Here’s how to safely celebrate.

By Corey Williams
Updated October 14, 2020
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Halloween isn’t canceled! We turned to Nicole McLaughlin, MyRecipes’ resident mom and star of Mom Vs., for advice about how to navigate trick-or-treating in a tricky time. Here’s are Nicole’s best tips for safely celebrating this year:

1. Create a socially distanced trick-or-treating experience.

You know those candy chutes that you’ve (probably) seen floating around the internet? They’re way easier to assemble than they look: All you need is something high, something low, and something to connect the two. Nicole used two differently sized ladders, a pipe she picked up from the hardware store, and a few old sheets to disguise the makeshift contraption as “ghosts.” Watch the video above for the full tutorial!

2. Decorate your home.

You’re spending all your time in your house, so you might as well go all out this year. This can be as simple as sticking a pumpkin or two in frequently trafficked areas (like your kitchen and living room) or you could go all out with indoor decor—Target’s Hide & Eek! Boutique is chock-full of fun, festive, and affordable pieces.

3. Plan alternative ways to hand out candy.

If the candy chute is a bit out of your comfort zone, there are other semi-safe options out there. For instance, you can limit hand-to-hand contact by using kitchen tongs to get the candy to its destination. Or just throw it at the children from six feet away. Whatever works.

4. Reverse trick-or-treating.

Hop in your car and surprise trick-or-treaters with Halloween goodie bags (just make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before assembling them!).

5. Swap out your kids’ candy.

If you just don’t feel comfortable with your kids eating candy that has been handled by strangers this year (we get it), just swap out their plastic pumpkins with ones you’ve filled yourself when they get home.

6. Stick with your quaran-team.

We all have one by now. Plan a small get-together with a few people you know and whose COVID-19 habits you trust. This way, the kids can gather candy in a controlled environment.

7. Start new traditions.

2020 is a year of firsts for all of us, after all. If you don’t feel comfortable with your usual traditions, start new ones this Halloween. Watch a scary movie, carve pumpkins, or bake one of our favorite Halloween dinners or desserts as a family.

8. Incorporate masks into costumes.

The CDC is still recommending face coverings when you’re not at home, so you’ll need to find a way to incorporate a mask into your costume if you plan on dressing up. Nicole, for instance, is going as a lion this year—she says she’s going to draw a few whiskers, a nose, and a mouth on a disposable mask and call it a day. You can buy Nicole’s ferocious costume for just $8 right here.

9. Head out of town.

Good news! Halloween falls on a weekend this year. If you’re able and it makes sense for you, pack up and enjoy a socially distanced family vacation for a few days.

10. Don’t participate.

We don’t know who needs to hear this, but here goes: Halloween isn’t required. There’s a lot going in the world and, if it feels like too much, just turn off your lights and pretend you’re not home. Nobody needs added stress right now!