Socially distanced seasonal ideas for a spooky but safe celebration

The prospect of another school semester at home may already be scary enough for most parents this fall season. However, just because masks have become the new everyday normal doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your Halloween and autumn celebrations to comply with public safety guidelines. 

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, it will be more important than ever to incorporate moments of joy and celebration in what is sure to be an uncertain time. While it might seem like a supernatural feat, we’ve got you covered with some suggestions for seasonal fun.

Instead of Trick or Treat:

Try a Halloween Candy Scavenger Hunt

Some Central Ohio communities will likely forgo trick-or-treating to reduce person-to-person contact, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Instead of handing your kids a basket of candy, make them work for it and have some laughs along the way with an Easter-style Halloween scavenger hunt. Pull out the plastic Easter Eggs—or find Halloween fillables at Oriental Trading Co. or the dollar store—and fill them with snack-sized candy to hide around the house or yard. Get creative; older children might find a ghoulish riddle or two adds to the fun and delays the sugar rush. 

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Instead of Passing out Candy:

Try Individual Wrapped Candy Bags

If your neighborhood decides to go ahead with trick-or-treating, a great way to reduce your family’s contact with others while still keeping your porch light on could be making individual candy bags. Drop a few pieces of candy into a small plastic or paper bag and leave the bags by your front door. Make sure to follow public health guidelines while preparing the treats. And don’t forget to make a big “Please Take One” sign and watch out for mischievous firefighters or princesses.

Instead of Going to a Pumpkin Patch:

Try DIY Halloween Decorations 

As far as risks go, visiting an outdoor pumpkin patch may be pretty low. But if you still want to avoid any seasonal crowds, now is the perfect time to break out the scissors and glue sticks to get creative with your Halloween decorations. While you’re at it, why not take the chance to recycle some household products? Take the labels off the containers for laundry pods, and you have the perfect orange vessel for a mess-free (or at least mess-reduced) jack-o’-lantern. Or if you want a more ghostly feel, an empty milk jug and a Sharpie will help you craft a frightful, electric-candle-lit piece of décor. Let the kids decorate their bedroom doors like Frankenstein. Toilet paper rolls can easily be turned into flying bats. This is another chance to think outside the box (or, should we say, pumpkin).

Instead of a Haunted House:

Try a Spooky Pillow Fort and a Monster Movie

Nothing can replace the hair-standing-on-end thrill of a haunted house, but a well-decorated blanket fort and a few spook-tackular movies might come close. For a Halloween night at home, let your kids craft their own bedsheet castle while you play an age-appropriate Halloween movie. Now is the perfect time to watch a classic from your childhood or discover a new family favorite while eating popcorn and sipping on some warm apple cider.