Alternative Halloween Ideas for 2020

2020 has been a weird year, and while in some places life has returned to close to normal but in other areas that is not even close to being the case.

As such, some families find themselves on the search for an alternative way to enjoy this, the spookiest night of the year.

Zoom Costume Contest

If going out is not an option at all, whether due to risk factors, local restrictions, or mandatory curfews, for teens and young adults looking to celebrate with friends and bigger groups than with mom and dad, going digital might be a good option.

My biggest lament every year has always been that the costumes that I dream of wearing and the climate that I live in are not exactly compatible. Elaborate zombie make up has a way of sweating off, multiple layers of clothing or bulky outfits quickly become unreasonable when stalking miles of suburban road in search of candy. But from the safety of your own laptop, you can be as creative and elaborate as your imagination can take you.

Set up a zoom, google chat, skype or Facebook group. Get friends and family in on it and plan on spending a good hour or so showing off whatever spooky sensations you can come up with.

Trick or Treat

If you are able to trick or treat there are absolutely ways to make that happen with relative safety. Organized ‘Trunk or Treats’ and locally put together events are still happening in some places and are particularly useful for families with younger children as they are generally well light, better supervised, and family-friendly (check your specific event for age recommendations).

If you are going door to door, there are plenty of easy ways to incorporate masks and or gloves into a costume, although you will need to stress for younger kids not to rub their eyes or their faces while wearing the gloves (but that’s just a good health habit to get into anyway). The biggest problem will be getting kids to hold off on enjoying their sugary haul. If you have any concerns at all about possible infection it is probably a good idea to set the candy aside for at least a day (possibly two) somewhere removed from other food. This lessens direct exposure and lowers the potential risk of transmission.

If that is the plan, be clear with the kiddos upfront. No one wants to have their candy taken away with no warning as soon as they get home. Think about offering some at-home treats instead and have things ready to go as soon as you get back.

Spooky Snacks

Whether celebrating from home, putting a pause on diving into the Trick or Treat haul or just in the mood for a little something spooky, Halloween snacks and tasty treats can make anything into a party. Try out some of the recipies below, or get inspired and create your own.

Check out this list of super easy and delicious snacks for the kiddos from The Spruce Eats. Or for healthier alternatives, try these three suggestions from Hello Fresh. Whatever you do, remember to just have fun with it! Cooking with the kids is not about the end result, but the time you spend together. And if their crescent roll ghost creations und up a little bit wonky who can tell!

Spooky Movie Marathon

For this, you’re definitely going to want to have a few trays of those snacks listed above.

As a homebody, I’m partial to this form of celebration for all events, but especially for families with children of different ages. Start off early by prepping spooky snacks and just generally having fun. Watch an age-appropriate movie for the youngest viewer first. We have a full list right HERE. Take a break to get your youngest viewers settled into bed, and then rejoin with another. Depending on the age of your kids, you can get progressively creepier and more adult as the night goes on. And, because halloween is on a Saturday this year, there is absolutely no reason why the fun can’t go all night long.


However you choose to celebrate this year, do what is right for you and your family. 2020 is a trying year, and some traditions are going to have to be put aside. But that doesn’t mean new traditions can’t take their place.

Be Safe. Be Sensible. Be Spooky.

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