20+ Ways To Celebrate Halloween During COVID-19 If There's No Trick-Or-Treating
You can skip the door-to-door this year with these fun ideas!
Halloween isn't creeping away just yet. It’s very much on the calendar as Halloween candy, decorations and costumes hit the shelves. But we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, so it should come to no surprise that Halloween celebrations and trick-or-treating will look very different this year!
It's important to note that Ontario health officials haven't yet made a call on what will happen this year at Halloween but if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, trick-or-treating may likely get cancelled. (Note: On October 13, 2020, health officials gave the go-ahead for Trick-or-Treating as long as local safety guidelines were followed.) However, parents might not be comfortable with kids going door-to-door. If we won't be trick-or-treating the traditional way this year, there are many other fun ways to celebrate one of the most anticipated events of the year with your family.
Update: On October 19, 2020, Health Officials have announced new guidelines for Halloween due to the high transmission of COVID-19 in the modified Stage 2 public health unit regions of Ottawa, Peel, Toronto and York Region. Read more.
It's time to get creative!
Look for ways to manage trick-or-treating in an entirely different way. Get your kids' favourite candy and let them trick-or-treat door to door within your house, or think 'Halloween Hunt' (similar to Easter). Dress up and have your costume party at home. If they really want to show off their costume, do so via Zoom with friends and family, or have them go for a walk through the neighbourhood. Then come home to a special treat or toy.
Send the Kids to School in Costumes
This is the year to break out your ninja costume — but make your mask part of your costume to minimise difficulty in breathing. Kids will want to wear a costume to school so remember that their Halloween mask alone probably isn’t up to par as a safety device, since costume masks are not designed to protect against droplets.
Throw an Epic Party at Home
Make this year extra special for kids at home, especially if kids aren't able to trick-or-treat. You'll want to have Halloween-themed party foods and treats, a dance party, fun costumes and Halloween Games. Our 'All Things Halloween' page has lots of ideas.
Throw a Small Socially-Distanced Gathering in your Backyard
As with most entertaining these days, outdoors (and small) is best if you want to throw a Halloween party. Follow the health guideline rules such as masking and social distancing. Food and drinks should be prepackaged or in single servings and hand sanitizers should be accessible to all. Setting up chairs and tables so that everyone can be social but still maintain space between each other should be considered. Remember to adhere to new group gathering limits and guidelines recently released by the Government of Ontario.
Socially Distant Block Party
Plan with a few friends or neighbours to host a driveway-friendly game or craft station for kids and families to rotate though. Set up with quick crafts like a paper bag monster or an edible spooky treat, or anything else that’s quick and easy for kids of all ages. Clean and sanitize between groups while guests rotate through each driveway. Kids can wear a mask under the costumes (if comfortable and if they can breathe) for added protection. Remember to adhere to new group gathering limits and guidelines recently released by the Government of Ontario.
Hit a Special Halloween Event
If you’re a big fan of picking pumpkins, hay mazes, costume parades, and haunted houses, you can still take part in these activities. But do your research beforehand to see how these attractions are planning to make it safer (such as limiting participants, distancing and requiring masks), to see if you’re comfortable with their plans. And as with everything else, outdoors is better. Get the list of this years' Halloween Special Events.
Go to Halloween Nights of Lights
This safe and immersive experience is like none other and it's the must-see drive-thru event of the Fall season for all ages. The event features more than 700,000 LED lights animated and synchronized to your favourite Halloween tunes. Turn up the volume and roll down the windows because this dazzling light display only happens once a year. More
Host Zoom Costume Parties, Movie Night and Pumpkin-Carving Contests
There are plenty of ways to get your Halloween on, so think outside the box. Set up a movie projector and screen and host a marathon of your favourite Halloween movies on Netflix, in your backyard for a few friends. Or host a Zoom Halloween dance party where your friends can gather and learn the “Thriller” choreography. Show off your costumes and/or pumpkins with a friendly contest among friends and family. Create a spooktacular playlist. This might just become a new Halloween tradition!
Go to Boo at the Zoo
A family-friendly Halloween event! Head to the Toronto Zoo for the annual Boo at the Zoo! Although it looks a little different this year, but there's still plenty of spook-tacular holiday fun planned. Various dates through October 31. More
Do the BOOmobile Drive-Thru at the Zoo
Turn your automobile into your very own BOOmobile! Due to new COVID-19 restrictions, the regular BOOmobile looks a little different this year, but you can enjoy the experience from the safety and comfort of your OWN vehicle! Fridays and Saturdays, until October 31. More
Decorate your House
This year, go full-out with Halloween decorations to transform the inside of your home, porch and more. Make it a fun project with the kids. Your kids can also showcase Halloween craft projects on your porch and in your front windows for everyone in your neighbourhood to enjoy!
