How to Have a Safe and Spooky Halloween

By Charlotte Archibald

Some might think this is strange, but my favourite holiday is Halloween. As the nights get darker, I love nothing more than decorating the house in candles, pumpkins, skulls and spiders and making the celebration fun and enjoyable for the whole family. This usually involves trick-or-treating with our neighbours and friends, apple-bobbing, costume parties and visiting as many local Halloween events and attractions as we can fit in throughout October.

This year, things are…a little different. It’s sad that we’ll have to forgo some of our favourite Halloween traditions, but I’m determined not to let a global pandemic come between my family’s enjoyment of our favourite holiday! We have decided to get creative and come up with some safe and alternative ways to enjoy the spookiest of seasons. Check out our list of creepy-cool activities!

The biggest change this year is we have decided to hold a Halloween scavenger hunt instead of traditional trick-or-treating. After painting a collection of stones with a spooky Halloween theme, we will take these up to our local park and hide them for the kids to find. For each stone they find, they will get a sweetie. If you hold a Halloween scavenger hunt at dusk, you could even try paining the rocks and stones you hide in glow in the dark paint or tie a glow stick to them. If you leave the stones in place for a day or two, other families will be able to join in and spot them too.

As it isn’t safe to take kids door-to-door trick-or-treating this year, you could pre-arrange to stop by the outside of one or two friends’ houses locally to pick up some sweet treats. They can stay warm and safe inside and show you their costumes through the window!

One way of doing this safely is by arranging a tray of wrapped sweets in individual paper cups, so that each child get their own treats without touching anyone else’s. You can decorate these cups to make them look creepy and cool, and these can be recycled afterwards. Make sure you don’t go inside anyone’s house to do this and always keep a two-metre distance. And don’t forget to take plenty of hand sanitiser with you!

On Halloween night, just as it starts to get dark, we’ll be taking a walk around the streets near us to spot pumpkins and spooky decorations. For each house that we see with a pumpkin, I’ll give the kids a treat for their trick-or-treat buckets.

It’s not exactly what we’re used to doing, but the kids can still dress-up, have fun – and get some sweets! I’m sure that’s the most important bit for them!

Here are a few more quick tips for enjoying a safe and spooky Halloween with your family:

  • Visit your local park or green space to collect leaves, twigs and items to make an autumn garland to add a bit of natural decoration to your home.

  • Have a family pumpkin-carving competition

  • Make your own spooky tea-light decorations using a pair of scissors and paper cups.

  • Watch (age-appropriate) Halloween movies.

  • Create a spooky display in your window or front garden for passers-by to enjoy.

  • Use a face-paint set to create some horrifyingly good Halloween special effects.

  • Older kids and adults can hold a virtual costume contest! You and your friends can vote on the best costume.