Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Children in the the recent past get ready for trick-or-treating without social distancing.

Creative parents are planning around COVID for the best Halloween ever

Read the many ways to celebrate safely in 2020.

Need Halloween ideas? This year, it’s scary to look ahead to Oct. 31, when kids expect to run gleefully from house to house, getting candy handouts with a pack of their 25 closest friends. Can social distancing and Halloween coexist in COVID times?

Since this is the year that we are all changing how we do everything, including trick-or-treating, we thought we’d catch up with greater Seattle area parents on how their families plan to celebrate the big night while being mindful of avoiding coronavirus contagion.

Here’s what we’ve learned about all the new creepy holiday plans from parents around Puget Sound. 

At-home fun

We are having a “Hocus Pocus” tea party this weekend with ghostly cookies, test tubes of colored sugars and purple tea while watching the movie. Harry Potter Night, the weekend before Halloween with an Owl Post from McGonagall, homemade Butterbeer and chocolate frogs. For Halloween, we are having a scavenger hunt complete with a smoke machine. — Emily Lohmann

I think our kids are doing a “Boo” with their friends, which means they get a bag of candy in a paper bag and knock on the door … and leave quickly as a surprise. Then those who got the bag will do the same to other friends. I think it’s limited to 2 each.  — Bonnie Menon

Making pinatas, stuffing them with each kid’s fav candy and partying at home. — Mickie Geri Farris

We’re planning a small physically distanced gathering with the neighbors we’ve podded up with. If the weather is dry, we’ll all bring our own blankets and watch an outdoor movie. We are thinking of a small costume parade too. I’m hoping to make popcorn balls and candy apples with my kids and decorate the house. — Marcee Ben-Menachem

We are having one friend/family over for a backyard play date of sorts: Costumes, a pinata instead of trick-or-treating, a puking pumpkins experiment from “Emily’s Wonder Lab” and a sponge-throw bull’s-eye from Busy Toddler. — Tiffany Butler

We plan to get takeout, watch multiple Halloween movies and buy all our favorite candy!!! Our short list: “Scooby-Doo,” “Addams Family,” “Monster House,” “Hotel Transylvania,” “Casper,” “Hocus Pocus,” “The Witches,” “Gremlins.” — Laura B. 

Halloween hunts

We’re doing a scavenger hunt with flashlights in our yard.
— Melissa Bayne Jasperson

We’re turning Halloween into the fall version of Easter. Candy hunts, pumpkins full of goodies, special decorations and crafts, and we’ll watch fun Halloween shows and movies after dark. — Theresa Robertson Bandy

I’m making a Halloween version of an Easter egg hunt. I’ll make luminaries filled with candy and an LED candle to hide around the yard. — Jennifer Standish

We are going to set up a night egg hunt (weather permitting) in our yard. I found some pumpkin and candy corn “Easter eggs” and will hide candy in them, then let the kiddo loose with flashlights and glow sticks. If it’s rainy, we will just move the hunt indoors. — Mihak Hagel

We are also doing a hunt, hopefully outside, weather depending. We have black eggs, black light tape and black light flashlights!  — Gabrielle Dickerman Charlton

Modified trick-or-treating

We’re doing a candy hunt and some at-home trick-or-treating (i.e. the kids “trick-or-treat” at all the exterior doors of our house). — Lisa Mumbach

I’ve been in talks with our small neighborhood. We’ve agreed to do individual goodie bags at the end of the driveway for the kids or parents to grab. That way there’s no face-to-face contact and kids aren’t reaching into a candy bucket to share germs. — Erin Buchacher

I’m making some little treat bags and hanging them up on strings outside with clothes pins. I’m planning on putting a “packaged date” on them, and packaging them way in advance. (For my toddler that’s not really eating candy, I’m just walking around to see decorations, and maybe doing something at home.) — Matisse Lorance Berthiaume

We’re doing something similar with clothes pins! I’m going to try to make a big spider web to hang them on at the edge of our front porch. — Lisa Gouldy

We are still hoping for a socially distanced trick-or-treat (perhaps families putting up tables at the end of driveways with prepackaged, spread-out treats (not the traditional bowl), and kids can come up and grab one without contact! — Lisa Kastner

Our neighborhood is planning a Halloween parade (children, pets, families are all welcomed to join in) in the afternoon with pre-packaged treats at the end of the driveways. I live in a small circular neighborhood so it works! — Lydia Kyle Harrison

We pride ourselves in being the Halloween house kids remember. Different themes each year, full size candy bars, crazy decor. This year we are skipping the scary and creating massive Candyland decor with a candy slide to give candy to kids — and anyone else, with the year we have had! — Alyssa Williamson

We are decorating all of the doors in our house so the kids can knock on different doors and get candy, and also setting up a haunted candy hunt in our back yard for our kids only. — Gina Peterson

We’ll go only to houses with bowls of candy on the porch (or other socially distanced means), and then wash hands and quarantine the candy when we get home. — Nicole Polakowski

We’re planning to leave a bowl of candy on the porch. I’m just hoping no one takes the whole bowl — Jess Tsimeris


About the Author

Jillian O'Connor

Jillian O’Connor lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a dog named after the Loch Ness Monster.