How to have lots of fun and be safe this Halloween

Celebrating Halloween this year can be your BEST EVER with a little planning. With 30 days to go, parents need all the help they can get this year.

As if a COVID Halloween isn’t already spooky enough, it will also be on a Saturday, a blue moon and you get an extra-hour for daylight savings. So there is guaranteed weirdness with all the extra time people will have to think about how to celebrate.

Safe ideas presented include booing loved ones before Halloween (like reverse trick-or-treating), having a themed contest which might include Zooming and picture sharing from present and past, a themed dinner, ghost stories and games, dancing and karaoke and Halloween themed movies to wrap up the night.

For more party planning ideas than presented here, you might want to follow this (LINK) because it appears to be updated often:  Full disclosure I have no relation to any link and receive no commission.  They just seemed really helpful.

Plan a small home party and share part of it on Zoom!

Shared this Halloween with loved ones in your bubble or via Zoom.  This is especially wonderful for loved ones in self-isolating circumstances or who you want to share the holiday with, but are too far away.  Please adhere to the small gathering guidelines provided by your county and CDC. (LINK 1) (LINK 2)

You can pick a theme to give people creative direction or create categories in which they can win a prize for such as the funniest, cutest, weirdest, or scariest costume or best homemade.

In addition to other festivities, you can plan a fashion show to share your costume creations or pumpkins with prize categories as mentioned above. (Be sure to learn how to poll on Zoom before your gathering.) You can all reminisce about past Halloweens and the share costumes and experiences of your childhood. (Be sure to prepare pictures and short stories in advance.)

Before Halloween

Decorate Your House with the Kids – When you decorate your house, you might plan a path that you could use later for a treasure hunt in your backyard or inside your house. Black, orange, purple and/or white lights are often used. Decor can be anything from cut out black cat silhouettes, to tombstones made from boxes and crafted giant spiders with lots of webs. Home Depot has some interesting decorations, some of which is silly expensive, but still fun to look at even if you can’t afford such an indulgence.

Reverse trick or treating

  • Spread anonymous Halloween cheer with random acts of kindness in advance of Halloween. Fill a container (basket, bucket, bag, or cup) with treats. Be sure to think about how you can hang it on a door handle to keep it out of reach of small animals or plan a porch pickup location.
  • Fill the container with anything you can imagine: candy, stickers, temporary tattoos, balloons, bubbles, themed erasers, pencils, books, Dracula teeth, glow in the dark eyeballs, individually wrapped treats, or glow sticks. These are the same items you can use later in a treasure hunt too.
  • Consider including handmade drawings or paintings by kids. That would be especially appreciated by older neighbors.
  • Another great custom gift for the boo bag and your party favors is decorated face masks. So bust out the pens, glitter, sequins, and even tie-dye! Trace frightful shapes or fun patterns. People will treasure and enjoy one-of-a-kind creations.
  • Add be sure to add a personalized note in the bag that includes something like: “You’ve Been Booed! Thanks for being so wonderful!

Pumpkin carving or decorating – While this event can be done day of the party, it won’t be easy to include it in a Zoom party contest. So I think this idea would be most successful if done in advance. Here’s some links to get them into the creative spirit with pumpkins (LINK 1) (LINK 2)

Weird Science and Props for Ghost Storytelling 

  • Some of these tactile items can be used later for spooky story telling in the dark. I clearly remember this tactile experience from my own childhood and treasure that. It wasn’t really about how people saw me in my costume, it was about how the experience made me feel. Remember that when creating your own party because it was never the candy I remembered most.
  • You can mix up some fun using kitchen staples and household items. Like Vampire Slime (LINK) Frankenstein’s Phlegm (LINK) Ghost Rockets (LINK) Pumpkin Playdough (LINK)
  • Exploding Jack-o-Lanterns, shadow puppets, bug filled ice, witchy potions, optical illusions and more at (THIS LINK)

Halloween Night

Dress up for Dinner – Don’t just wear the costume, become the costume! Plan a Halloween feast for your family with one simple rule: Everyone must stay in costume AND in character for the entire meal! Give each participant some time to come up with an accent and a backstory for a memorable night.

