Best ideas for a safe + spooky Halloween this year

Don’t fear! 13 super-fun projects to prove Halloween 2020 isn’t cancelled

Can you believe it’s October already and Halloween is just around the corner? While we may not be making the same plans as years past due to COVID safety restrictions, we definitely want to make the most of the occasion and keep the kiddos happy and entertained! Whether you have a small pod of friends in your neighborhood or apartment building or you’re making it a family-only event—we’re sharing some spooktacular ideas that the whole gang can get involved with. From spooky movie nights with all the trimmings to twists on trick or treating, creepy crafts, or even a little something to keep the grownups smiling, we’re laying out your Halloween 2020 roadmap!

 

 

Make Dinnertime Seriously Spooktacular with A Themed Menu

Halloween doesn’t have to stop at decorations or costumes—creating a menu with twists on tradition can be just as fun. Start off the night with some seriously creepy Eyeball Punch complete with lychee-eyeballs, and then nosh away on bites from the cutest Halloween Snack Platter filled with Pinterest-worthy nibbles. Most kids love a hotdog dinner, so these Mummy Dogs will be sure to put a smile on their face as they dip the puff pastry wrapped dogs into ketchup “blood”. For a post-dinner scary movie night, treat the fam to this Peanut Butter Monster Munch Party Mix that hits all the right flavor notes with popcorn, mini pretzels, Reese’s Pieces and candy corn in one perfectly crunchy-salty-sweet package.

 

 <p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Foxes Love Lemons</p>

Photo Credit: Foxes Love Lemons

 

 

The Ultimate Ring Toss Game Gets a Candy Corn Makeover

Let’s take the party outside, people! Backyard games are fun no matter what the occasion, but if you really want to get into the Halloween spirit (and incorporate a little project for the whole family to be involved with), this colorful and simple-to-make DIY Candy Corn Ring Toss Game is a win, win! Made with low-cost items you can pick up from your local dollar or craft store, it’s a great activity that provides (hopefully) hours of entertainment. Don’t have a backyard, balcony, or rooftop space? Move the coffee table or make a space in the apartment for the kids to play. The rings used are in fact taped-together glow sticks—so they should be safe enough to toss without worrying about broken lamps or dings in the walls!

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Eyeballs by Day, Crafts by Night</p>

Photo Credit: Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night

 

 

Set up the Campfire (or Candles) for Backyard Ghost Stories

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space like a backyard or rooftop, treating the kids to a surprise night of ghost stories is sure to be something they’ll remember. Bring out floor pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, and any rugs you may have to create a cozy space. If you’re able to, light up the fire pit (there are some great smokeless pits available nowadays) or, if you’re not able to bring a real fire into the mix, a large metal bucket filled with candles can do the trick as well. If you have older kids, pre-print some of the spooky stories and they can take their turn reading the tall tales of things that go bump in the night.

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Home Depot</p>

Photo Credit: Home Depot

 

Get Creative and Plan Your Own Spooky Scavenger Hunt

If your household has a mix of ages and you’re looking for something to keep your older kids entertained, planning an interactive scavenger hunt complete with Halloween-themed clues for them to follow in your house or yard will create hours of fun. There are plenty of kits available online that you can print, cut, and place in nooks and crannies for everyone to find. Beyond the fun of hunting for clues, this not-too spooky activity gets your kiddos moving, thinking, and problem solving. Up the ante with tiered prizes or treat bags as you near the end of the hunt and watch their excitement build.

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Sunny Day Family</p>

Photo Credit: Sunny Day Family

 

Let The Kiddos Help You Make Ooey Gooey Glow in The Dark Slime

Kids love anything that gets their hands into mess and when it happens to also glow in the dark—well that’s the best kind of Halloween bonus! You can definitely buy pre-made slime online or at your local toy store but this homemade glow in the dark slime uses mostly household ingredients and can be whipped up with help from the whole family. The fluorescent slime (or gak or putty, depending on what you call it) can be made in a variety of colors and when the lights get switched off, the fun has just begun!

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Best Ideas for Kids</p>

Photo Credit: The Best Ideas for Kids

 

Turn Your Backyard into a Candy Graveyard Complete with Tombstones & Ghosts

Now this is the kind of spookfest that the kids will go wild for! Create your very own candy graveyard complete with tombstones and other themed decorations to really set the scene. Along the way, hide treats, candy, and toys for your gang to hunt out and find as they explore the backyard with flashlights. Don’t have the luxury of outside space? Get creative in your living or family room by moving coffee tables or any furniture that’s easy to push back, turn out the lights, and let the indoor fun begin.    

