Halloween Will Be Tricky This Year: Five Creative Ways to Treat Your Little Goblins

by Malleana Ruffin, Social Media Manager, Public Interest Registry

“What should I be for Halloween?” “When can we carve pumpkins?” “How much candy can I eat?” These enthusiastic questions are usually easy for parents to answer. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there are no easy answers this Halloween. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has warned that traditional, door to door trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity. But, ghouls just wanna have fun. So, how do we protect kids, and the community, while enjoying the spooky season? There are plenty of ways families can have a great time, even during this scary time. Here are some ideas, with a little help from .ORGs:

Keep Your Vampires Virtual

Coordinate a neighborhood Zoom party with games, scary stories, and a costume contest. Or, check out Trick or Treat for UNICEF, offered by www.unicef.org, where you can host a virtual costume reveal and donate to good causes, while participating in Halloween festivities. Register online to receive a Virtual Collection Box with a customized link and QR code. Kids can participate in arts and crafts activities, watch educational videos, and earn trick-or-treat coins that add up to making a positive impact for children around the world.

Haunt Your Own House 

While knocking on doors is a no-no, there’s no reason to skimp on scares. You can host a scavenger hunt in your home, with ideas from www.halloween2020.org,  hiding candy around the house for kids to find. Try making each room a different theme, for example: a “scream screening,” showing age-appropriate Halloween movies (check www.commonsensemedia.org if you need ideas); a “tomb room,” where toilet paper can transform your kids into instant mummies; and a “haunted library,” for spooky stories and Halloween-themed books. 

Brew Up a Cauldron of Creativity

Quarantine Halloween means crafts and more crafts! Kids can lean to make their own jack o’ lantern drawing, paper ghosts, and spider webs from easy-to-find materials at skiptomylou.org. One Halloween tradition is as safe and fun as ever: decorating pumpkins. Parents need to do any carving, of course. Don’t forget to toast the seeds​ from the pumpkin for a healthy snack, says www.healthychildren.org! Kids can draw silly or spooky faces, glue on yarn to make hair, and paint the pumpkin all different colors. 

Cook up Something Creepy-Crawly

While treats are always part of Halloween fun, this year why not let kids cook them up in addition to eating them up? You can make a frightening feast from entrees to desserts. For a delicious first course, serve up these mummy pizzas, with this adorable and easy recipe from Like Mother, Like Daughter, www.lmld.org, a recipe storehouse with so many fun things to make. Then head over to WGBH’s website, www.wgbh.org for “witch fingers” and “spider donuts,” and more. Don’t forget the skeleton snacks, made by dipping pretzel sticks in white chocolate to make bones—“Bone” Appetit!

This Halloween will be unique, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be frighteningly fun if you take this advice. If you’re still hunting for ideas, take a listen to this piece on www.npr.org about what some industrious parents are doing to make this Halloween special—think candy chutes and ziplines. And, no matter the method you choose to deliver candy to trick or treaters this year, PIR hopes the holiday is scary in all the good ways!