8 Safer Alternatives to Trick- or-Treating Amid the Pandemic

Young girl in witch's hat peering into carved pumpkin

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Fall is my favorite time of the year. The air is crisp and cool. The leaves are changing and pumpkin everything is in the air. If I’m being honest, I’ve already had a dozen or so pumpkin spice lattes since Labor Day. The kids are back in school and now it’s time to look ahead to Halloween or as I’ve seen it coined recently on the web, Quarantine-O-Ween.

This year’s Halloween will be a very different affair amid the pandemic. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Door to door trick-or-treating is not recommended by public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, we’ll explore some safer alternatives to trick or treating.

  • Attend a drive-in movie. Attending a drive-in movie is a great way to socially distance and participate in the festivities. See if you can find a scary movie or a not so scary movie for the little ones. Be sure to bring your snacks from home. Then prepare to sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie from the comfort of your vehicle.
  • Go on a “ghost” hunt. Try going on a neighborhood hike while hunting for “ghosts”. Grab your flashlights and costumes and take a trip around the block to see what’s lurking in the shadows. Be sure to narrate stories that fit your surroundings. If you live near hiking trails or parks, see what you can find down the path while on your nature hike. This will be a great way to get some exercise and fresh air.
  • Host a family game night. Stay in and host a family game night with members of your household. Many board games have a Halloween edition and if not the original versions are just as fun. Some of my family’s favorites are Jumanji, Exploding Kittens, and Headbandz. If board games aren’t your family’s cup of tea, then bring in the video games. Animal Crossing anyone? The important thing is that everyone participates and spends quality time together.
  • Host a scary movie marathon night. Host a scary movie night with members of your household. Harry Potter is a Halloween night classic. Find a selection of movies that you all enjoy and settle in for the night.
  • Create goody bags for your local Ronald McDonald house or women’s shelter. Be sure to call ahead to these organizations to find out what types of items they will allow to be dropped off during the pandemic. Usually, treats must be store-bought and individually wrapped. None food items such as pencils, coloring books, and stickers are a great alternative to candy. Include some essential health items such as travel size toothpaste and toothbrushes as well.
  • Socially distant drive-by activities. Public health officials are encouraging drive-by activities such as drive-through haunted houses. The CDC has issued an advisory against large trunk-or-treats where cars line up in a large parking lot. This is listed as a high-risk activity and should be avoided.

This Halloween will be very different, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the holiday. Try some of these safer alternatives and keep your family healthy and happy. Did you know that child safety during Halloween is such an important public health issue that the CDC has a complete page dedicated to this night? Check out their Halloween Health and Safety Tips COVID Edition. We discussed 8 safer alternatives to trick-or-treating amid the COVID-19 pandemic. What other ideas do you have for keeping safe this year while rocking the holiday?


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