GettyImages-1272049425As Halloween approaches, parents will be making holiday plans — and because there are still outbreaks of COVID-19, experts will recommend more safety precautions than usual. The big choice that parents will need to make is whether to participate in trick-or-treating — and this post will contain practical tips for an enjoyable holiday, either way.

Trick-or-Treating Tips

First, follow all the safety tips normally given for trick-or-treating. These include to put reflective tape on costumes so that people driving cars can see your children and to watch carefully for cars yourself. Make sure that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and have your children wear comfortable shoes.

More specific to COVID, note that Halloween masks are, according to, NOT a safe substitute for the kinds of masks recommended for protection against COVID. They therefore recommend that children aged 2 and up also wear a mask that protects against the virus. Here are some fun masks that can be incorporated into costumes.

They suggest that you trick-or-treat in small groups that include family members or a select number of friends, and that you carefully choose the houses you visit. Note that although Nationwide Children’s wrote this post for Halloween 2020, not 2021, young children aren’t vaccinated, so their recommendations still hold true.

Fun Halloween Substitute Celebrations

Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate Halloween if you decide not to have your children participate in trick-or-treat this year. Medical Michigan, a site by the University of Michigan, provides several ideas. One of them is to hold a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood. Each home can decorate for Halloween in unique ways and then children can put on their costumes and walk around, looking for specific spooky items. To help, there are plenty of lists that you can print off from Pinterest.

Your neighborhood could also hold a pumpkin carving contest and put their entries outside where everyone in the area could walk by and enjoy their creativity.

Another idea is to hold a candy hunt in or around your home, similar to what you might do with an Easter egg hunt. That way your children can put on their costumes and have fun while getting some candy as a result. You can hide the candy, coins, or small toys inside these Halloween eggs and, as a bonus, you’ll know that any edible treats included are safe because you’re the one who chose them.

Here are two more ideas, both by You can hold a virtual Halloween costume contest on Zoom. By now, most people are familiar and comfortable with this technology. You can play spooky music while children, safe in their own homes, dance to the songs. Here are predictions about the most popular Halloween costumes for 2021. You can use this list for inspiration — or to avoid more common choices for one-of-a-kind originality.

Plus, your family can hold a Halloween movie night — and here are 36 family-friendly scary movies to consider. Your children could ask their friends to watch the same movie and then everyone can chat about it via Zoom.

Here’s one more tip: You can mix and match these ideas because you don’t have to stick to just one! You could, for example, follow up a Halloween hunt with a movie of choice—while also enjoying a cup of Mad Scientist Punch or Ghostly Hot Cocoa.

Enjoy! Happy Halloween!

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