We’re almost halfway through the month of October, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the Halloween activities that I participated in when I was a kid. Things like going to school wearing my Halloween costume, carving pumpkins, Trick or Treating, and attending Halloween parties are just some of the things that have come to mind.

I loved everything about Trick or Treating when I was a kid. I loved dressing up in fun costumes (my favorite being my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume; I was Leonardo, of course), spending the night hanging out with my friends, and getting tons of candy. My dad always accompanied us, waiting for us down on the sidewalk as we went to each house, and when we would tell him what we had gotten, he would always quote Charlie Brown (from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!) and solemnly announce, “I got a rock.”

Unfortunately, activities like traditional Trick or Treating and Halloween parties just aren’t a safe way to celebrate the holiday this year. While this is disappointing for a lot of people, especially for kids, we do need to be careful about how we choose to celebrate the upcoming holiday to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 exposure.

Here are some ways that you and your family can celebrate Halloween safely this year…and still have a great time.

  • Create Some Fun Halloween Treats — Halloween is a great time to get creative when it comes to cooking and baking. If you’d like some ideas for Halloween-themed snacks, I highly recommend doing a little browsing on Pinterest. I’ve found links to several recipes which look fantastic. The Delish and Good Housekeeping websites are also great places to find ideas. Personally, I’m going to be making Pumpkin Patch Brownies this year.
  • Dress Up In Costumes — Even though you’re probably not going out Trick or Treating this year, dressing up in costumes is a big part of what makes Halloween fun (for both kids and adults). I say go ahead and dress up! Have a family costume contest or parade. If you’re not comfortable going to a costume shop or Halloween store, you can always create a costume from materials you have at home.
  • Make Halloween A Family Night
    • Have A Halloween Family Game Night — Game nights are a great way to spend time together as a family, and can be a fun alternative to Trick or Treating. You can even award candy prizes for things like winning a game, having a great attitude while playing, rolling doubles, etc. If you’re interested in playing games that are a little more on the spooky side, you might consider one of these…
      • Clue
      • 13 Dead End Drive
      • Betrayal At House On The Hill — This game is definitely designed for older players, but there is a more kid-friendly version called Scooby-Doo Betrayal At Mystery Mansion.
      • Arkham Horror — This game is also designed for older players, and has a fairly steep learning curve.
      • You can also find tons of escape room board games, some of which have spooky themes.
    • Have A Family Movie Night — If your family enjoys movies, you might enjoy turning Halloween into a family movie night. There are a lot of great, family-friendly movies that would be perfect to watch on the 31st. Some of my favorites include…
      • The Addams Family
      • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
      • Casper
      • Goosebumps
      • Hocus Pocus
      • The Haunted Mansion
      • Garfield’s Halloween Adventure
      • The Nightmare Before Christmas
      • Some of your family’s favorite television series may also have Halloween specials.
  • Have A “Read and Treat” Halloween — Whether you have kids or not, Halloween is a great time to stay in with a good book. There are tons of great children’s books that take place on Halloween, which would be a lot of fun to read with younger kids. Personally, I enjoy reading spooky books (which is rather odd, considering that I am a bit of a scaredy cat), but if the horror genre isn’t really your style, you might consider reading a Halloween/Fall-themed cozy mystery instead. Pair your book with a Halloween desert, tea, or some hot apple cider, and you’re all set.
  • Have A Candy Treasure Hunt — When I was in third grade, my dad created a treasure hunt for me as an alternative to Trick or Treating. He hid candy bars all over the house, along with a series of clues that I had to decipher in order to find all of my treats. Not only did I enjoy solving the clues, but I really liked ending the night with a big pile of candy that was comprised only of my favorites. (It is important to note that if you are going to do something like this, you need to make sure that any candy is placed well out of reach of your household pets.)

Even though traditional Trick or Treating isn’t a safe way to celebrate the holiday this year, your creativity can make this Halloween a fun memory for your kids.

Do you have additional Halloween ideas that you’d like to share with our online community? If so, please leave a comment on this post.

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