The pandemic is not canceling Halloween. Though Halloween definitely isn’t like last year, it’s still not the normal we use to love.

Recently Dr. Fauci gave the okay to go trick-or-treating, but if you aren’t feeling up to it just yet, RetailMeNot created a list of ideas on how to safely get your spook on this Halloween season. Here are some spooky ideas you can use to celebrate Halloween in quarantine aka Quarantine-O-Ween.

  • 1. Decorate Your House to the Max

    Haunt the neighborhood with store-bought or DIY (or shall we say boo-it-yourself) Halloween decorations to transform the inside of your home, porch, and more. On the store-bought front, The Home Depot has SO many cool Halloween decorations this year–check them out. Also, apparently, people are turning their Christmas trees into kitschy Halloween trees. I am here for that. Plus, there’s this super-popular RJ Legend 15-inch Halloween Ceramic Tree.

  • 2. Set up a Candy Graveyard

    I got this idea from Oriental Trading! The concept is extra cool because your yard gets decked out for Halloween and gives kids a way to social distance while trick-or-treating in it. Set up fake tombstones in your yard with prizes and candy piled up next to each tombstone. You could have each kid enter the graveyard one at a time and package up candy and prizes into individual treat bags for extra safety.

  • 3. Host Zoom Costume Parties and Pumpkin-Carving Contests

    Host a Halloween-themed costume or dance party on Zoom for friends and family. Put together a spooktacular playlist so everyone can dance and capture pictures of the attendees in their costumes.

    Alternatively, you can gather remotely to decorate and carve pumpkins from the comfort of your own home. Interact while you craft by sharing spooky stories. In the end, award prizes (virtual prizes or ones you send via snail mail) to the best looks!

  • 4. Attend a Trunk-or-Treat

    Socially distant trick-or-treating substitutes, such as trunk-or-treating, are a popular trend this year. In trunk-or-treating, decorated vehicles are driven around a school or church parking lot, and kids go trick-or-treating from vehicle to vehicle. You can host this in your neighborhood, too, with neighbors setting up trunk displays in the driveway and passing out candy.

  • 5. Watch Socially Distant Costume Bicycle Parades

    Another trend we’re hearing about is Halloween parades or a form of drive-by trick-or-treating. With the former, costume wearers take to the street like a catwalk to show off their costumes and hand out and collect candy. People also decorate bikes, wagons, golf carts, and cars to show off their looks!

  • 6. Reverse Trick-or-Treat in Neighborhoods

    With reverse trick-or-treating, people drive by houses similar to the COVID-19 birthday parades. Those in the car will throw candy or deliver it to the kids in costumes in their yards.

  • 7. 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. If you need some help, we have a list of 10 of the scariest movies ever made here. Pop some popcorn and enjoy the show!

  • 8. Organize a Glow-in-the-Dark Egg Hunt

    Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. Buy Halloween-themed eggs at Amazon, or Halloween-ify old plastic eggs you already own (glow sticks work, too!) with stickers or markers. Add candy, and hide them in the yard or around the house! Grab glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark eggs at Amazon for a nighttime search.

  • 9. Decorate Face Masks

    This is the quintessential pandemic Halloween idea: decorating a face mask. Whether it’s a DIY project for yourself or a family activity, decorate a cloth or surgical mask to match your costume, or have it be the costume itself.

  • 10. Set up a Trick-or-Treat Driveway Table

    Ditch the traditional communal Halloween candy bowl and have adults set up decorated tables or booths in their front yards where they can hand out individual bags or cups of candy. This keeps contact to a minimum while also still showcasing decorations and hauntingly good personality. It is such a fun idea!

  • 11. Whip Up DIY Treats or Order Halloween Specials From Restaurants and Dress the Part

    TikTok has been giving me so many Halloween baking ideas lately. Brew up your own Halloween desserts and snacks (popcorn balls, anyone?) to enjoy at home, or order takeout from one of the restaurants serving up Halloween-themed menu items and deals.

    Raddish has a new Halloween-themed kit called Frightful Fiesta which includes recipes for mummy enchiladas, creepy corn dip, and haunted tres leches cake! IHOP, Papa John’s and Chipotle are expected to resurrect their themed pancakes, Jack-O’-Lantern pizza and boo-rito! Chuck E. Cheese is doing a special at-home Halloween party with Kidz Bop featuring special menu items and activities. And Krispy Kreme announced that on Halloween, guests in costumes will receive a free doughnut of choice and that every Saturday through Halloween, customers can get a $1 Sweet-or-Treat dozen, which includes a special-edition Jack-o’-Lantern Doughnut.

