There's still a way to safely celebrate Halloween with your kids in a year that's been one hell of a nightmare.
Kids have missed out on so much in 2020, don't let them miss out on Halloween too!
Halloween in Australia is going to be a very different celebration this year, but there’s no reason it can’t still be fabooolous.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we might not be able to gather in large groups at spooky community events, host a mega Halloween party or go trick or treating in the same ways we’ve done in the past, but there’s even more reason to celebrate October 31 in 2020.
With the pandemic closing schools, daycares and kinders, kids have missed out on a lot this year. Most have had limited interaction with friends, there have been fewer neighbourhood play dates, restricted sporting activities and limited visits to playgrounds.
They shouldn’t have to miss out on Halloween, too.
But how can we safely celebrate in a pandemic? Obviously restrictions differ in all states, particularly with respect to visitors in your home, and these need to be adhered to.
But even if you’re in a COVID-19 hot zone (aka Victoria), you can still get into the spirit of Halloween.
Get the kids to help you decorate your home and yard with spider webs, fake tombstones in the yard or creepy skeletons, and try to make it drive or ride-by friendly. Make a socially distanced trick or treat treasure hunt in your front yard, even if it is just for neighbourhood kids.
Some Halloween fans who welcome trick or treaters have gone to great lengths this year by building candy slides that safely dispense treats at distance, and most are only offering pre-packaged lollies and sweets. If you’re going trick or treating, have plenty of sanitiser on hand and maybe even rebrand it with cool handmade labels such as ‘Boo to the Germs’, or ‘Vampire Rid’ to make it fun.
If you’re not comfortable going trick or treating, host a mini celebration at home. Get all dressed up in your costumes, invite friends over and play Halloween games such as spooky ten-pin with ‘ghost pins’ made from cardboard rolls and a pumpkin ‘ball’; paint or carve some jack o’lanterns, have a MASKerade party or costume parade, or play pin the nose on the witch. It’s all about having fun.
One of the best things about Halloween is that for one day, you can be whoever you want. There are no limits to imagination on Halloween! And (apart from all the lollies) dressing up is what most kids love about Halloween.
Let them release their inner vampire, witch, princess, superhero, ghoul or magical unicorn. It doesn’t have to be a scary costume just because it’s Halloween. Last year our neighbourhood kids were transformed into a glorious mix of crime-fighting superheroes, cute witches, a dinosaur, and a six-year-old vampire unicorn who had done her own makeup.
It’s all about the freedom of self-expression; some will choose Elsa, and some will prefer Elvira. And both are awesome.
Andrea Beattie is a journalist and publisher of Hallozween, Australia’s first Halloween magazine.