After news that the Centers for Disease Control designated traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating as higher risk, parents and Halloween enthusiasts have been searching for (and creating) ideas for a safe and socially-distanced Halloween.

We hope these 4 COVID-friendly Halloween activities will help you plan a spooky night to remember.

1. Decorate Your House

Haunt the neighborhood with store-bought or DIY Halloween decorations to transform the inside and outside of your home. We’ve compiled DIY ideas that range from jack-o’-lanterns and haunting warning signs, to haunted windows and frightening floating ghosts, all of which you can tackle with the kiddos.

2. Build a Candy Chute

It’s exactly as it sounds: A tube attached to the front of one’s house so candy can be sent down to trick-or-treaters, contact-free and socially-distanced.

A Virginia man, Chris Minor, created his own Halloween candy chute made of PVC pipe and a little orange paint; and WTOP’s Neal Augenstein built (and tested) a 10-foot version! Spoiler alert: only a few Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were sacrificed during their investigation.

For those interested in building their own candy chute, Chris has a Candy Chute Tutorial available for $5.00 on Etsy.

Safety Tip: If you plan to participate in one-way trick-or-treating, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing and handing out the candy, the CDC says. If you’re sick, don’t hand out candy. If you’re in good health, be sure to wear a mask.

3. Create an At-Home Candy Scavenger Hunt

If your family plans to spend the evening inside, consider having a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt in and around your home, or inside the safety of your vehicle.

Be sure to check out Red Ted Art’s Free Halloween Scavenger Hunt Printables or this downloadable Scavenger Hunt printout from USA Today for easy-peezy set up!

4. Host a Zoom Costume Party or Pumpkin-Carving Contest

One of the safest ways to celebrate Halloween is to do so virtually! But, virtual Halloween doesn’t have to be boring. You can host a Halloween-themed party on Zoom for friends, coworkers, or family. Don your spookiest costume and take turns reading scary stories, listening to music, watching scary movies, carving pumpkins, or solving a Virtual Escape Room.

Take your virtual party up a notch by distributing supplies for a DIY Murder Mystery game in advance and hosting the game via Zoom on Halloween night!

More Creative Neighborhood Trick-or-Treating Ideas

  • Candy Bag Trick-or-Treating – Give the neighborhood kids all the fun of trick or treating with any of the contact. Simply leave individually wrapped treats on a table or tray at least 10 feet away from the house. Feel free to wave from a distance and admire all of the adorable costumes! To get the most bang for your buck, order some of these adorable pumpkin candy bags!
  • Halloween Candy Tree – If you have a large tree in front of your house, it might be fun to use string to dangle candy from the branches! Trick-or-treaters will come one-by-one, and select their candy from the tree. Just be sure to dangle them low enough for the little ones!
  • Candy Sticking – Think Easter Egg hunt, but Halloween-style! Wendy Reeves posted her plans to stick M&M’s all over her yard for easy picking! All you need is some packaged candy and inexpensive bamboo skewers.
  • COVID Trunk-or-Treat – Trunk-or-Treats are relatively common every Halloween, and can be continued this year with extra precautions. If you’re helping to organize a neighborhood Trunk-or-Treat, be sure that the cars park at least six feet apart and require all participants to wear facial coverings and bring their own hand sanitizer. If you live in a larger community, you can even have families sign up for blocks of time that will allow for social distancing using SignUpGenius, Eventbrite, or Google Forms. See more Trunk-or-Treat tips from Indy with Kids.

Safety Tip: Avoid putting out bowls of candy or piling the candy together, which can be a cross-contamination risk. It’s also a good idea to have disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer on hand so parents can wipe down candy as they put it in their child(ren)’s candy bucket or sanitize their hands before and after selecting their candy bag.

Whatever ways you celebrate the spooky season, just remember that only you get to decide what works best for your family. We’re here to support you through this new normal, and hope that you share all of your fun, socially-distanced Halloween stories with us!

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