  • 12. Organize a Scavenger Hunt in Your House

    Decorate themed rooms throughout your house, hiding candy, toys, prizes, or gift cards throughout the rooms. Send the kids on a scavenger hunt to discover all the hidden objects. Maybe give whoever finds the most a big final prize! Candy perhaps?

  • 13. Try Out a Drive-Thru Haunted House if You’re Feeling Brave

    Haunted houses will certainly look different this year, too. But drive-thru, contact-free Halloween experiences are starting to make headlines. Search online for “haunted roads” or “drive-thru haunted houses” to see if there is one near you!

  • 14. Head to a Pumpkin Patch

    Visiting a pumpkin patch is a Fall past-time. Picking the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern can be harder than it seems. But don’t drop your pumpkin seeds just yet, because we’ve created a list of 10 pumpkin patches near Charlotte, North Carolina for you to enjoy.

  • 15. Celebrate Halloween Around the World but From Home

    You might not be able to travel the globe right now, but you can do so in spirit. Educate your family and friends on Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Samhain in Ireland and Scotland, Dzień Zaduszny in Poland or Ghost Festival in East Asia. Celebrate these other traditions, and consider cooking or baking traditional foods and making crafts associated with those international events.

  • 16. Play Halloween Bingo

    Halloween bingo cards are a fun way to get children of all ages to play virtually with classmates or at home with family and friends. Bonus: Halloween bingo is also awesome for teaching kids listening skills. Check out free printable Bingo cards of spooky illustrations here!

  • 17. Celebrate a Virtual Halloween With an Online Photo Booth

    Halloween is prime time for photos, right? This year, have fun with the virtual photo booth platform They’ve created an online way to take booth-style pictures with Halloween-themed stickers, backgrounds, and filters—no app required—that you can share across your social channels and with friends and family.

  • 18. Test Your Luck With Virtual Escape Rooms

    Escape rooms have been a popular activity for years now, especially during Halloween because they can be as spooky or family-friendly as you want. Due to the pandemic, escape rooms have pivoted by going virtual.

  • 19. Halloween Piñatas, Anyone?

    Either in your house or in the yard, string up a Halloween-themed piñata filled with candy. Amazon and Oriental Trading have boo-tiful piñatas sure to be a hit.

  • 20. Surprise Your Halloween-Loving Friends With a Spooky Celebrity Shoutout

    Cameo is a service that allows you to pay actors, musicians, reality TV stars, and other public figures for personalized shout-outs. You can see more on this here.

  • 21. Trick-or-Treat Virtually for UNICEF

    UNICEF USA is launching a virtual Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF experience. Starting October 1, you can collect donations for UNICEF virtually while teaching children the importance of giving back and helping others. Teachers, parents, and children can register for their digital orange box and participate in fun activities to earn “coins” that amount to a lifesaving impact. You can see more here.

  • 22. Halloween Virtual Classes and Activities for Kids

    Outschool is also offering Halloween-themed virtual classes, such as a special FX makeup class, escape room from The Pumpkin King, Pokémon Halloween mythology, and Hocus Pocus Chemistry. There’s something for a mix of ages from 3-year-olds to teens. See more here.

  • 23. Go to a Drive-In Theater for Halloween Movies

    Drive-in theaters have made a major comeback during the pandemic. Search for a drive-in near you. Many plan to screen Halloween movies and host socially distant activities.

  • 24. Boo or Ghost People

    No, not that kind of ghosting of people, y’all! Spread anonymous cheer by dropping a Halloween goodie bag or pumpkin on the doorsteps of friends and loved ones as a contact-free way to celebrate. This usually works by sneaking to your boo-ing subjects home after dark, ringing the doorbell, leaving the treats on their doorstep, and running!

  • 25. Create a Candy Chute Like This Genius Dad Did

    Last year, Andrew Beattie, a Cincinnati dad, invented a candy chute for contactless trick-or-treating, and we are obsessed. He used an old Amazon delivery tube for it and said it only took 20 minutes to create and attach to his front stairs. See it here.

  • 26. Halloween Zoom Backgrounds = Yes

    Over at Redbubble, you can download five Halloween Zoom backgrounds and fun printable props, so you can attend your virtual event in spooky style, or you know, just creep out your co-workers in the October meetings.

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