Halloween is likely going to look different this year. Maintaining 6 feet of distance from others and reducing the spread of germs are very important now; even on a holiday. Do not get discouraged! There are a ton of ways to make Halloween fun and memorable for kids of all ages.
Local trick or treat times have been announced! While having your kids walk through your neighborhood, ringing doorbells and dipping their hands in all of the candy buckets may sound like a nightmare, there is a great alternative that reduces many of the risks. Drive by Trick or Treating is sort of like a birthday parade. Imagine having your kids get all decked out in their costumes and set up shop at the end of the driveway. With buckets ready, they will be ready for the barrage of candy that will be coming their way. Adults can drive by with candy and toss it out of the cars for the kids to pick up. My son loved having a birthday parade and I am sure a Halloween parade would be a huge hit with him as well. If you haven’t experienced or heard of a birthday parade, check out some additional information here.
Coordinating Neighborhood Participation
To make this type of event possible, there will need to be some upfront coordination. Many neighborhoods use a Facebook group or the Nextdoor app to spread important events and information. If you think your neighborhood may want to participate in an event like this, send out a message gauging interest. You will need to coordinate a starting location, time, and path to take through the neighborhood. If you live in a larger neighborhood, set up shorter routes with some of the closest neighbors. Or just keep it simple and have kids wait outside from 6pm-8pm and drive by at your leisure tossing candy to any kids that may be out.
Spooky Vehicle Preparation
Before the drive by trick or treating starts, encourage participants to decorate their vehicles. This can really add an extra wow factor to the parade and get the kids more excited. Normal door-to-door trick or treating and trunk or treat events are made more special with decorations. This should be no different. If you get all into it, everyone else will be even more interested in participating! Some ideas for decorations would be to string spider webs on your car, put a scarecrow in one of the back seat windows, tape monsters to your car, play spooky music, or string up some battery operated lights in purple and orange.
Show off Those Costumes
Encourage kids to dress up how they normally would for Halloween. While kids wait for cars to pass their house with goodies, bring out some chalk, bubbles, or a fog machine and some music for dancing and goofing around. To get more participation, you may want to have one parent stay with the kids and the other parent distribute the candy. If you are driving, be sure to honk your horn a few times to get the kids into the spirit of a trick or treating parade. Adults should dress up too! If your vehicle has a theme, dress with that theme.
If you are uneasy with kids gathering up the candy themselves, certainly jump in there and safely gather the pieces. Keep some hand sanitizer nearby in case anyone touches something that could be germy. Have masks ready to go in the event that you start unexpectedly chatting with neighbors. You can then sanitize the packaging or quarantine the loot for a few days. The wonderful thing about Halloween trick or treating is that everything is individually wrapped and you were likely going to sort through their candy before they ate any of it anyway.
High Risk and Vulnerable Individuals
A parade can be enjoyed from inside the home by looking out of the front windows or hanging out on a screened porch. A front porch can be a safe zone to watch the spectacle since trick or treaters won’t be approaching the door. It can bring a lot of joy to those who may have otherwise not been able to participate in the holiday at all.
An event like this is a fantastic alternative to the traditional trick or treating. You won’t have to worry about someone getting too close for your comfort level or having your kids touch things that could spread germs. All of the candy can be sanitized before being enjoyed. An added bonus, is that you won’t have to worry with pushing a stroller or wagon down crowded sidewalks. Kids won’t get grumpy from walking too far and they can play in their front yards in fun costumes! You can also help your kids pick costumes where mask wearing would be completely normal and expected.
If you are looking for more ways to celebrate Halloween in a new way be sure to check out Indy with Kids for tons of ideas. 10 ways to trick or treat with social distancing is a great place to start or this list of 20 Halloween themed events and ways to celebrate.