The next holiday up for adjustment due to the global pandemic is the ultimate kid-favorite, Halloween. Of all our annual milestones affected by social distancing so far, this one seems the most interrupted: kids going door-to-door in groups to scream “trick or treat!” so that strangers will give them candy. Not much distancing in that. Here are some alternative ideas to keep the spookiness alive—from a distance.

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Ideas for Limited/Restricted Trick-or-Treating

There are already some communities that are calling for a limit or an outright cancellation of trick-or-treating to help keep everyone safe. But don’t worry! There are lots of creative alternatives already surfacing.

Amp-Up the Decor

Part of the fun of trick-or-treating is seeing all of your neighbor’s elaborate decorations in their yard. Well, you could go nuts at your place. Do that elaborate spiderweb in the front yard you’ve always wanted to. Fill the bathroom with spiders (fake ones, please). Whatever it is, just turn up the volume.

Trick-or-Treat at Home

Instead of just asking the neighbors for candy, you can make your kids work for it a little. Build out a scavenger hunt (costumes included) to find candy all over the house. If part of the scavenger hunt includes some sneaky chores, we won’t tell.

Scary Movie Marathon

Make it a whole evening of events. Start by making some Halloween snacks and treats together as a family. Then, get everyone into their costumes and snuggle in for your favorite spooky movies.

Ideas for COVID-Friendly Trick-or-Treating

Costumes with Masks + Gloves

Here’s the obvious suggestion: plan costumes that have a face mask and gloves built right in! You could even have kids dressed up as nurses, doctors, or first responders in support of our essential workers.

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Trunk-or-Treat

This idea sprung up pre-pandemic to allow families who live far away from each other to still trick-or-treat together. Everyone meets in a friendly parking lot (school, church, etc.) and tailgates their Halloween decor and treats. Check out all these fun ideas.

Dangle Individual Treats

Get creative in how to deliver your candy to trick-or-treaters. Hang them individually from trees or on a pegboard. Anything to avoid the big grab bowls kids gather around.

Make the Candy Come to You

Coordinate with your neighbors and friends to have the candy delivered. Hang out in the front yard to show off your costumes and neighbors with candy can fill your bucket at the end of the sidewalk.

Party in the Park

Light up your neighborhood park with lamps, glow sticks, and any decorations you can haul over. It’s like a costume mixer, but with some outside and distancing safety.

What Other Moms Are Saying

Feel like you need to talk through adjusting holidays with other moms? Check out the latest episode of the Moms You Meet on the Playground podcast. Co-hosts Alison and Aubry talk about adjusting to remote learning and how their families are thinking about Halloween this year.

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