In some ways, 2020 would make for the perfect Halloween: the holiday falls on a Saturday, and it’s a full moon (specifically, a “blue moon,” an event that occurs only once every couple of years).
But it’s no surprise that Halloween will look very different in 2020. With coronavirus rates rising in some parts of the country and social distancing measures still in place, many people are thinking about their health and that of others while considering how to celebrate.
Here are some Halloween ideas from families across the country to keep the holiday spooky while staying safe, complete with wearing masks, sanitizing often and practicing social distancing.
Shift trick-or-treating to a grab-and-go affair.
Door-to-door trick-or-treating this year may instead be table-to-table. In Canonsburg, Pa., Dana Armstrong, 39, and her neighbors are recommending families put tables outdoors, at the end of their driveways or in front of their homes, with candy spread out on top for children to grab as they pass. A similar concept is popping up in Chicago neighborhoods. After discussing it with her husband, Sarah Barr, 40, said she’ll head out — masked up — with her 10-year-old daughter, along with a small group of friends and their parents. Any house where the tables look like subway platforms during rush hour, or where people aren’t wearing masks, “Keep on movin’!” Ms. Barr said.
In Washington, Veronica Jimenez, 45, is putting a twist on trick-or-treating by taking her children on a walk through their neighborhood — and being their candy dispenser.
“For every decorated house we see, I’ll give them some candy,” she said. “That was an easy idea of how I can make them happy, but also keep safe.”
Focus on family time.
Last Halloween, Ivonne Valdes and her husband went to Disney World with their children, now 5 and 3. This year, Ms. Valdes turned to Pinterest for inspiration on decorating their Miami backyard.
“I’m thinking of setting up a scavenger hunt of little bags with Halloween candy and treats,” Ms. Valdes said. They will try their hands at pumpkin carving, then spend the evening making cupcakes and watching their favorite holiday flicks like “Hotel Transylvania.”
Creativity is buzzing in other Miami homes, too. Elisa Douglass, 44, has turned costumes into a family challenge for her husband and two kids, 10 and 12. “I thought, ‘Let’s make our own costumes,’” said Ms. Douglass, a master sewer, who encouraged the family to collect odds and ends from around the house. Also on the agenda: pizza, baking and 80s movies.
“My kids love being home, so in a sense I got lucky,” she said.
Turn your pods into Halloweentown.
Barring any snow in Minneapolis, Tiffany Tomlin Kurtz, 43, and a small group of neighbors plan to organize an outdoor party, with a glow-in-the-dark candy hunt for the kids, a bonfire for adults and an outdoor projector showing a Halloween flick.
In Atlanta, after their kids wrote a letter making the case for more than a backyard Halloween party, Maggie and Garrett Mock and other friend-parents put their heads together to come up with a “progressive party,” Covid-19 style.
“Each house will give away candy, but also host a little extra activity to make up for the limited stops,” Ms. Mock said. From pizza and piñatas at one stop, and at other stops, backyard dance parties, ghost tales around the bonfire and, of course, an outside projector with scary movies.
“We think it’s a fun way for the kids to have a say in how this strange holiday plays out,” Ms. Mock said, “while also allowing the parents to get creative and have some festive fun of their own.”