This is shaping up to be a Halloween without costumed kids gleefully going door to door. Luckily, there’s more to Halloween than collecting a big sack of candy and sorting it out on the floor at the end of the night. True, we’ll miss this sugar-charged neighborhood ritual, but there’s plenty to enjoy on this, the most creative of evenings:
1. Have a distanced costume parade on your block. Blast Halloween tunes on portable speakers as kids parade and neighbors cheer.
2. Decorate your front yard. Don’t use that nasty, bird-killing, fake spiderweb stuff. Make pom-pom spiders to dangle from trees. Stage a pair of old garden gloves reaching out of a flower bed. Stuff some old clothes and add a pointy hat to make a witch to watch over your front porch. Kids love putting up decorations! (They have less enthusiasm for cleaning them up, but that’s a Nov. 1 problem.)
3. Create a spooky candy hunt for your kids. Whether you want to simply stash candy around the yard, like a fall version of an Easter egg hunt, or come up with a backstory with, say, a “ghost” leaving a map or a set of clues to the “treasure,” kids will enjoy finding and accumulating sugary treats.
4. This is the year to go all-out with pumpkin carving. Encourage your kids to sketch out their ideas in great detail before you start cutting into pumpkin flesh.
5. Bake. Start by roasting pumpkin seeds from your jack-o’-lanterns, then make cookies or cupcakes that your kids can decorate, perhaps with candy. Gummy worms add a certain creepiness factor, and you can make a fine eyeball from a peppermint hard candy if you draw an iris and pupil in the middle.