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Oriental Trading</p>

Photo Credit: Oriental Trading

 

A Seasonal Wreath That’s (Almost) Good Enough To Eat

Halloween decor is usually set into one of two camps: spooky and scary or cute and sweet. If you tend to lean into the kid-friendly mode, here’s an idea that’s fun to make and makes quite the design statement. Gone are the days where hanging any old wreath on your front door will do, it’s time to kick things up a notch with a candy wreath that you can turn into a craft activity. Made with items you can find at your local craft store (plus one of those bulk bags of wrapped candy) it’s a great way to keep little helpers occupied. Just make sure an adult manages the use of the hot glue gun for safety!

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Fun365</p>

Photo credit: Fun 365

 

A New Neighborhood Tradition: Things That Make You Go “Boo”

It’s been around for a little while now, but never has the new-ish tradition of ‘booing’ or ‘ghosting’ neighbors been more appropriate for the times. The premise is pretty simple—a pay-it-forward game where friends or neighbors trade leaving gift boxes or scary treat bags at each other’s doors with instructions to keep the circle going. You can go “Booing” in your neighborhood or even in your apartment building and keep the Halloween spirit alive and well. Let the kids help you make the bags or boxes and fill them with a variety of candy, toys, treats, or even everyday seasonal items like apples, cideror pumpkin-flavored goodies.

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Fun 365</p>

Photo Credit: Fun 365

 

Trick Out Your Ride for a Neighborhood Trunk or Treat

If you’re neighborhood or school feels safe about the idea, you may be getting an invite to a Trunk or Treat this year. This twist on tradition allows families to trick out the trunks of their cars with Halloween decorations or a plethora of other impressive themes. Then, your little ghosts, witches, and cowgirls can safely visit each car for their bounty (we’d suggest individual treat bags this year vs. buckets of candy). There are endless ideas to choose from whether you’re into pirates or pumpkins, Frozen or Trolls—so let the kids get involved in selecting their faves. 

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: For Garden's Sake</p>

Photo Credit: For Garden’s Sake

 

Make a DIY Candy Slide for Spooky (& Safe) Trick or Treating

It’s one of those things when you say, “why didn’t I think of that?” Possibly one of the most inventive ways to safely create a trick or treat scenario in the neighborhood, the Candy Slide wins the jackpot for coolest idea of 2020! This skeleton version will take a little extra effort and the help of some of the tools in your shed or workshop, but it certainly makes an impression and we think the kids will love it. There are also more straightforward designs available to download online that you can use as a go-to as well. The slide maintains (at least) 6-feet of distance and your littles can hold their baskets in front of the chute to receive their candy.

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Wicked Makers</p>

Photo Credit: Wicked Makers

 

 

Let’s Say Cheers to Seasonal Cocktails (for the Adults!)

Halloween doesn’t need to ALL be about the kiddos, right? The adults need to have a little fun too! That’s where seasonal or Halloween-themed cocktails play a starring role. Whether you’re a fan of PSL’s and want to bring in flavors of fall into a Pumpkin Old Fashioned or a Dead to Me (a riff on a whiskey sour with a pumpkin simple syrup) or go for something that spins the color wheel like a Black Magic Margarita or a fluorescent hued Sweet Poison—you can channel your inner mixologist and shake up something seriously sippable.

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Two Coupes</p>


Photo Credit: Two Coupes

 

 

Make It a Painting Party & Call Me Pumpkin Picasso

Not sure you want to deal with the mess of cleaning and carving pumpkins this year? Ditch the carve kit and get out the paints instead! Painting pumpkins is an excellent way to inspire creativity with kids of all ages and the finished products are beyond pretty to admire whether grouped inside, on the stoop, or in the backyard. Start with a protective layer of plastic on the floor or an old bed sheet you don’t mind throwing out at the end of the project. Then, let imaginations run wild with colors, patterns, and shapes using pumpkins of various sizes. Want to take your art skills to pro levels? Get inspired by some of these amazing designs.

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Think Make Share</p>

Photo Credit: Think Make Share

 

Boo! Create Your Own Scary Movie Night With All the Trimmings

There’s nothing better than a movie night at home where the family can snuggle up together and nibble on theater-style snacks. But a scary movie night just in time for Halloween? Now that’s fun! If you’re inside, you can pull out the sofa bed and make the coziest viewing area with extra pillows and blankets or hit the outdoors and create an starlight show complete with a DIY screen and projector. Want to add even more flair to your festivities? Creating a sound track from classic horror films to play before and after the flick can really set the scene and making a Insta-worthy Halloween Movie Night Board with popcorn, chips, candy and chocolate will satisfy those treat cravings.

 

<p style="color:white;">Photo Credit: Jordan and Co</p>

Photo Credit: Jordan and Co.

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