Looking to celebrate on the safer side this Halloween? We've got you and your family covered.

By Melissa Mills
October 07, 2020

Due to the pandemic, many tried-and-true Halloween festivities—trick-or-treating, crowded parties, and indoor haunted houses—are considered a risk for spreading the coronavirus. And with COVID-19 cases in children on the rise, families are wondering what's safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has even released 2020 recommendations for safely celebrating the holidays to complement local and state guidelines, breaking down what they consider to be low, moderate, and higher risk Halloween activities.

Though some families may decide to continue with traditional or modified trick-or-treating depending on rules where they live, others—especially those who are considered high-risk or live in areas where community transmission is still high and cases of COVID-19 are on the rise—are on the hunt for safe Halloween alternatives. When it comes to celebrating in person, it's best to wear a mask, social distance, and move the festivities outdoors. But if you're looking for Halloween activities with the lowest risk possible, you've got to really limit who you're partying with and opt for virtual fun and games. Luckily, by utilizing things like Zoom and FaceTime, your family can still have a Halloween to remember—that's a little less trick and a little more treat. Here, we've broken down the top ways to celebrate Halloween virtually amid the pandemic.

Virtual Halloween Activities for 2020

1. Zoom Halloween Costume Contest

Among the CDC's list of lower-risk activities, a Zoom costume contest will allow the whole family—don't forget about the pets!—to dress up and show off. Create categories like "Funniest Costume," "Best Group Costume," and "Scariest Costume" to give more than one person a chance to win.

Prizes can even be virtual, too! Opt for things like treats from your local bakery or an epic pizza party—that can be delivered right to your door.

2. Pumpkin Decorating Party

Host a virtual party so your kids can carve, paint, and decorate pumpkins alongside friends and family. Take it to the next level with a follow-up jack-o'-lantern drive-by to see the finished creations from a distance.

3. Online “Halloweekend” Fun

Connected Camps is offering up some free fun for kids and teens using Minecraft on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays—aka "Halloweekends"—now through November 1. Their virtual Halloween-themed activities include a Monster Mash Halloween Tournament, Elytra Witch Races, Haunted House Building Competition, Pumpkin “Carving” Build Activity, and even Dia de Los Muertos Altar Building. Kids 8 through 17 can enjoy some STEM-filled spooky fun this Halloween season.

Courtesy of Connected Camps
Credit: Courtesy of Connected Camps

4. Scary Storytime

Lower the lights, let the hot chocolate flow—or perhaps some spiked, Halloween-themed beverages for the parents—and bust out your favorite kid-friendly spooky stories. You can even let your kids take turns with their favorite fall or Halloween books so they can practice reading at the same time.

Have an Amazon device? You can remove all the work by asking it, “Alexa, tell me a spooky story.”

5. Game Night

Link up with loved ones on FaceTime or Zoom and play games or do crafts together—virtually. Ideas to try include Halloween charades, creating a contest for who can fill out these free printable Halloween activity pages from Melissa & Doug the fastest, or, if you're open to something with a little more planning involved, a Halloween scavenger hunt where each family is responsible for finding the next clue. Make the scavenger hunt extra ooey and gooey by creating an "oobleck" mixture—as seen above—for little ones to dig through.

6. TikTok Halloween Challenge

Here's one the teens and preteens can really get behind: take viral TikTok challenges, but make them spooky. Have you kids dress up, do the same TikTok dance of their choice, then sync up to vote on the best one.

Parents can even join in on the fun, create adult versions, and have the kids vote on the funniest.

7. Halloween Karaoke/Dance Party

Create a playlist of your Halloween faves—"Monster Mash," anyone?—or take turns belting out your own versions. You can even have your kids dress up and sing or dance in character!

8. Cookie Decorating Class

CocuSocial, which offers virtual and in-person cooking classes, is hosting two Kids Halloween Cookie Decorating classes online this month, on October 18 and October 31. For just $19, your kid can learn how to make cookies from scratch from a chef, decorate them, and—the best part—eat them!