20 ideas for a socially distanced Halloween

20 Ideas to Keep Your Halloween Party Spirit Alive in 2020

Holidays and the traditions they bring are a time for family warmth and joy. And, as any Halloween-loving family knows, it takes more than a global pandemic to stop that party spirit. While Coronavirus lockdowns, social distancing and quarantines may mean you can't go trick or treating or hold that huge costume party in the usual way, there's still plenty of freakish fun to be had.

We asked our Facebook community about the ghoulish games and awesome activities they're planning for Halloween 2020, and one thing was clear: With a little dose of creativity and imagination, this can still be a Halloween year to remember.

Are You Oh-So Over Halloween?

But, if you don't feel like getting creative, that's OK too. You can explore with a listening partner and get curious about any barriers or triggers that might be holding you back from getting enthusiastic about planning some kind of celebration. Here are some questions to brew on to get started:

  • Is one extra thing to plan too much?
  • Are you all out of energy?
  • Can't handle your child + extra large lots of candy right now?
  • Do you want to go all out and can't and does that seem unfair?

20 Fun Ideas for A Socially-Distanced Halloween 2020

Hand in Hand parents had so many good ideas we wanted to share. If you decide you do want to go ahead and plan a celebration, big or small, we hope you enjoy these 20 ideas to keep the Halloween party spirit alive.

1. Set Up Your Halloween Playlist

Nothing builds the Halloween mood like some spooky music. We like Halloween Songs for Kids and or try this Spotify playlist for older kids – or just make your own!

2. Give a Boo

A great socially-distanced answer to the traditional trick or treat is to go ghosting and give a boo! Fill a candy bucket with candy or other festive treats, knock on a family friend's or neighbor's door, drop the bucket and run. Some families make this a neighbourhood affair in the run-up to Halloween by including a picture of a ghost to stick on the door to show they've been “booed,” and then invite them to ghost another family, until everyone has received their bucket of goodies.

3. Deathly Decorations

Have fun turning your porch or living room into a haunted house and plan some traditional party games, or try telling some ghost stories by candlelight. (Extra bumps in the night guaranteed if you arrange a second person to jump out in an appropriate place.

4. Relive Old Favorite Traditions

You may find your little one is upset by the changes in plans this year. Try Playlistening and roleplaying at home around the things they usually enjoy most and are missing. Play trick or treating with dolls, for instance, if that's a sticky point, and Staylisten when their feelings come up.

5. Hold A Door, Garden or Porch Costume Parade

Have everyone in your neighborhood dress up their front garden, porch or door, and then schedule a time for a socially-distanced viewing. You can leave treats or gifts for your favorites.

6. Concoct a Trick or Treat Contraption

Plan a new socially-distanced Trick or Treat Delivery system, like this dad did with this candy chute made from old tubing.

7. Set up a Scavenger Hunt

Take pictures of items around where you live, and then send your kids out to find them. Every find gets a treat for their candy buckets.

8. Go on a Witch Hunt

See how many witch-themed items your kids can locate. You might want to set up some traditional witchy artefacts ahead of time – potion bottles, a witches hat, spell book – but you can also give extra points when your kids get creative: When twigs and sticks might be used to craft a broomstick, or when a toy frog or cat could be a witches pet.

9. Plan a Candy Hunt

Tuck treats away in your house or garden and then send your kids out to find them. One mom in our community says she'll make their hunt a treasure hunt with a witch's cauldron full of candy the jackpot prize.

10. Pop a Pinata

Keeping with the candy theme, if you can't go trick or treating, try bashing a Halloween-themed pumpkin pinata until it bursts and the candy rains down.

11. Honor Lost Loved Ones

Set up a family altar at home with pictures of loved ones who have passed on, then plan a spooky menu and make a few extra helpings to place at the altar. The mom who contributed this idea says her family enjoy telling family stories old and new while they honor those family members.

12. Backyard Blunders

Set your house or garden up with a festively-decorated Halloween obstacle course for your kids to navigate. Tunnels can feature floaty ghosts or back chairs up against each other and drape spider web tape or cotton wool. You can hide prizes along the way, or give a treat bag at the end of the course if you wish.

13. Burn up a Bonfire

Head outside for a good old-fashioned bonfire party. Toast marshmallows, make S'mores and switch ghost stories in the glow of the firelight.

14. Hold a Light Party

Many churches, like the UK's Scripture Union, who traditionally hold light parties in person on the 31st are moving online this year. Find out if your church or one nearby is having an online light party you can join, or maybe host your own. If you have crafty kids, you can spend the day making candles to burn at the event.

15. Hold a Virtual Halloween Costume Parade

Choose your theme, design some e-invites, and gather online for a Halloween Party in quarantine. Maybe you want a Halloween mask competition? Or go full costume. If you like you can play games like Halloween musical statues or sing Halloween karaoke, and if you like you can award prizes for costumes like the funniest, scariest, zaniest or zombiest!

16. Go Old-New Traditional

Go old-school with some traditional Halloween games at home. Apple bobbing is one of the most well-known activities, but if you are worried about the water involved, try apple snaps, where you hang apples from trees and challenge your kids to take the first bite (you can use donuts if you have little kids). A Halloween feel box offers some sensory wonder, or try challenging your kids to sweep pumpkins across your living room or garden.

17. Give a Treat

2020 has been a tough year for many. If you want to focus on giving treats, ask local charities what gifts they most need. Then play a Halloween movie, keep a grab bag of treats close by, and have fun packing goodies to give away while you enjoy the night together.

18. Movie Magic

Talking of movies, many Hand in Hand parents are planning in some movie magic on Halloween night. Some are sitting up screens outside, others plan on movie marathons across the Halloweekend, and others mention setting up a festive Halloween picnic on a rug in the family room while a movie plays. Want something more spooky but less scary? These choices came out on top: Addams Family, Boxtrolls, Paranorman and Spirited Away.

19. Trip the Light Fantastic

Halloween is all about the things that go bump in the night. You might like to make a play out of glow in the dark stickers, flickering lanterns, carved and candlelit Jack-O-Lanterns or even fairy lights. Some parents say they'll make a trail of lights and leave a festive prize at the end of it. You could even set up a flashlight photobooth and take some spooky Halloween pictures to remember the night by.

20. Get Crafty

Whether you want to decorate cookies, carve pumpkins, or make slime, Halloween is a wonderful time to get crafty. We love these lists for inspiration for all ages:

This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday too, so you could plan an epic Halloweekend and combine a few of these ideas. Or, perhaps you have already concocted your plan for Halloween? Let us know how you'll be spending those witching hours.

You Might Also Like:

5 Parenting Tricks to Keep Your Halloween Happy

Loving the Candy (Setting Limits at Halloween)

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