Halloween may be different this year, but it’s not cancelled! Try these ideas for organizing safe, family-friendly Halloween fun in your neighborhood.

Virtual Costume Contest

Host a kids’ Halloween costume contest on Zoom or a similar video conferencing app. Before the party, announce the categories, such as funniest costume, scariest costume and most creative costume. You could even have a category for best family costume. During the call, everyone casts their votes for each category using your video platform’s polling feature or private chat. Once all votes are in, announce the winners. Prizes of candy or other small items could be left on the doorstep of each winner.

Most Ghoulish Yard

Invite everyone in the neighborhood to join in a decorating contest. You could have a few categories such as scariest, cutest, silliest and best overall. Set a decorating deadline. Provide delivery instructions on the flier so every house in the neighborhood can vote for the addresses they like best. Also, mention that neighbors should view all the houses and deliver their votes to you by a specified date. Ask some of the participating neighbors to help you make up fun “Scariest House” and other signs. Then post them in the yards of the winning homes.

Funniest Carved Pumpkin

Ask the neighborhood to join you in a carved pumpkin contest. Schedule a date and time when everyone will display their pumpkins in their driveway or on the porch. Ask neighbors to walk around to view the pumpkins, then write down their favorite on a piece of paper and place it a basket at the end of your driveway. You could even make up ballots ahead of time and have more categories, like scariest or most creative. Tally the votes and announce the winner(s) by email.

Scariest Scarecrow

Plan a “scariest scarecrow” contest. To keep the scarecrows safe until voting, set a specific day when the scarecrows should be displayed in everyone’s yards. Have everyone in the neighborhood, whether they participate by making a scarecrow or not, hand-deliver their vote to you by the end of the day that the scarecrows are set out. Then deliver a yard sign to the winning home.

A Safe Way to Satisfy Trick-or-Treaters

If you’re planning to hand out candy on Halloween, get creative! Send candy shooting down to kids with the Quarantreater – it’s made with materials from your local home improvement store. Watch the how-to video from Brooklyn Robot Foundry.

More Covid-Safe Halloween Ideas:

  • Have an online neighborhood movie marathon using a streaming service like Netflix Party or Watch2gether.
  • Set up an outdoor projector and invite neighbors to watch a Halloween movie, socially distanced, in your yard. Everyone brings their own snacks!
  • Have a socially-distanced costume parade.
  • Set up a Zoom or Skype call and play virtual games like Halloween-themed Pictionary or charades.

For more Halloween ideas, virtual activities and in-person events, visit Best Ideas for Halloween in Quarantine.

Looking for some out-and-about fun? Check out Best Things to Do Halloween Weekend.

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