1. Trick-or-treating in your house or apartment
Is it even Halloween without some form of trick-or-treating? The answer is no. So, in order to keep everyone’s favorite Halloween tradition alive, simply modify it to fit into the socially distant world of COVID-19. It’s not as difficult as it sounds — round up all your family members, roommates or whoever you live with and set up each of your rooms as a “house” to stop by. Make sure everyone has their own candy supply and costume of choice to guarantee a fair playing field for all trick-or-treaters. To really spice it up, channel your inner grandma and prepare some compliments to make your friends blush about how cute they are dressed as a ladybug or witch.
2. Halloween movie marathon
This was a classic way to celebrate spooky season even before the pandemic ruined all chances of going to parties this Halloween. There is a lot of range here. You could watch horror movies with jumpscares, gory murder scenes and characters with poor judgement. But if that doesn’t sound like something you enjoy, maybe movies like “Halloweentown” and “Hocus Pocus” are more your speed, which sounds like a perfect night to me too. Either way, pop some popcorn, grab a big bag of candy and settle in for a long night of screams — caused either by Jason’s creepy mask or by Kalabar’s revenge.
3. Pumpkin carving or painting
If you are feeling particularly creative this October, this is the perfect option for you to channel that artistry in a way corresponding to the season. If carving sounds a little too messy for you and your friends and family, try painting the pumpkins with classic Jack-O-Lantern faces or spooky catchphrases. In addition to minimizing the mess of pumpkin guts and slimy seeds, painting also helps pumpkins to last longer on the front porch — that way everyone taking their 12 walks per day gets to enjoy your Halloween fun, too.
4. Make spooky treats
Nothing says Halloween like eating too many sweets and drinking beverages that taste just like fall. One of my personal favorites is pumpkin-oat chocolate chip cookies, but there are plenty of other options like pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones and even roasted pumpkin seeds. If pumpkin isn’t for you, there are plenty of other spooky treats to try too, like making bananas into ghosts, the Halloween spin on pigs in a blanket — mummy dogs — and spiders made of Oreo cookies and pretzel sticks. For fall-themed drinks, you can try anything from apple cider to Harry Potter’s favorites — Butterbeer and pumpkin juice.
5. Transform your home into a haunted house
If you’re looking to put a little more work into your Halloween celebration this year, this is the thing for you. While your roommates or family members make their way to the grocery store for their weekly outing, make the most of your alone time to decorate your home with the spookiest decor you can get your hands on. Cobwebs and plastic spiders are classics that will never fail. But why not take it the extra mile and put black tablecloths over the walls and windows to eliminate all light? That should really scare the socks of your visitors when you combine it with some recorded screams and a terrifying mask. For a more mild approach, try a few skeletons sitting in your chairs or an animatronic zombie on the front porch — this guarantees you won’t send your housemates away in panicked tears.
6. Have a DIY costume contest
Some people have this experience every year when they realize the Halloween party they were invited to starts in an hour and they have no costume to wear. If you miss the thrill of panicking to put a costume together or you are looking to crush your roommates and family with your incredible creativity, establish some ground rules and get to costume designing. Just remember, if you cut holes in your bedsheets to make a ghost costume, make sure to use your back-up set and don’t let your mom do your laundry when you return home at Thanksgiving.
7. “Boo” your neighbors, friends or enemies
If you are looking for a way to spread the Halloween spirit in a socially distant way, there is no better option than “booing” your neighbor. What does this mean? Well, all you have to do is get a Halloween bucket and fill it with candy, stickers, spooky decorations and trinkets, and then, simply take it to your target’s front door, knock and run as fast as you can. The idea behind this Halloween tradition is that if you get “booed” you then “boo” someone else — creating a chain of giving and Halloween fun. If you need some more detailed directions, check out this super helpful guide, which include PDF documents of the printouts you should include in your “boo baskets.”
8. Throw a solo class Halloween party
Everyone remembers the best part of elementary school — class parties. So why not bring back this timeless tradition? Due to COVID-19, this will be a solo party, but you can entertain yourself by reminiscing on your favorite elementary school party activities. Fill your home with black and orange decor and plan out some fun Halloween crafts, print out some pumpkin coloring sheets and make some cute Halloween treats.
9. Put on your own “fall festival”
Pick the perfect fall day and set up your front yard full of games, props for photo-ops and rig up a wagon full of hay for a homemade hayride. The games here can be anything from bobbing for apples, a pie-eating contest or a cake-walk. This may be difficult with only a few people, but I’ve found that with the world the way it is today, it is worth it to put a large amount of effort into things — especially when the things are fun and lead to pumpkin treats and cute fall photos of yourself.
10. Halloween hunt
In order to spend some time outside in the cool, crisp fall air, organize an outdoor Halloween-themed scavenger hunt for your friends, roommates or family members. Hide pieces of candy, pumpkin treats, little Halloween decor/tokens and spooky stickers and maybe even throw in a few grand prizes like gift cards to add in a competitive element. Dole out the maps and clues and send your hunters on their way. This is a great way to celebrate Halloween while taking advantage of fall weather and getting everyone to be active.