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Many kids and families look forward to celebrating Halloween, and this year is no exception. While the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the ways we are safely able to celebrate, there are still lots of ways to make this year’s Halloween season frighteningly fun through safe scares and activities that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Before planning your haunted happenings, be sure to check out the Halloween guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and your own city or town to help make sure your activities will be safe and enjoyable for everyone. Next, explore our activity ideas below that are fit for families of all ages and offer a mix of in-person and virtual fun!


Decorate in your family’s spooky style!

In-person: Older teens can carve their own pumpkins while younger kids can draw a pumpkin face using markers. Everyone can help create a spooky or not-so-spooky scene that can be enjoyed both inside the home and by people passing by outside.

Online: Encourage creepy creativity and see if you can encourage others to participate! Share photos on social media with friends and family, or take them on a virtual tour of your spooky scene through video chat.



Create Halloween costumes and hold a costume contest!

In-person: Older teens can get really creative by sewing their own costume monstrosity from different fabrics, or constructing their own accessories! Those who’d rather not dress up can create the awards, such as “most creative”, “most timely”, “scariest”, silliest”, etc. and make sure that everyone will get a prize! Younger kids can choose what they want to be and even decorate their own face mask to go along with their outfit!

Online: Welcome other families and friends to compete with you and judge the costumes! Share pictures or hold a virtual costume parade through video conferencing.



Choose a frightening film that your whole family will enjoy and watch together!

In-person: Older kids and teens can hide treats in safe places for younger kids to find. For added fun, come up with clues or make a map for younger kids to follow. Everyone can choose their favorite treats or candies for hiding or bake their own sweet treats to find.

Online: After the hunt is over, have a virtual Halloween party where friends and family can share their treats and celebrate on screen. Add to the celebration by showcasing your own decorations, choosing or creating a festive virtual background, or setting the mood with petrifying party music!



Switch up trick or treating this year by setting up a sweet treat scavenger hunt in your house, apartment, or yard.

In-person: Break out the candy corn, toast some pumpkin seeds, or lay out a veggie spread and watch something that everyone will enjoy (and has the least potential for nightmares). If your family has older and younger kids, consider making it a double feature, letting the younger kids choose the first film, while older kids or teens can pick a late night flick for watching after their younger siblings go to sleep.

Online: Set-up a “watch party” through a streaming service so that friends and family outside of your home can join the fun!