One of my favorite holidays is Halloween, and this year has put a damper on things for sure. So parents and kids will have to get creative to celebrate Halloween this year. Here’s how.

  1. Go big on decorating. This may well be the year to pull out the stops decorating in and outside your home, just for the fun of it. String up some lights. Invest in a fog machine. Stuff some old clothes to make a headless scarecrow. Decorate or carve multiple pumpkins–have a family contest and ask neighbors to vote on their favorites.
  2. No grab bowls. Kids crowding around the door and expelling potentially virus-laden droplets as they shout “trick or treat” is a no-go, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find other ways to pass out candy. One expert recommends individually bagging treats and leaving them on a table on your driveway for children to take as they walk by.
  3. Dangle treats. CeeAnn Thiel, owner of Mrs. Tiggy Winkles Gift Shoppe in Riverside, has a wrought-iron fence around her home. She‘s planning to hang candy from the fence for children to grab as they pass. And Pete Van Well, an orchardist in Wenatchee, Wash., told his Facebook friends he intends to hang candy from the tree near his front porch so children can “pick their treats the way we pick apples.”
  4. Keep it indoors. One mom said on Facebook that she plans to fill a Halloween bag with candy, hide it in her house and then turn off the lights so her child has to search for the goodies in the dark. Variations on that theme could include a scavenger hunt in the house or yard, or a set of clues for older children to decipher.
  5. Eerie, glowing…eggs. Break out those plastic eggs you use to hide candy at Easter and decorate them with scary faces or decals, an idea we found at Fill the eggs with candy and hide them outside or around the house. If you stuff them with glow sticks, you can even turn out the lights or search the yard at night for eerie, glowing eggs.
  6. Movie Scar-a-Thon. Haunted houses are not recommended, but you can screen Halloween-themed movies indoors or out if you have a projector and a screen or some other blank surface. If you want to invite other families, the website suggests buying some hula hoops at a dollar store to establish six-foot boundaries between family groups.
  7. Boo someone, sweetly. Think of “booing” someone as a kind of random act of kindness for Halloween. Wrap up a (nice) Halloween treat, drop it at a neighbor or friend’s door, ring the bell and run like crazy. The idea is to spread some holiday cheer.
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