Depending on where you live, there are lots of different opinions and recommendations for how to celebrate Halloween safely in 2020. Many counties are canceling events and discouraging trick or treating altogether. But so many people have come up with some really creative solutions for social distancing while trick or treating as well as delivering candy with no contact, that I couldn’t help but add them to my list of 75 ways to celebrate Halloween safely during COVID.
For those of you who are choosing to stay in with your kiddos or just spend Halloween with the members of your social bubble, I have you covered there too! From trick or treating at all the inside doors in your home to going on a Neighborhood Decoration Scavenger Hunt, I’ve got you compiled lots of unique ways to celebrate Halloween during COVID. My goal is for my kids to enjoy themselves so much this year with these Halloween Family Fun Activities that they don’t even miss going trick or treating. After all, as long as they end the night with candy, does it even matter where they got it?! ;)
If you want to connect with others on Halloween, but can’t do it in person for one reason or another, I also have created a list of more than 30 virtual Halloween party ideas that could work for a class party or a family Zoom call! From Halloween charades to showing off the kid and pet costumes, I can’t wait to celebrate Halloween over Zoom with my parents this year.
No matter what approach you are taking toward Halloween, whether you will be trick or treating at a distance or not going out at all, please be safe and be thinking of others in your community. It is also important to follow the guidelines of the CDC and your county health department and wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet apart.
I feel like it goes without saying, but the big fancy blog lawyers would want me to do it anyway. I am not a medical professional and am not giving medical advice or advocating for any activities or ideas presented in any of these Covid-19 Halloween blog posts that may put you or anyone else at risk. Stay safe out there – hopefully one of these 15+ ways to trick or treat safely during COVID will start you on the right path!
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Ways to trick or treat safely during COVID
REVERSE TRICK OR TREATING: While I am pretty sure I first heard this idea as a joke, somehow people seem to be actually planning on doing this now! Much like a birthday parade, where cars drive by your house, the concept of Reverse Trick or Treating involves children standing outside their homes in costume and people drive by in cars and toss candy out of the windows to the children.
Which reminds me. I will not be evaluating or commenting on the ideas I share this time. Because the idea of throwing candy at children from your car leaves me speechless.
CANDY CHUTE OR CANDY SLIDE: I love it when Dads come up with a creative solution to a big problem like this. Andrew Beattie was also looking for a way to trick or treat safely during the COVID pandemic. He created this 6 foot Candy Chute from shipping materials he had around his house and then created this Video showing it in action. Since this no contact candy delivery system was first posted, I have seen lots of other versions of it- from PVC Pipes to dryer vents for the structure of the chute to space and monsters for the theme! This definitely seems to be the preferred method for trick or treating safely during COVID.
CANNONS, SLING SHOTS, CATAPULTS, OH MY: You have probably seen some of these ideas floating around social media lately. I have seen Candy Cannons (like T-Shirt Cannons), sling shots, catapults, conveyer belts, zip lines, drones and even delivering candy via a remote control car. I promised I wouldn’t review or make judgements on all these ideas so I am just going to leave those right there. As long as we are making things safe for trick or treating during COVID, that’s all I care about.
CANDY STICKS: This was another creative idea shared on Facebook. Wendy Reeves Winter realized that kids needed another way to get candy besides crowding around and digging through a candy bowl where germs are shared in the bowl and they breathe the same air. Wendy’s idea involves taping candy to sticks or skewers and inserting the sticks into the lawn, all spaced wide enough apart from each other.
While some naysayers got nervous about the sticks poking other children after the candy was pulled off, one person suggested you leave a bucket labeled “sticks” at the house and the adults could detach the candy and deposit the sticks in there before the candy was placed in the children’s bag.
CANDY ON A SPIDER WEB: I just saw this one recently and I really like it. If you have a rope type spider web, simply attach it to a bush or fence close to the street and away from your front door. Next, take your candy (I suggest lightweight candy) and attach it to the web. I would spread it all over and put the tape on the back, so people could simply pull the candy right off.
CANDY ON THE LAWN: Some people are saying forget the fanciness, just throw the candy around your front lawn and then the kids can be spaced out while they go pick it up.
TONGS: Most everyone has tongs in their kitchen drawer, right? Simply don a mask and gloves and grab those tongs to hand out the candy! I am not sure how you will get 6 feet of distance with this one, but maybe if it’s combined with one of the ideas like the tables at the end of your driveway, it might work?
