The 2020 Halloween Guide to a Socially Distanced Celebration
This year has already felt like one big trick, and it's about time for some treats!
Halloween is a holiday about fun, pretending, silliness and using your imagination (and candy, can't forget candy). If dressing up in a costume brings you joy, or handing out candy to kids without the creepy drive-by-van implications makes you giddy, then more than ever, this year's Halloween is the time to celebrate and do it up big!
And we know that there's good reason for apprehension and an abundance of caution, but we have quite a few ways you can get into the spooky spirit, without actually endangering anyone's health.
Outdoor Decorating Contest
With your neighbors, throw a decorating contest. Decorate your porch, stoop, lawn, balcony, door or whatever you have. Select a set of judges (or do a popular vote using all contestants) and see who has the most creative deckings. Think BIG. This is your moment to get creative and be resourceful. Try painting with glow in the dark paint, construct something with wire hangers or hang spooky ghosts from the trees. Cast a vision with your household and then go for it! You can even have different categories for winners: best jack-o-lantern, best use of special effects, spookiest house, kids-choice, etc.
Haunted Vehicle Parade
Just like birthday parades, you can also coordinate with friends and family to decorate your cars (like ikuumichii's pictured here), compile the scariest playlist and create a mobile parade of spookiness. Meet at a local parking lot and decide your route, then share your haunting skills with everyone in your path as you cruise a neighborhood.
Scary Movie Night
Plan a movie marathon either using Zoom to safely social distance, or if you have a large outdoor area and weather permits, host people in distanced tents and throw a projector screen up. Bring your own snacks and snuggle in for some classic Halloween tales.
Ever heard of getting boo'd? All you need to do is print a poem like this one from Lydia Out Loud that contains the instructions for your recipient and a few signs that say "We've been boo'd." Then you'll create a fun treat basket for one of your friends or neighbors, and drop it off at their house (without telling them), including the instructions and signs. They will enjoy your gift and reciprocate by boo'ing someone else anonymously. You'll want to establish ahead of time who all will participate within your neighborhood or friend group so that you can keep the fun going. To determine who starts, use a lottery system so that only the initiator will know it's them kicking off the boos.
Trick or Treating at a Distance
For trick or treating, there's plenty of ways you can keep adequately distant from those outside your quarantine bubble without the kids missing out. With any of these ideas, it's best to pre-portion and package candy and treats to reduce cross-contamination. And of course, wash or sanitize your hands first, wear gloves and use your noggin.
You can create a candy chute with some pvc pipe from the local hardware to safely send goody bags down your porch railing from a distance.
Deploy a remote control vehicle to deliver goodies down the driveway, or use a grabber to reach into your bucket of candy and extend it to your guests. There's some pretty clever halloween themed claws available from places like Amazon on short notice.
Use a coffee filter or grocery bag, cut it to size and use string or fishing line to attach parachutes to your treat bags and drop them from a second or third story.
You can also set out a table at the end of your driveway with the pre-packaged treats and watch from your porch or windows to see everyone's costumes as each family comes one at a time to pick up their set of treats.
The holidays don't have to be a bummer. There's always resourceful and inventive ways to bring new fun to old traditions and we can start with Halloween. Don't get spooked out of having a good time!