If you're comfortable with this idea, Trunk-or-treating is another of the buzzing trends this year in terms of socially distant trick-or-treat substitutes. This organized event can be held in a school or church parking lot. Trunk-or-treating entails decorated vehicles where kids go trick-or-treating from car to car. You can host this in your neighbourhood, too, with neighbours setting up trunk displays in the driveway and passing out candy. Note: Consider having designated adults (who commit to applying hand sanitizer) give out the candy rather than encourage lots of little hands to reach inside the bowl. Remember to adhere to new group gathering limits and guidelines recently released by the Government of Ontario.
Attend a Halloween Virtual Party at Glama Gal
Glama Gal brings you its first ever Virtual Halloween Party! The event includes: a DIY Tie Dye Candy Corn T-shirt, Googly Eye Halloween Slime, Tricked out Tie Dye Pumpkin painting, Halloween Themed Disposable face mask, Ghoulish Eye Shimmer Application. Join via a 1 hour guided Live Zoom Session. Friday, October 16th, 2020 OR Sunday, October 25th, 2020. More
Make a Special Drop-off
Spread some Halloween cheer by dropping off a goodie bag or pumpkin on the doorsteps of friends and loved ones, as a contact-free way to celebrate. If you're into 'tricks' more than 'treats', drop the sweets on your neighbour's and friends' doorsteps, ring the bell, and run away. Be sure to include a fun and spooky note letting them know who they're from, so they know it's safe to eat.
Take the Kids to Kreepy Kortright
Celebrate the Halloween spirit with spooky and scary activities at Kortright. Discover a haunted house, a frightening forest walk, Halloween activities, bonfire, scary stories and live owls. Fun for children 10 and under. All activities take place outdoors. Daily, October 24, 2020 to October 30, 2020. More
Have a Halloween Movie Marathon
You can choose to do this one via a projector in the backyard, through Netflix Party or just with your family bubble on the couch. Pop some popcorn and throw on your favorite spooky movies and TV shows. Check out our list of the best Halloween movies of all time.
Whip Up DIY Treats or Order Halloween Specials From Restaurants
Brew up your own Halloween sweets and snacks (popcorn with eyeballs, anyone?) to enjoy at home, or order takeout from restaurants serving up Halloween-themed menu items and deals, and support your local eatery. Check out our 'All Things Halloween' page which has a long list of Best Halloween Foods and Treats.
Halloween Egg Hunt
Who says eggs are only for Easter? Pull out the plastic eggs for double duty this year! Draw spooky faces on them or add Halloween stickers to 'bring them up to theme', stuff with candy, and hide them in the yard or house for a hunt! Add glow-in-the-dark stickers and do the egg hunting at night, for extra spookiness while it's dark.
Hit a Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin patches are open but with safety precautions in place. Plus, many of these pumpkin patches offer additional activities for families, like hayrides and corn mazes, so you can turn your hunt into a fun fall day excursion. More
String up a Halloween-themed piñata filled with candy in your house or in the yard for the kids to play and hit the jackpot of Halloween Candy.
Coordinate with your neighborhood friends and have parents drive by like the COVID-19 birthday parades. Gently throw candy at costumed kids in their yards. This reverse trick-or-treating is a win-win. It keeps the more vulnerable generation and high risk people from getting too close while still allowing them to enjoy seeing everyone in their costumes. And, the kids can still collect candy.
Costumes on Parade
Organize and hold a socially distanced costume parade with neighbours and keep the treats at home to enjoy afterwards.
Create a Halloween Advent Calendar
Stretch out the fun this year. Pick a fun Halloween activity, craft or recipe to do each day or each weekend in October leading up to the big day. You can get lots of ideas via our 'All Things Halloween' page.
Make a Fun Halloween Gingerbread House With Your Kids
This year, make a Halloween gingerbread house with your kids! This fun project will keep them busy for several hours and your spooky masterpiece will be a delicious treat to share with the entire family. More
How are you planning on celebrating Halloween this year? Whatever your plans, have fun, stay safe and ensure you are abiding by health and safety regulations!