Halloween is not canceled! 13 Ideas for a Safe Halloween during COVID-19

Social Distancing Halloween

With the way 2020 is going so far, we’ve all been wondering if Halloween is cancelled this year. {Hint – it is NOT!}

We don’t need to cancel Halloween – we just need to get creative!!

Halloween costume stores are opening, Halloween candy is hitting the shelves, and we want to give our children a fun and safe holiday to look forward to.

We are still living in a pandemic, so some fall activities might look different this year, including trick-or-treating. If you still plan to hand out candy on Halloween, use these ideas for limited contact and social distancing trick or treating.

Some people are planning to stay home, some people are planning to Trick or Treat, and the great news is everyone can enjoy Halloween however they are comfortable. Whether you are still planning to go door to door OR are looking for a trick-or treat alternative, we’ve got ideas for you. This post contains affiliate links.

We all want to keep case numbers low in our community, so let’s do our part to social distance and take precautions as we celebrate Halloween during COVID. Now you just have to start picking out those Spooktacular costumes!

Jump to: Socially Distanced Trick or Treating Ideas | You’ve Been Booed | Halloween Fun at Home | Halloween Food Ideas | Outdoor Decorations | Fall Fun all month long

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for safety protocols, mask requirements, advance registration, and any last-minute changes. All information on our website is for informational purposes only – we are not qualified to provide health or safety recommendations. Be informed, have fun, stay healthy, and make good choices!

Ideas for socially distanced Trick or Treating

Set up a Trick-or-Treat Table

Take the Halloween candy bowl to the next level. Instead of having kids crowd around your doorway, set up a table in your driveway or front yard so everyone can stay a safe distance apart. Bonus points if you decorate it for Halloween.

Trunk or Treat in your Driveway

Take that idea up another notch by parking in your driveway, popping open the trunk, and decorating it in a Halloween theme. Kids can stop at the end of your driveway to get candy and check out your decorations.

Neighborhood Trunk or Treat Trail

Get all of your neighbors in on the action and have everyone decorate their trunk. Make it a contest and pick a few kid judges to select the best trunk or treat display.

Set out individual bags or cups of candy

To help keep hand contact at a minimum, put candy into Halloween goodie bags or small cups and set them out on the table for grab and go Halloween candy. If you see a lot of Halloween traffic, you can also just set rows of candy out on the table – allowing you to sit back and keep your distance and have a contact-free trick or treat.

Whatever your Halloween set up is, we recommend one person hands out the candy instead of multiple little hands reaching into the same bowl of candy.

If you live in a neighborhood, check in with neighbors or see if there is a neighborhood chat to find out if there are specific plans for Halloween night.

If you are planning to Trick or Treat this year we have a separate post with Trick or Treating dates and hours as well as Halloween Safety Tips.

“Boo” your Neighbors, Family or Friends

We got BOOED one year and it was such a fun surprise! There is no right or wrong way to BOO another house. You basically leave a Halloween goodie bag on someone’s front porch as a surprise with a note letting them know “You’ve Been Booed.” {A quick Google search will bring up LOTS of printables}.

How do you BOO someone? Think of it like a Halloween care package. You can include anything you’d like inside a bag, pumpkin, box, etc. Dollar Tree is a great place to find things like glow sticks, small games, Halloween treats, candy – use your imagination, and think about what the recipients might use.

Leave your bag of Halloween gifts during the day or after dark, ring the doorbell, leave the treats on their doorstep and run. {Think ding dong ditch but you’re leaving a fun surprise!}

TIP – If the BOO’s are making the rounds in your neighborhood, be sure to include a printout of a ghost or a pumpkin someone can put near the front door or in a window to indicate they’ve already been BOO’d. This helps make sure the fun makes its way around to everyone.

Have a Halloween “Party” at home

Whether you invite over a small group of friends or neighbors, hang with your quarantine “pod,” or just keep it small with your own immediate family, you can still have a great time celebrating Halloween with these party ideas.

Trick or Treat Stations in your yard or inside the house

Coordinate with friends, family, or neighbors to make this happen. Have multiple adults each set up / decorate a trick or treat station. Then the kids go around to each station as much as they want and “trick or treat.” You can also plan other activities, carnival-style games {ring toss on a witch hat is nice and easy to set up}, corn hole, smores, and fun Halloween themed food {ideas below}. If you need party games, Amazon has a good selection.

Have a Candy Scavenger Hunt

Let’s be honest – for some kids, being able to eat massive amounts of candy is all they really care about when it comes to Halloween. You buy their favorite candy, put it into small bags or even Easter eggs, hide them around the house, and then send them on a scavenger hunt to find them all. {Just be sure they are high enough where a pet can get to them}.

Halloween Pinata

Make the kids work for the candy when you set up a Halloween pinata. You can order a Halloween pinata online.

Plan a Halloween Movie Marathon

Your own living room is a great place to celebrate Halloween this year! Buy bags of candy, make popcorn, eat Carmel apples and have a family movie night.

Host an Outdoor Halloween Movie Night

It is easy to social distance when you set up an outdoor movie screen and projector. You can buy an affordable home projector for under $100 and hang up a white sheet, OR check with local party rental companies – most of them rent out movie screens.

Halloween movie ideas:

  • Hocus Pocus
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The House with the Clock in its Walls
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Ghostbusters
  • Goosebumps
  • Beetlejuice
  • The Addams Family
  • The Haunted Mansion

{Not all of these are rated G or appropriate for all ages. I don’t do scary movies so you’re on your own to find those!}

More ideas for Halloween Fun at Home

  • Decorate Monster cookies
  • Make Halloween slime
  • Paint or Carve a pumpkin {buy one at a local Pumpkin Patch or Corn Maze}
  • Print off Halloween Bingo cards
  • There are SO many ideas out there – check Pinterest and Google for more fall fun at home.

**If you aren’t handing out candy, don’t forget to turn off your front porch light so people don’t ring your doorbell.**

Halloween Food Ideas

A quick Google or Pinterest search will turn up plenty of ideas for Halloween themed food if you’re hosting a party or just looking to surprise your kids with a themed dinner – mummy dogs and Frankenguac are always popular at my house.

You can also order takeout from one of the restaurants serving up Halloween-themed menu items – in past years we’ve seen Papa John’s Jack-o-Lantern pizza, Chipolete’s boo-rito, and IHOP scary face pancakes. When it gets close to Halloween you can check our list of Halloween Freebies & Deals to find out where you can get free treats just for wearing a costume.

Take your Outdoor Halloween Decorations up a Notch

Be the hit of the neighborhood when you go all out decorating your yard. Get inflatables from Home Depot, Lowe’s or Amazon, check out Dollar Tree for headstones to create your own graveyard, and of course Party City and Spirit Halloween have a huge selection of Halloween decorations. (I’d recommend going without small children – they have in store displays that can be very scary).

Celebrate Halloween early with Fall Fun

Halloween isn’t limited to just one day, you can spend the entire month of October enjoying fall fun in Lakeland. Don’t miss our Ultimate List of Fall & Halloween Activities to find fall fun for families in Lakeland and Polk County including:
🌽 Corn Mazes + Fall Festivals 
🎃 Pumpkin Patches 
💀 Haunted Houses 
🍬 Halloween Events for Kids 
👸 Halloween Costume Stores 
and more!

Whether you keep things simple or go all out, we wish you a Happy Halloween!