REACHER/GRABBER TOOL: Since this foldable Reacher Grabber tool extends to 32 inches long, it seems like a much better option than simple tongs. Although, I think it would only work with big candy bars or something easy to grip. But ultimately, if this gives me an excuse to use a kid’s version like this T-Rex Snapper, I am definitely up for trying it!
TABLES: I think tables are a great solution for those who want to safely trick or treat during COVID. Set up a folding table at the bottom of your driveway or in front of your house. Decorate it with a Halloween theme and lay pieces of candy (or goody bags) out on it. Stand near the table with a mask on, simply to greet and direct trick or treaters as they come by. As long as everyone is masked, outside and at a distance from each other, I would think it would be safe (But remember, I am not a medical professional, so don’t listen to me! ;)
GOODY BAGS: Instead of leaving a bowl of candy out for children to dig through, how about you gather a few things together and put them in a Halloween themed cellphone bag? Then you can leave the bags at an equal distance apart on your driveway, front lawn or table. This would work especially well if you have are doing a special event within your neighborhood or social bubble.
SPECIAL COORDINATED NEIGHBORHOOD EVENT: There are so many ways you can trick or treat safely within your neighborhood, especially if you are well organized ahead of time. Start by taking some sidewalk chalk and drawing arrows throughout your neighborhood, indicating the direction people should go. Next, talk to your neighbors if they want to have everyone parade through the neighborhood together at one time, being 6 feet apart and grabbing candy off lawns or decorated tables at the end of the driveways.
Another option is to set a schedule for trick or treating, stagging the times, so that the crowds don’t become too big throughout the evening. Something like odd or even house numbers or last names should help with or
SOCIAL BUBBLE ONLY: Many people have joined a “social bubble” at this point in the pandemic- a group of like-minded people that you know are following the same safety guidelines you are. You all agree there is no other exposure than the people in your bubble and because of that, no one in the group needs to stay 6 feet away from each other. Your social bubble can be family, friends, classmates or even coworkers.
There are a couple of ways you can trick or treat safely within your social bubble. You can simply drive to their houses and trick or treat with just those families (maybe even multiple times at multiple doors?) or you can participate in some of the activities I have shared in my other Halloween posts, but without needing to social distance (Trunk or treat, Movie night, Cookie decorating etc) You still need to be careful within your social bubble, however, as people are contagious when they are coming down with something and don’t yet realize they are sick.
TRUNK OR TREAT: While lots of people are discouraging Trunk or Treat activities this year, I think it is because of the crowds of people who aren’t distancing when they do it. If you wanted to do it with your social bubble or if you sat next to your decorated car and kept your distance (and used tongs to pass out candy?), I think you could make adjustments so it would still work.
MASKS INCLUDED: Remember masks are still are the best way to protect yourself against COVID. Halloween masks don’t count. But I have heard that you could build a costume around your medical mask. Like you could be a doctor. Or you could get a black mask and be a ninja. There are some fun monster mouth masks that could also work with your costumer. No time to order one? How about decorate a mask to go with your costume or Halloween theme?
LEAVE IT OUT: I think this is the idea I hear about the most from the average person (those of us who aren’t going to make a conveyor belt to deliver candy!). Many people feel comfortable leaving a bowl of candy out away from their front door. Then it’s up to the parents and the kids to make sure they only go up close to the bowl with people in their social bubble. I have heard one parent say that she will be the designated person to pick out candy for the children out of the bowl.
6 FEET: If you are going to accept trick or treaters at any location, from your front door to your garage to a table in your driveway, make sure you use sidewalk chalk or masking tape to indicate where people should line up. You also need to mark a spot every 6 feet, so they know where to stand while they wait.
WHAT ABOUT THE CANDY?
So there are lots of different opinions out there if you should eat the candy that you got from stranger’s houses. Some say it’s fine because the transmission rate of COVID is low on surfaces like that. Others say you can wipe down all the candy before the kids touch it. Others want to let the candy sit around for 3-5 days before the kids have access to the candy. I have also heard some people suggesting you leave out a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the candy or goodie bags you are offering, so they can pick it up with clean hands right away.
Whatever you decide to do, just keep in mind the issue with trick or treating in general is the crowds- when you walk around the neighborhoods, walk up to the houses and dig through a bowl of candy. So, whatever way you choose to celebrate Halloween during COVID, keep those things in mind when you are deciding.
Let me know if in the comments how you are going to stay safe while you celebrate Halloween in 2020. I am sure there are tons more ideas out there, but seeing is Halloween is tomorrow, I have to get this posted! Add your ideas below!