23 Ways To Celebrate Halloween At Home This Year

Summer Block
12 min readAug 4, 2020

There’s been a lot of talk in the last week or two about whether or not there will be a Halloween this year. Of course there will be a Halloween! Twitter user pennysnark said it best:

Screenshot of a tweet by @pennystark

But while there absolutely will be a Halloween, there may not be trick or treating, and there certainly won’t be the parties, harvest festivals, haunted houses, and costume parades many kids are used to. I know a lot of parents are feeling real sadness at the idea of their kids missing out on Halloween, so I wanted to pull together a list of a few ways to celebrate October 31 at home.

First, a few caveats:

  1. You don’t need to do 23 things. I want to get that out of the way now. Parenting during a pandemic is hard enough. You might want to do one or two things in whatever time you have.
  2. Of these 23 activities, only four require a backyard or access to outdoor space. We just moved into a place with a yard this summer, but most of these activities we did for years in places without outdoor space and they worked very well.
  3. I tried to minimize how much stuff you have to buy. We’re all operating under financial constraints right now, and often it’s difficult to acquire things even when you have the money to buy them. I know we’re all trying to shop local as much as we can, but I prioritized the kinds of basic supplies you can reasonably expect to find at a big-box retailer, too, if that’s where your family is shopping safely.
  4. Most of these are not original ideas, but things I’ve borrowed from other parents, Pinterest posts, past school functions, Halloween blogs, or any one of a million other places. When I can recall the specific place where I picked up an idea, I’ve credited it.
  5. My kids are 11, 9, 6, and almost 2. I decided against dividing the list into activities for older kids and younger kids, because every kid is different, but I did try to indicate where slight tweaks might better accommodate toddlers or teenagers.
  6. I’m not including anything educational. We’re all doing enough.
Summer Block

Writer for Catapult, Longreads, The Awl, The Toast, The Rumpus, McSweeney’s, and so on. Owner of After-Party Taxidermy. Working on a book about Halloween.