Halloween, but pandemic edition

Linnea Shively, page editor

Although hosting a get-together during the pandemic can be tricky with new safety precautions to think about, don’t despair about Halloween! There are plenty of fun fall-themed, spooky ideas to enjoy Halloween this year without putting yourself or your guests at risk. 


Outdoor “spooky” movie night:

Witches, wizards, and ghosts, oh my! Halloween has no shortage of movies to celebrate the occasion—maybe even with a double feature. Some classics include “Ghostbusters” and “Hocus Pocus.” The Harry Potter movies are always a crowd-pleaser, but if you’re tired of them (I’m not sure how that would happen!), put on “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Bonus points if your guests come dressed up in character; encourage participation with a candy prize for the best costume! To make an outdoor movie theater, all you need to do is search “outdoor movie night” on Pinterest, and you’ll find hundreds of tutorials on how to make your own projector screen and the best projectors to buy. If you don’t want to buy a projector, many companies rent them, you can get smaller, less expensive ones for your phone, or you can ask around to see if you can borrow a projector from anyone. Spring up some lights, scatter some jack-o-lanterns and cobwebs, and tell your guests to bring a chair and blanket to stay cozy.


Bonfire with candy s’mores:

If a movie night sounds too cold, set up an outdoor bonfire with chairs surrounding it (socially distanced of course!), and tell your guests to bring blankets. Have individually packaged beverages and s’mores ingredients, along with a separate marshmallow roasting stick, for each guest. Don’t forget that Halloween is an excuse to indulge yourself with candy, so stock up on individually wrapped candies for your guests. Replacing the chocolate with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is my personal favorite way to enjoy s’mores. To kick it up a notch, have a ghost story contest! The person whose story makes everyone else jump the most wins.


Ghost Photoshoot

Try the latest TikTok trend—a ghost photoshoot! Grab a white bed sheet, some glasses to put on over the sheet, and find a location, such as a playground, a path surrounded by trees, or a city street. Add some editing to make it look vintage and darker, and you have a spooky photoshoot! 


courtesy of Andrew Beattie and CNN

Trick or Treat Candy Chute

Anticipating trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood? There’s still a way to hand out sweets while keeping yourself and the kids safe. All you need is six feet of tubing, which could be PVC pipe, cardboard tubes, or even just lots of boxes taped together. Once you have your tube, you can decorate it with cobwebs, spiders, and Halloween-themed duct tape. Secure the tube to a railing, or use a skeleton figure to “hold” the end of the tube by the location of the trick-or-treaters. Direct kids to hold their candy bags underneath the end of the tube, use hand sanitizer, and drop a piece (or two or three) of candy down the chute into their bag. Don’t forget to compliment each costume!