October 15, 2020 — By Wendy Sachs

Halloween has become a huge holiday season in the past few years. It isn’t just trick or treat, it’s school parties, hay rides, block parties and haunted houses. Most of these things will not be able to happen, or at least not in the same way this year. So what can we do to make Halloween fun? LOTS!!

First figure out what makes your family the most happy about Halloween? Is it the fall like activities like pumpkin picking and hay rides? Is it the costumes? Is it the treats? Focus on what is important.

Pumpkin Patch Visit

The good news is that some things will be easy to still do. Visiting a pumpkin patch may be ok, just search for one that is less crowded. Consider visiting at off times or finding a patch with reserved times to manage the crowds.

Coordinate with Neighbors

Trick or treat exposure risk depends on your community, especially if people leave bowls of candy out on the porch and you avoid large groups of kids going together. Even better than the bowl of communal candy, is a table with individual plastic cups full of candy for kids to grab. Talk to neighbors and work together to make things as safe as possible.

Fun Ideas Instead of Parties

Parties may not be safe, but your family can still have fun. Why not have a game night using only candles for light! Have a scavenger hunt for candy in the backyard. You can use glow sticks in old plastic Easter eggs to make it special. Make a gift basket of spooky cheer and BOO your neighbors by leaving it on their doorstep. Buy a piñata and take out your frustrations and get candy!!

Spend some time making homemade decorations and really going all out this year. You could even work with neighbors to have a Halloween costume bike parade with the little ones or a window decorating contest where the kids vote!

A popular idea for a few years has been trunk or treat- people decorate cars and park in a parking lot with candy in the trunk. Easy enough to make COVID safe by just sitting in your cars and letting the kids go around in family groups. This fun is easy to set up with your church or neighborhood groups.

Wash & Sanitize Hands Often

The trick is to wash hands often, avoid indoor locations and large groups of people and to remember that the kids will look to you to set the tone. Smile and know we are all in this together!