How to have the perfect Halloween at home in 2020

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So, a pandemic is still raging, but Halloween is coming up. You want to find some way to celebrate, even if you're confined to your home. Maybe your neighborhood is still doing trick-or-treat, and you want to find some way to participate as safely as possible.

There are many ways that you can still have a fun and safe Halloween during a pandemic. You have to be careful. You have to plan. You have to have supplies. To prevent you from having to think everything out completely last-minute, here are several ideas to help you have the perfect Halloween at home this year.


Of course, one essential element of most community Halloween celebrations is trick-or-treat. Of course, precautions need to be taken; after all, we don't want kids or people handing out candy to get sick. So, here are some tips for how you can safely do trick-or-treat this year.

Candy at home

Even if your neighborhood allows trick-or-treat this year, you still want to make sure that the candy is safe before your kids eat it. It's recommended that you leave any candy that your kids get to sit for about 48 hours before you let them have at it. That's enough time for any traces of coronavirus to die off.

But your kids are really going to want to eat candy when they get home from trick-or-treating. So, how do you solve this problem? Two words: candy stash. Get a separate stash of candy that your kids can dive into once they get home. That way, they can wait for their trick-or-treat haul to be safe and still have candy after the festivities are over. Because come on, it's Halloween.

Pre-made bags of candy to pass out

Another idea for trick-or-treating, this time for the neighborhood kids. You don't want a bunch of children sticking their hands into the same candy bowl, and you also don't want to risk spreading anything across the neighborhood, so why not go ahead and create some pre-made packages that you can pass out to each child as they stop by?

Just get a set of small Ziploc or similar bags and sort some candy into them before trick-or-treat arrives. And just to be safe, pick up some gloves so you can safely put the packages together, too.

Distance candy delivery

A lot of us are still trying to social distance, and personally handing out candy to a bunch of children doesn't really meet those standards. But if you still want to hand out candy while celebrating Halloween at home, consider alternative methods of candy delivery, like a candy chute.

A candy chute is a great way to keep your distance while making sure kids get their candy. You just need a long tube that's also wide enough to fit your chosen candy. Something like a three-inch-wide packing tube would probably do the trick, though you might want to check the weather in your area to make sure that it won't rain, as a cardboard packing tube may be a less-than-ideal fit for the task.

Of course, you can decorate your chute however you want to make it a truly festive addition to your Halloween celebrations.

Masking up

Now, you or your family might be planning on dressing up for trick-or-treat. If your costumes involve face masks, go the extra mile and get one that also works as a safety mask to help keep germs away. Or, just get a mask to cover your mouth and nose, even if you're not dressing up for the holiday. The point is: wear a mask.

There are a lot of themed masks out there, including many themed for Halloween. You can stay safe and festive simultaneously by wearing one. Please do so.

Halloween at home

Of course, another Halloween staple for many is the Halloween party. Again, a Halloween party is dangerous in a pandemic, but if you're willing to limit your guest list, hold the party outside, and plan some safely distanced activities, then there are still ways to make your Halloween party safely fun.

Go big on home decorations

Many people already decorate their homes for Halloween in one way or another, but this is the year to really go all-out. Drives through neighborhoods to see interesting decorations are ubiquitous at Christmas time, so why not Halloween? You could give your house a spooky vibe or turn it into an Imperial base. Fill your front yard with a skeleton army, or deck everything out like a witch's lair.

But even if you don't want to go full-tilt into Halloween and basically make a haunted house on your front lawn, now might still be a great time to do something extra for the holiday. Find some pumpkins to carve or maybe get some banners or Halloween-themed balloons.

Whatever you do, it seems like a fine idea to inject a little more festivity into the season than we might expect this year.

Party at a distance

If you're going to insist on having some kind of Halloween party, first, do it outside. Seriously. Second, plan activities that allow you to have fun while maintaining social distance. While many things can fit that bill, one of the more traditional Halloween games that is kind of easy to play at a distance is bobbing for apples.

The key to socially distant bobbing for apples is that everyone needs their own apple container. I'd suggest some cheap plastic mixing bowls, as deep as you can find. Just fill each one with water and their own set of apples, and you're good to go.

Gather 'round the fire

If you're going to have a socially distant gathering, you should do it outside. Given the temperatures in much of the Halloween-celebrating world, you're going to need a source of heat to keep people comfortable.

It doesn't need to be fancy. You just need something with enough room to build a decent fire, and you're good to go. Though make sure it's big enough that people can be distanced around it and still feel the heat.

Your Halloween plans

Do you have any special plans for Halloween at home this year, or any particular way you're approaching the holiday during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments.

Joseph Keller