The Commonwealth at York

As with so many holidays and celebrations this year, Halloween will have to look different during Covid 19. Experts continue to agree that people should not gather in large crowds, and putting too many hands into the same, giant candy bowl is a germ breeding ground.

Rather than eliminate the fun altogether, switch up the way you celebrate Halloween this year, to keep things safe while still including the details your kids cherish most. Instead of an all-out night of nonstop trick-or-treating in your neighborhood or community, choose to bring your trick-or-treating into your own home, setting up stations and fun surprises for the kids around every corner. Work with your neighbors to put together individually wrapped goody bags that kids can grab and go without mucking around in a candy bowl. Organize a small parade around the block, or gather with family for a costumed bike parade around the neighborhood.

There are many safe ways to keep the fun without sacrificing everyone’s health and safety. Here are a few simple ways for your family to celebrate Halloween this year.

Goody Bags > Candy Bowl
Giant candy bowls are a big no-no this Halloween, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still distribute some goodness and fun to the kids that live around you. Rather than pack a candy bowl for grubby hands to grab from, put together individually wrapped goody bags, and leave them spaced out for children to grab on their own. This way, kids can still pop by and grab their bags, but they won’t have to dig their hands into a big bowl and spread their Halloween germs around.

Halloween Parade
Since running door to door in a crowd is not safe this year, mix up ways for the kids to get out and show off their costume fun. Have them don their matching face masks and parade around the block, in the parking lot or just around your building. If other neighbors wish to join in, you’ll want to ensure that you keep the number of children small by going in waves (for example, 10 kids at a time for each mini parade wave), and ensure that all children are in masks and are spaced at least 6 feet apart.

Decorate for Neighbors
Shape the Halloween narrative for your kids and make it all about giving, versus just receiving. Have your kids decorate door decor, wreaths or pumpkins for elderly neighbors. Work with them on cards or letters to leave for cherished, long time neighbors a few doors down. Leave the tricks behind and make Halloween all about treating the neighbors who feel like family.

Prepare Favorite Fall Foods
Let the kids pick their favorite fall recipes and Halloween foods, and make them together. Whether you go with terrifyingly delicious desserts or classic favorites like pumpkin bread and homemade hot apple cider, your kids will get big satisfaction over preparing the traditional foods and treats they love.

Trick or Treat at Home
Rather than send the kids outside to go door to door this year, bring the fun into your home, and set up trick or treating stations throughout your apartment or townhome. Even if your space is small, you can pull this off with creativity and flair. Hide treats, scavenger hunt style, in some rooms and in others have kids knock and say their traditional “trick or treats” to get their sweet rewards. Small kids will love this, especially.

Make Your Own Costumes and Masks
Rather than go with store bought costumes this year, opt for homemade, and get the whole family involved in making them. One of the benefits of living through this pandemic has been having more time together at home as a family. Take advantage of that time now, and begin making costumes and matching masks together. If DIY is not your thing, keep it simple, and the kids will still love every minute of it.