Share a Ghoulish Dinner

  • Who says you can’t play with your food? There’s recipes for Feet-loaf (meatloaf) or Eye-Ball Pasta made with sliced mozzarella, Spider Pizza or the classic Mummy Dog. The possibilities are endless. Let your imagination run wild; experiment with cute, creepy, scary, and downright disgusting eats.
  • Here’s some links for ideas (LINK 1) (LINK 2) And you might think about buying candied googlie eyes in bulk you can easily add them to everything from popcorn to pancakes or homemade boo bag treats.

Make Porch Pics – Commemorate this once in a Blue Moon Halloween with some epic porch pics. Grab your camera and take some of your favorite monsters!

Play Games – There’s lots of game ideas on the internet, like the Bozo ball toss and pin the lid on the jack-o-lantern. You can also set up with quick crafts like a paper bag monster puppets or make an edible treat like decorating cupcakes.

Monster Mash Dance Party – Shake your “boo thang,” create a fun playlist and learn the dance moves from Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller.” Maybe the songs you choose are also played during the treasure hunt. That way if you do karaoke, the songs will be familiar to you.

Halloween Karaoke – Whether you’re pulling off a tribute to Thriller or going old school with some Monster Mash, creating a play list is sure to delight. Up the ante with awards for the best impersonation, funniest choreography or the greatest overall performance. There’s lots of pre-mixes available for purchase. (LINK 1)

Watch Halloween Movies – Toss some candy corn or eyeballs in your popcorn and watch Halloween movies. Children’s classics include “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” For more ideas check Netflix or (THIS LINK) Whether for adults or children this is a great way to wind down the celebration and let them watch all night til they fall asleep.

Scavenger hunt tips and ideas

A Halloween scavenger hunt needs a little bit of advance planning, but it’s not too much work. A successful hunt includes clues, prizes and some decent hiding places. The most important thing is to get everything you need in advance, so there’s no scrambling for things to hide on the day of the hunt.

Clues and hiding spots

  • You can design the hunt to follow the clues to search for actual items or symbols for prize redemption. There could be prizes at each reveal spot or sometimes a clue leading you to the next spot.
  • It can be fun coming up with your own clues, but can be quite time-consuming. These are links to printable images that can be used with young kids or can give you ideas to make your own hunting passport  (LINK 1) (LINK 2)
  • If you want to buy a pre-made kit or prizes like bouncing glowing eyeballs, here is an Amazon (LINK 1) (LINK 2)
  • To make the hunt more interesting for older children, set a shorter time limit and hide fewer prizes to make them even more sought-after.
  • For hiding spots considering turning down the lights for ambiance and to make the clues harder to spot. You might also want some basic ground rules so you don’t end up with a mess, such as if they move something to search, they must put it back as they found it or forfeit the prize.


  • You can hide treasure like candy, toys or even make some gift certificates to stay up late, choose the movie or eat an extra piece of candy.
  • Homemade prizes are the best, but purchased prizes are easy and sometimes cool. Spirit stores are opening in spite of the pandemic (LINK) To be honest though I wanted to puke a little in my mouth when I typed “toys” into the search bar and the top search results was a grenade, guns and cowboy outfits. )Whaaat?( I’d rather go to the Dollar Store thanks, but you still might get some great costume ideas.

I hope these ideas offered inspire you to have a joyful, memorable and safe Halloween!

About the author:  I’m a fire survivor who is trying to take the wisdom I acquired and turn it into a gift for the future.  I sincerely hope that my effort to create a valuable legacy will be successful.

Currently I’m in a beach town in San Luis Obispo to escape the smoke.  It’s been 6 weeks I’ve been gone from the Paradise/Chico area due to the fires.  For the kind subscribers who helped with my hotel costs, THANK YOU!

To any that would still like to help, it would be gleefully appreciated. (PayPal Link).  However please know that what I offer is a gift from the heart, unconditionally, so I hope you enjoy it.  Kind words and feedback actually sustain me more than money to get up every day and keep trying. =) (Email link)

I have specific resiliency plans for displaced disaster survivors which is unique. I sincerely hope for the energy and time invested, that I am successful in doing this. ~ Time will tell!

Wishing you well. ~ Kimberly Carr

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Since there was a lot to cover, I split the resiliency info into 4 pages:

  1. How to have lots of fun and be safe this Halloween (CLICK HERE)
  2. How you can help frontline workers and their communities (CLICK HERE)
  3. How wildfire smoke affects your lungs. (Please protect yourself!) (CLICK HERE)
  4. How to Vote in 2020 ~ Good luck! (CLICK HERE)