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No Tricks, Just Treats – How to Celebrate Halloween During the COVID Pandemic

Sept. 29, 2020

When Halloween candy started showing up on retailer shelves this summer, we started wondering what we were in for this year. Would there be a Halloween? Would any candy be left!? 

The kids are back at school (at least in metro-New Orleans) and we’re still social distancing. What does this all mean for trick-or-treating? Can we have parties? Can kids go door-to-door?  

At Nola Family, we polled our friends on what they’re planning with their kids this COVID-Ween and how to keep them safe and happy.  

Here are ideas for you and yours to consider for your own special celebration: 

Host a Small Party. Families that are in the same learning pods, playgroups, and extended families are planning get-togethers limited to ten kids and a few adults. Group activities will include costume contests and pumpkin carving, dancing, and ghost story telling. Don’t forget the Ouija board for a seance! 

Keeping to Your block. Families with higher comfort levels (and/or already in Phase 3) are planning for their kids to trick-or-treat in their own neighborhood, sticking to their immediate block or cul-de-sac. Costumes are definitely required! 

Garage or Driveway Trick-or-Treat. Jazz up your garage or driveway with spooky haunted house decorations like cauldrons with dry ice, blinking lights, “witch’s hair” in bushes, and skeletons or ghosts in trees. Get into a seriously scary costume and set up a table with individual candy bags for kids to take socially distanced. Don’t forget the scary ghost sounds CD or phone app for added scare factor! 

Go Fish! Social distance your candy using a fishing rod to cast goody bags to passerby children. Extra points for doing this from the bushes or balcony where you can’t be seen! 

“Trunk-or-Treat.” This concept has been done at local schools, like Holy Name Of Jesus, in their parking lots for years. Families decorate their respective cars in the driveway and costume thematically. Candy and other goodies for the kids go into the trunks. Children go from car-to-car, as they normally would house-to-house. Awards for the best decorated car and/or costumes. Added bonus: Hire a DJ for the night! 

Scavenger Hunt. Variation on an oldie but goodie theme and similar to an Easter Egg Hunt, have kids find their goodies hidden in the yard. Or you can make it a real scavenger hunt, with one or more hidden prize boxes found by following clues.  

Outside Movies. Think “drive-in” and you’ve got this idea. Do you have a large blank fence or back wall? Screen a scary movie double-feature for your group of costumed kids, socially distanced on their own blankets or in lawn chairs. Serve up tasty movie treats, from hotdogs to popcorn, and send them home with candy goody-bags.  

Costume Parade. Think of this as a socially distanced mini-Mardi Gras or fashion show, perfect for wee ones and younger goblins and witches to show off their costumes. Have the kids costume and either pull them in their wagons or let them parade up and down the block. Neighbors can watch and hand off goody bags for the kids to take home. Bonus points for dancing music on a boom box or phone app!

Halloween Eve Drive-In. The Jefferson Performing Arts Society has planned your Halloween Eve (Friday, October 30) for you! Start your weekend with a GhostBusters showing from your car in the Pontchartrain Center parking lot. Advance tickets highly suggested. Lagniappe: Goody bags for the kiddies! 

However you and yours choose to celebrate Halloween this year, make sure you add a mask to your costume and keep safe!

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