With virtual birthday parties becoming the norm (for now!), and with fall just around the corner, I started thinking about what Halloween 2020 is going to look like. I still want to make is special with my girl; they’re only little once. I came up with 15 fun social distancing Halloween ideas that I think you’re going to love too!
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Halloween: social distance-style
I’ve been thinking so much about virtual birthday parties for kids, and have started thinking about what Christmas might look like this year with social distancing. Then as my daughter was dressing up in one of her many costume changes of the day, I thought about Halloween! What could Halloween look like this year?
If you’re curious, here is the average annual spending on Halloween. I wonder if it will be less this year because of social distancing. My hunch is Halloween spending is going to go up in 2020. To make up for the changes and compromises we have to do because of the pandemic, my guess is people will spend more money.
Social distancing Halloween ideas
Having a kid that lives part of the time in dress-up costumes, and part of the time in bathing suits (year-round when we’re at home), I can’t imagine canceling Halloween completely with her this year.
What will a social distancing Halloween look like? Sanitizing your hands before knocking on a door and then getting thrown candy so you can keep the minimum safe distance?
That doesn’t exactly sound carefree and fun like a typical Halloween.
But there are ways to keep the spirit of Halloween alive, without social contact.
15 fun social distancing Halloween ideas
1. Social distancing Halloween costumes
Maybe this will be the year of the super furry animals and head-to-toe-to-mask super hero costumes. The kids will be so covered up that they won’t be able to eat any candy, or touch their faces, until they get home. Some parents I know who still want to let their kids go out trick-or-treating plan on cleaning the wrappers when they get home, just like they do with groceries.
2. Halloween care packages
Exchange Halloween parcels with one or two other families.
Here are some fun ideas for Halloween gift bags:
And this healthy snack box would be the ultimate Halloween parcel for your child’s bestie. Or your bestie. Or yourself, whatevs (adding to cart…)
3. Outdoor Halloween photo shoot
Skip the evening trick-or-treating and have a photo shoot during the day with another family or two. There’s not much cuter than little kids in costumes (except maybe animals in costumes).
4. No-contact trick-or-treating
Put out a bowl and a sign telling kids to help themselves to a treat or two. Our neighbors were away for Halloween last year and they did this. They still wanted to participate in Halloween for the kids in the neighborhood. They decorated their house for Halloween, put out a big container of little candy bars, and left their lights on. For this social distancing Halloween you could leave a little bottle of hand sanitizer beside the bowl of candy, and wave to the neighborhood kids from your door.
5. Trick (and treat) your kid
Little kids are still in that world where anything can happen, and magic really is possible. Have your partner take your little kid out trick-or-treating to your own house. They take your little one out the back door, and while they are walking around the house, you quickly change into your Halloween costume. They will ring the front doorbell or knock on your front door, and you answer the door in character! This would be fun to try with young kids to see their reaction. I might try this social distancing Halloween idea with Miss O!
6. Social distancing Halloween party
At this point, I’m definitely not pro any type of indoor party, masks or no masks. But if there are a couple families you trust (and you are allowed to do this in your city), you could get the kids dressed up for an outdoor Halloween get-together.
7. Halloween Zoom party
Host a virtual zoom Halloween party with your kids and their besties. Have a costume parade where all the kids get to show off their Halloween costumes. You could have a Halloween screen background for the video party, and kids could eat Halloween candy while they’re “at” the Halloween party with their friends.
8. Go big on Halloween decorations
We’re not really a blow-up-giant-cauldron-on-the-front-lawn kind of family. But I found myself browsing outdoor Halloween decorations, including those of the larger variety. I love these witches hats lights.
Also for the fall season in general, here are 17 affordable fall decoration ideas.
9. Family Halloween costumes
Just like we might be changing our tune on giant inflatable lawn ornaments, this could be the year of family Halloween costumes. Glow-in-the-dark matching Halloween costumes? Get ready for it husband! And cat, since it comes with 4 costumes and we only have 1 kid.
If you have older kids this rock, paper, scissors costume set is everything.
10. Social distance trunk-or-treat
With parents’ concerns about safety, trunk-or-treating has already become a popular alternative to trick-or-treating in some neighborhoods. Decorate your trunk, and meet with a couple of trusted families outside (again, keep this small folks!) Show off Halloween costumes, listen to Halloween music, and have an outside dance party with candy!
11. Carve pumpkins
Some traditional Halloween activities for kids are totally social-distancing friendly. Here is a pumpkin carving set that is kid-friendly with no blades, and comes with stencils too.
The first year we did pumpkin carving with Miss O (she was 2 1/2) she cried when we started cutting into the pumpkin. My little pacifist. Luckily she wasn’t scarred by that experience and enjoyed pumpkin carving last year.
12. Get Halloween treats, and keep ’em
What are your kids’ favorite Halloween treats? Skip the post-Halloween candy trading by buying a box of Halloween candy for your family. If your kids like savory treats, this variety box looks so yummy for Halloween. Or for like, a Tuesday.
13. Read Halloween stories
There are a lot of adorable non-scary Halloween stories for kids, like:
- The Spooky Wheels on the Bus
- Llama Llama Trick or Treat
- The Hallo-Wiener (this book is awesome – we read it year-round all the time)
- My First Halloween
- The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin
- Ten Timid Ghosts
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mickey’s Halloween
- Baby Touch and Feel: Halloween
- Room on the Broom (I’m excited to order this Halloween book this year – I keep hearing good things about it!)
- Happy Halloween, Daniel Tiger!: A Lift-the-Flap Book
- Sweet and Spooky Halloween (Disney Princess)
- Hoot Howl Halloween (with 10 Halloween sounds)
14. Watch Halloween movies
Here are some kid-friendly Halloween movie ideas:
- It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
- Double, Double, Toil & Trouble
- Harry Potter
- Monsters Inc.
- The Adams Family
- Super Monsters Save Halloween
- Toy Story of Terror
- Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
Plus check out these 11 fall movies that’ll give you all the cozy feels
15. Halloween baking
Since Miss O loves helping out in the kitchen, every holiday is an occasion for us to make some fun festive treat. For easy decorating with the littlest kids, these cupcake topper sets for spiders and witches and pumpkins are perfect.
This Halloween wooden rolling pin with embossed patterns in it is so cute! It’s better for older kids or with adults rolling out the dough (if you actually want it to look like it’s the patterns).
This Haunted House Bundt Pan would make an impressive Halloween cake. If you have never used a fancy bundt pan like this before, a baking tip: spray the heck out of the pan before pouring the batter in. Make sure you get all the little nooks and crannies to help it turn out without chunks missing where the batter sticks to the pan. Otherwise, I love using these and made many fun bundt cakes over the years with my catering business.
A social distancing Halloween this year
Thinking about all these fun social distancing Halloween ideas makes me feel better about Halloween this year. It’s so tough when you want your kid to have all these normal kid experiences, but yet you also want to protect them, because pandemic.
Luckily there is a middle ground between doing everything and not being safe or careful, and canceling Halloween completely. I’m already feeling more festive about Halloween 2020 and excited to celebrate with Miss O, even if it looks different this year.
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