly J. Brown (from Halloweentown). Something tells me Cameo will curate a Halloween landing page closer to October 31 with more creators!