• Florida Family Living

13 Spooktacular Ideas for Halloween

With the impact COVID-19 has on children still relatively unknown, parents have mixed feelings about whether or not Halloween traditions should change for this year. Angie Wierzbiki, mother to 5 and 6 year old girls says, “I think I would be ok trick or treating in our neighborhood, but not attending one of the numerous community Halloween events.” Rachael Hutchinson is another mother who will let her children trick or treat. “Since they’ll be wearing masks like everyone is supposed to, I don’t see the issue!”

Other parents still see it as risky or want to do their part in social distancing efforts. “I just don’t see how anything is going to be the same this year, so instead of staying home and being disappointed, we booked a little getaway for the weekend” says Megan Wildgoose of her family’s plans.


Whether or not you choose to let your children trick or treat, here are some great ways to celebrate Halloween this year while maintaining social distance:


Virtual Costume Contest

Just because trick or treating may be off the table, doesn’t mean kids don’t want to share their costumes. Get together using FaceTime, Zoom, or other video calling methods. Why not have a prize for scariest, funniest, or most original?


Face Painting

Kids love to paint their own faces. Buy a set of face paints, set the kids in front of a mirror, and let their artistic talents shine!


Movie Night

Younger children might love “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” or “Hotel Transylvania”. Older kids might want something scarier! Whether you host a virtual watch party with friends or cozy up together as a family, a spooky movie will put you in the Halloween mood.

Editor's pick: the 90's classic - Hocus Pocus! Now streaming on Disney+


Kids Pumpkin Carving Party

Gather up the safety knives and patterns and head outdoors (six feet apart of course) to carve pumpkins together! Cleanup is a breeze when pumpkins are carved outside and of course younger children could paint theirs instead.


Make Caramel Apples

If your cooking skill levels are low, there are kits available at many grocery stores around Halloween to help you make traditional caramel apples. A graveyard “dirt cake” made from Oreos is a lot of fun and can be embellished with Nabisco Nutter Butter cookies for ghosts and Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies for gravestones. Or use a donut hole, a Life Saver gummy candy and a chocolate chip to make edible eyeballs.

Virtual Halloween Party

Just because you won’t be inviting the entire neighborhood inside your home doesn’t mean you can’t gather online to show each other your costumes and eat treats together! If you gather on apps such as Houseparty, you can even include virtual games.


Tell Ghost Stories

Family members can take turns telling scary stories. Alternately, check out some Halloween themed books from the library like The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. Older kids might enjoy starting the Bunnicula chapter book series by James Howe or the My Undead Life series by Emma T. Graves.


Play A Game!

Take turns telling a scary story, either making it up or using a familiar story. A close by object serves as “base.” At the spookiest part of the story, the storyteller shouts out, “And then the boiler burst!” The first player tagged before reaching base tells the next story.


Socially Distanced “Haunted House”

Setting up pretend spider webs, skeletons and even old dolls and fake blood can make your front yard into a haunted house for neighbors or friends to enjoy one at a time.


Pumpkin Ring Toss

Grab some glow in the dark necklaces and set up small pumpkins around the yard. Use glow in the dark paint for the pumpkins, place extra glow necklaces at the base, or inside a carved pumpkin to light them up!


Play With Slime

Make your own or buy some. Add plastic spiders for a creepy effect!

Hand Out Candy From Afar

This is the perfect year to sit outside in a lawn chair with candy on a table and let kids take their own. Provide hand sanitizer on the table if you feel it’s needed.

Candy Scavenger Hunt

Hide candy around the yard or house for little ones to find.

Our pick for local Sarasota Fall Event: Every Weekend until October 31st!


Fruitville Grove's 32nd Annual Pumpkin Festival


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