10 Ideas for Halloween Fun in COVID Times

Finding new ways to celebrate a favorite holiday

By Jennifer Hill, publisher of Macaroni Kid Fremont, Calif. October 21, 2020

Halloween is likely to look very different this year because of the pandemic, which I know is already a top of mind concern for many kids!

While we might not be planning the typical Halloween events, I believe we can still make this kid-favorite holiday fun — if not more fun than in years past. Plus you can start early and make it a whole week of Halloween fun! Here are my 10 ideas for making Halloween special for our kids this year:

1. Halloween candy hunt

Think Easter Egg hunt, but with Halloween candy! Toss or hide wrapped candies around the yard and let the kids find them in the dark with flashlights! Play spooky music for extra ambience.

2. Boo your neighbors and friends

"Boo" your neighbors and child's friends by surprising them with a basket or bag full of Halloween goodies!

Simply leave the gift on their doorstep, ring the doorbell, and RUN! You can let them know who it's from, or leave it anonymously for them to guess. Be sure to include a note inviting them to pay it forward by "boo'ing" someone themselves (get our free printable here)! I think my kids actually enjoy booing others even more than getting boo'ed!

This is a fun tradition any year, but especially perfect for the times we are in.

3. Halloween movie night

Plan ahead and get some Halloween jammies, pick out some fun Halloween movies, make a big batch of Candy Corn Popcorn, surprise your kids with fun treats, and enjoy a family movie night.

4. Not-so-spooky arts and crafts

Make Halloween week a crafting extravaganza! From luminaries to spooky creatures, we've got a cauldron-ful of crafts for you! Let your kids hang them throughout the house.

5. Create your own frightening treats

Enjoy Halloween-themed meals, snacks, and treats all week long. Choose from dozens of recipes that are as cute as they are delicious!

6. Host a virtual costume contest or party 

Invite friends and family to join you on Zoom and show off your costumes! Make it a dance party or watch a Halloween movie together for even more fun!

7. Family Jack-o'-lantern contest

Get all of the supplies ready for a fun family contest! Make up some fun categories such as funniest, scariest, or best look-alike and go all out. Pick up some fun prizes, then carve, paint, or get as creative as you want. Want some new decorating ideas? Try...

8. Neighborhood house decorating contest

Take the kids for a walk around the neighborhood to decide on the house with their favorite Halloween decorations. Perhaps your family can give the "winner" a new yard decoration to add to their collection!

9. Hold a homemade Halloween costume contest

Give your family a set time to come up with a Halloween costume using only items they find around the house. Make sure to take family photos of everyone in their creations! Ready, set, GO! 

10. Trunk or Treat with friends and family

Plan a simple trunk or treat with some friends or family. Meet up in a parking lot, spread out, and let the kids go from car to car trunk or treating — while maintaining social distancing and with Halloween masks on.

This year's Halloween celebrations might look different, but we can still make great memories for our kids —  and perhaps even start new, not-so-spooky traditions to carry on into the future.