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Will coronavirus cancel Halloween?

Regardless of what happens with businesses or closures, we have some ideas on how to make your holiday special

Happy Halloween (hopefully!)
Happy Halloween (hopefully!) (Pexels stock image)

Each year, Halloween typically means big business, and not just for the candymakers.

Think about places like retail stores that sell costumes, along with pizza shops (yes, really -- Halloween is right up there with the Super Bowl when it comes to pizza sales, according to MyFitnessPal) and haunted houses. Even tourism in the U.S. sees a spike: we’re talking amusement parks and cities including Chattanooga, Tenn.; Salem, Mass.; and New Orleans.

But this year, as you might imagine, will be a little different.

Salem is already planning for a drastically pared-down Halloween season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Boston.com.

Some of the major theme parks in Florida are changing their plans, as well.

And what about the children?

A lot remains unknown as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve -- and considering Halloween is still about two months away.

Safe to say, decisions about things such as trick-or-treating likely will be community- and state-based judgment calls, not national mandates.

Perhaps, if you have children, 2020 is the year of “Halloween at a distance” or “Halloween at home” rather than considering the holiday a complete wash or a cancellation.

With that in mind, we started combing Pinterest, blogs and internet articles for inspiration.

What a beautiful scene.
What a beautiful scene. (Pexels stock image)

So if you’re still looking to make Halloween fun, but your city or household is still maintaining quarantine status (or something similar), here are some safer ideas and alternatives you could think about:

  • Pitch the concept of a drive-by-type Halloween event in your NextDoor community or in a local social media moms group. Just like people are hosting drive-by graduation parties and parade-style baby showers, you could position your kids on the front lawn in costume, and take turns having neighbors shower them with candy. (And in theory, you’d take a shift doing the same for the other neighborhood children). It’s like reverse trick-or-treating. Cute, right? Hat tip to the site Indy With Kids for this idea.
  • If you’re going to take your children out (in any form) for some kind of modified trick-or-treating, this would be a great year to incorporate a face-covering or a mask into the costumes. Make it fun!
  • Put your kids in costumes, regardless of whether you’re heading out for traditional trick-or-treating. This almost goes without saying, right? You could even hide candy around the house, scavanger-hunt style. There might not be any big parties this year, but you can still make your home or your evening/weekend festive!
  • Go all out with your at-home decor: We’re thinking spooky lighting, faux spider webs, pumpkins, black cats and more. Home Goods is already fully stocked!
  • Coordinate a family movie marathon, if your kids are old enough to enjoy something like that. Or hey, even if they’re not, set it up for you and your partner or a small group of friends! Some ideas can be found here.
  • Similarly, how about a Halloween dance party? You could make it appropriate for any and all ages. We’re thinking “Monster Mash” for the kids. Good Housekeeping put together this article for some more kiddo-friendly suggestions.
  • Involve your out-of-town relatives in creative ways: We’re envisioning a Zoom call or a FaceTime where you guys can carve pumpkins as a group, maybe do a costume reveal for younger kids (they’d LOVE to show grandma and grandpa!), open candy from that drive-by event or even decorate pizzas or sugar cookies with some Halloween-inspired toppings.
  • Plan a little outing. Perhaps there’s a neighborhood near you that does Halloween right: Big decorations, cool lights or something else. Drive through on a weeknight! Or maybe a local drive-in movie theater or zoo is hosting a socially distanced event. We’re giving you plenty of time to plan, so let’s start investigating these regional options now.

All right, we just said it once but we’ll repeat it for the people in the back: Halloween is still weeks and weeks away. If you start planning sooner rather than later, you can make sure your friends and family will still have a wonderfully spooky holiday. Let us know what you come up with!

More inside our website:

Booo-lish on profits: Why Halloween is big business -- Read more

New Orleans, Chattanooga? Popular U.S. Halloween hotspots will surprise you -- Read more


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