Not content with ruining our Easter and summer plans, Covid19 is now making us all re-think Halloween too. Where we live, Halloween is such a big event it draws in families from miles around. The decision was taken some weeks ago by our Parish Council to ‘cancel’ Halloween; we’ve been told not to open our doors to trick or treaters and not to send our children out in fancy dress. Instead, we’re encouraged to hold immediate family-only events within our homes and back gardens. Because it falls during our half-term, the children are really disappointed. So what can we do instead? Or do we give it a miss this year? I asked our parent bloggers about their plans …
Perhaps because my birthday falls the day before Halloween, as a family we have already started the planning. The shorter, colder days and the rainbow of colours in nature fills us with creativity and energy and we always start our preparation early.
It goes without saying this year will be different to previous, but we will be making the most of the opportunities for fun, learning and creativity. We make all our own decorations – spider webs, fog, bats, and ghosts – and have started that. Of course, the pièce de resistance for Halloween is the Jack O’ Lanterns which we will be cutting into nearer the time, (this is Apocalypse Daddy’s favourite creative activity, never mind the kids).
On the 31st October we are going to project horror films onto the side of the house (and if the law abides, invite a few friends. Otherwise, alone). We will start early with “child friendly” horror films (The Addams Family or Hotel Transylvania) before tucking the kids into beds (in their fancy dress) and watching “Halloween” with a scary drink or three.
Submitted by Mark, The Apocalypse Daddy
We live on a quiet little street and everyone has become quite close since lockdown. There are five households with younger children and together we’ve decided that we’re only accepting each other as trick or treaters.
Each home will have hand-gel on their gate post and the children will be offered a tub of individually packaged treats to choose from. There are a few other houses on the street who are keen to have the children call and they’ll do the same thing. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do if children start to arrive from elsewhere in the neighbourhood – it feels mean but we may need to put a sign up at the end of the street.
We’re also taking part in a pumpkin trail. Like we did with rainbows, we’re putting pumpkins in the window for children to spot on their walks.
Submitted by Rachel, Marvellous Mrs P
We have never gone out Trick or Treating because our town is small and has a large elderly population, particularly in the area where we live, but we do always celebrate at home. The children are all older now so this year we plan to mark Halloween by getting dressed up and carving some pumpkins as usual and then enjoying a buffet dinner together, followed by a “scary” (though suitable for all of us!) movie in the garden using the projector – weather permitting of course. We’ll take our blankets outside and get the fire pit going, and enjoy toasted marshmallows and rich hot chocolate and a bag of treats at our own cinema under the stars. With so much already cancelled this year it is important to me to give them something to look forward to.
Submitted by Julie, Mama Owl
Our local community are creating window displays and we’re going to dress up and walk around looking at them (keeping the distance of course). We will be doing a spooky silhouette display in the windows at our house.
Every time we come across a decorated house I’ll be giving my children a sweet from my own supply to add to their bags. We’re also going pumpkin picking, carving them and of course watching a Halloween film!
Submitted by Stephanie, Under Our Roof
As soon as all the summer fun ends I turn my attention immediately to Halloween. Usually I host a big old Halloween tea party and then we set to scaring the locals (not). So as we’re unable to follow our usual schedule this year my plan to keep Halloween very much alive and screaming is to get the kids involved in making some Halloween scary treats, then our whole family of 4 sitting down for a spooky tea, followed by a Halloween Scavenger Hunt after dark in the garden.
Needless to say the garden will be full of terrible things of terror!
Submitted by Jenny, Apply To Face Blog
We will be avoiding it at all costs this year.
I’m bedridden with Covid currently and the thought of kids, teens (and even adults in the case around here) just randomly being handed sweets etc, knocking on doors etc is terrifying. They won’t know what germs are lurking on door handles etc – too excited by the lure of chocolate and sweets to remember to wash hands and wear masks.
I know 1st hand how bad Covid is and have myself, as a relatively fit and healthy 40 year old, almost ended up in hospital twice this week. I don’t think I’m on the road to recovery all that quickly either. It’s not worth the risk.
Submitted by Clare, Emmys Mummy
Pumpkin carving isn’t the only way to keep your kids busy this Halloween. Have them make their very own lantern and take it on an adventure to the forest at sunset. Lanterns are simple to make, even for little hands, with easy to find items at home.
Each child needs their own old clean jar. Have them decorate the outside with a variety of crepe paper glued to the outside. Wrap some bendable wire around the lid lip to make a handle. Pop a little candle inside, grab a thermos of hot chocolate and you are ready to set off.
The kids can use their lanterns to help guide them through the forest in the dark. Once you find a great spot, scatter the lanterns around, get out the hot chocolate and enjoy the sunset together.
Submitted by Karen, Travel Mad Mum
In all honesty we don’t really ‘do’ Halloween in our family so I won’t be especially gutted for Halloween Lite this year. We live in a high risk area with tight restrictions so I don’t think Trick or Treating will really be a thing. We will do our usual autumnal walks I think and get outdoors as much as we can I think and maybe do Blackpool Illuminations.
Submitted by Colette, We’re Going on an Adventure
With an ASD child who loves the idea of Halloween and trick or treating, but in reality wouldn’t be able to cope, for the last 4 years we have made our own trick or treat neighbourhood in the back garden. Each of the older children and dad dress up and decorate a part of the garden as their house and the two youngest go trick or treating with mum. Luckily we will still be able to do the same this year.
Submitted by Mandi, Big Family Gaming
We are having a pumpkin trail on our estate as the children can’t go trick or treating this year. We still wanted to make it fun for them!
Then every year I go pumpkin picking and this year I will rope my toddler into baking some little treats.
Submitted by Thia, The Honest Mums Club
We always do the house up for Halloween and go Trick or Treating, but I have told the kids we won’t be going out this year. My daughter suggested we do a Halloween Hunt around the house and garden, a bit like we do for Easter so planning on doing that and some party games at home x
Submitted by Sabina, Deep in Mummy Matters
I’m going to be doing a scavenger hunt with Ted, and decorating the house. I plan on hanging bags of sweets on the fence for anyone passing, and letting Ted wear his costume for the day… But I’m not actively taking him trick or treating. Someone was kind enough to share some printables of the scavenger hunt we’ll be doing throughout the day in our local area!
Submitted by Natalie, Muddy Footprints