6 ways for kids to celebrate Halloween safely, from drive-thru trick-or-treating to at-home candy hunts

Kelly Burch
·4 min read
trick or treat halloween vintage
A group of trick-or-treaters during the 1960s. D. Corson/ClassicStock/Getty Images
  • Many towns and cities are encouraging families to skip trick-or-treating this year.

  • Kids, however, aren't likely to give up on their plans for Halloween.

  • Parents are getting creative with solutions to make Halloween 2020 as fun as possible, including festive decorations and drive-through trick-or-treating.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Of all the heartbreaks of the pandemic, Halloween and the cancellation of trick-or-treating may hit kids the hardest. It's no wonder — for many kids (and, let's be honest, adults) Halloween is about unrestrained joy: a holiday filled with costumes and candy, without few family obligations. 

This year, Halloween will look different. Many kids around the country are doing remote learning, so there will be fewer spooky parades at school and virtually no classroom parties. And then there's trick-or-treating. Many municipalities have cancelled their celebrations amid fears that the virus could pass as easily as candy. 

That's left parents scrambling to make Halloween special and safe for their kids. Children who started planning their costumes months in advance won't likely give up on their Halloween enthusiasm, so it's up to adults to figure out a solution. Here's how parents around the country are planning to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic. 

Make the costumes unforgettable

Stephanie Kaloi, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, wants this Halloween to be memorable for her 11-year-old son, and not just because it's happening during a pandemic. So, Kaloi is focusing on unforgettable costumes inspired by X-Men. 

"This year I have put more energy than ever into getting costumes," she said. "My son is going as Wolverine and I'm going as Mystique, and we're going all out."

Kaloi plans to don the costumes in the morning and go for a socially-distanced walk around town. Then, she and her son will meet up with the only family they're currently seeing in person — their bubble. 

Although her son is disappointed that he won't be trick-or-treating, he's embraced the new plan. 

"He's actually pretty excited about it," Kaloi said.

Take inspiration from Easter

Normally, Christie Buehler would take her three-year-old to a big downtown trick-or-treat event near their home in Sequim, Washington. During the pandemic, Buehler isn't comfortable with that, so she's taking some inspiration from another holiday. 

"We're planning to do an Easter egg-style hunt, because she loves that," Buehler said. "Just randomly throughout the year, she'll distribute toys around the house and grab a basket to go find all her 'eggs.'"

An at-home hunt with a few friends will let Buehler enjoy Halloween, without feeling like she's risking her daughter's health. 

"We'll still be enjoying costumes and treats, but staying away from people outside our pod," Buehler said.

Rethink trick-or-treating

Alicia Betz, of Pennsylvania, wasn't about to let Halloween pass by without celebrating with her two-year-old daughter. 

"I love holidays too much to pretend they don't exist," she said. 

So Betz is taking a creative approach to trick-or-treating. A local minor-league baseball team in her town is hosting a drive-thru trick-or-treating event, which she'll be attending. Then, she plans to have her daughter trick-or-treat in each room of their house. Afterwards, they'll head to the grandparents' for a trick-or-treat stop. 

Lean in to decorations

The Halloween celebrations have already begun at the home of Amina Sarraf, who lives in Northern Virginia. She's decorated the inside and outside of her house with her 9-year-old, which has already set a festive tone. 

Still, Sarraf plans to make October 31 stand out. "We're going to make some Halloween treats, have a Halloween movie marathon, and the kid can have all the candy he wants," she said. 

Host a fall fest

Kelsey Hamman, of Austin Texas, will have an at-home celebration for her three kids, ages eight, six and three. 

"I'm planning to do a little 'fall fest' at the house," Hamman said. 

She'll distract the kids from trick-or-treating by letting them do crafts, bake, and carve pumpkins. She plans to wrap up the evening with a favorite Halloween movie screening. 

Hand out individual bags of candy

Some families will still choose to trick-or-treat door-to-door this year, despite the lack of formal events. Because of that, families that live in busy areas are thinking ahead to provide safe options for the kids who come by their homes. 

"I'm going to make goody bags of candy and have them set up on my porch at the house, so kids can safely snag a bag instead of dipping their hands into a communal bowl," Kaloi said. 

Although Betz isn't expecting too many trick-or-treaters, she's planning to pass on some treats to friends to teach her daughter about giving. 

"I'm going to put together a little bag to 'boo' one of our neighbors, hoping to teach [my daughter] about kindness and generosity," Betz said. 

Read the original article on Insider