16 Ideas for Celebrating Quarantine-O-Ween

16 Ideas for Celebrating Quarantine-O-Ween

By: Sara Skirboll, shopping & trends expert at RetailMeNot

Decorate Your House to the Max

Haunt the neighborhood with store-bought or DIY (or shall we say boo-it-yourself) Halloween decorations to transform the inside of your home, porch and more. We’ve compiled DIY ideas that range from Ombré Candy Corn Wine Bottles and Glow-in-the-Dark Slime, all of which you can tackle with the kiddos.

On the store-bought front, The Home Depot has SO many cool Halloween decorations this year, including a Coco-themed inflatable and Giant Dragon.

Also, apparently people are turning their Christmas trees into kitschy Halloween trees. I am here for that. Plus, there’s this super-popular RJ Legend 15-inch Halloween Ceramic Tree, which is constantly selling out but available right now at Amazon.

Set up a Candy Graveyard

I got this idea from Oriental Trading! The concept is extra cool because your yard gets decked out for Halloween and gives kids a way to social distance while trick-or-treating in it. Set up fake tombstones in your yard with prizes and candy piled up next to each tombstone. You could have each kid enter the graveyard one at a time and package up candy and prizes into individual treat bags for extra safety.

Host Zoom Costume Parties and Pumpkin-Carving Contests

Host a Halloween-themed costume or dance party on Zoom for friends and family. Create a spooktacular playlist for everyone to shake their boo things to, and have attendees show off their costumes on camera.

You can also gather remotely to decorate and carve pumpkins safely from your own homes. Interact while you craft by sharing spooky stories. At the end, award prizes (virtual prizes or ones you send via snail mail) to the best looks!

Attend a Trunk-or-Treat

Trunk-or-treating is one of the trends buzzing this year in terms of socially distant trick-or-treat substitutes. An organized event usually held in a school or church parking lot, trunk-or-treating entails decorated vehicles, and kids go trick-or-treating from car to car. You can host this in your neighborhood, too, with neighbors setting up trunk displays in the driveway and passing out candy. Note: Consider having designated adults (who commit to applying hand sanitizer) give out the candy rather than encourage lots of little hands to reach inside the bowl.

Party City has a list of 17 trunk-or-treat ideas for inspiration!

Be on the Lookout for Socially Distant Bicycle Parades and Reverse Trick-or-Treating in Neighborhoods

Another trend we’re hearing about are Halloween parades or a form of drive-by trick-or-treating. With the former, costume wearers take to the street as a catwalk to show off their costumes and hand out and collect candy. People also decorate bikes, wagons, golf carts and cars to show off their looks!

With reverse trick-or-treating, you’ll see people drive by houses similar to the COVID-19 birthday parades. Those in the car will throw candy at the kids in costumes in their yards.

Boo or Ghost People

No, not that kind of ghosting of people, y’all! Spread anonymous cheer by dropping a Halloween goodie bag or pumpkin on the doorsteps of friends and loved ones as a contact-free way to celebrate. This usually works by sneaking to your boo-ing subjects home after dark, ringing the doorbell, leaving the treats on their doorstep and running!

Oriental Trading has all sorts of fun treat bags, buckets, toys and candy to work with. Princess Pinky Girl has all sorts of fun boo ideas (pictured above).

Have a Halloween Movie Marathon

You can choose to do this one via a projector in the backyard, through Netflix Party or just with your family bubble on the couch. Pop some popcorn and throw on your favorite spooky movies and TV shows. Check out our list of Halloween-movie recommendations categorized by age.

Organize a Glow-in-the-Dark Egg Hunt

Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. Buy Halloween-themed eggs at Amazon, or Halloween-ify old plastic eggs you already own (glow sticks work, too!) with stickers or markers. Add candy, and hide them in the yard or around the house! Grab glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark eggs at Amazon for a nighttime search.

Set up a Trick-or-Treat Driveway Table

Ditch the traditional communal Halloween candy bowl and have adults set up decorated tables or booths in their front yards where they can hand out individual bags or cups of candy. This keeps contact to a minimum while also still showcasing decorations and hauntingly good personality.

Oriental Trading has ideas for a Fortune Teller Halloween Table, Ghoul Gang Halloween Table, Peanuts Halloween Table and so much more. Plus, they’ve got you covered on all the items you need to achieve the look.

Whip Up DIY Treats or Order Halloween Specials From Restaurants

Brew up your own Halloween desserts and snacks (popcorn balls, anyone?) to enjoy at home, or order takeout from one of the restaurants serving up Halloween-themed menu items and deals.

IHOP, Papa John’s and Chipotle are expected to resurrect their themed pancakes, Jack-O’-Lantern pizza and boo-rito!

Try Out a Drive-Thru Haunted House if You’re Feeling Brave

Haunted houses will certainly look different this year, too. But drive thru, contact-free Halloween experiences are starting to make headlines. Search online for “haunted roads” or “drive thru haunted houses” to see if there is one near you!

Head to a Drive-In Theater for Halloween Movies

Drive-in theaters have made a major comeback during the pandemic. Search for a drive-in near you. Many plan to screen Halloween movies and host socially distant activities.

Make a Reservation at a Pumpkin Patch

This is TBD, but we’re expecting (and some are already announcing this) pumpkin patches to open but with safety precautions, such as cashless payment, masks, hand sanitizer, limited capacity and maybe even by reservation only to ensure social distancing and safety.

Celebrate Halloween Around the World but From Home

You might not be able to travel the globe right now, but you can do so in spirit. Educate your family and friends on Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Samhain in Ireland and Scotland, Dzień Zaduszny in Poland or Ghost Festival in East Asia. Celebrate these other traditions, and consider cooking or baking traditional foods and making crafts associated with those international events.

P.S. The Halloween Tree is a great animated movie to watch with the family; it educates and celebrates the origins and influencers of Halloween around the world. The movie is based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, and he even narrates the film!

Halloween Piñatas, Anyone?

Either in your house or in the yard, string up a Halloween-themed piñata filled with candy. Amazon and Oriental Trading have boo-tiful piñatas sure to be a hit.

Surprise Your Halloween-Loving Friends With a Spooky Celebrity Shoutout

Cameo is a service that allows you to pay actors, musicians, reality TV stars and other public figures for personalized shout-outs. Request a Halloween message on Cameo from creepy characters and beloved actors from Halloween movies, including Pennywise, Mark Patton (Jesse from Freddy’s Revenge), Danielle Harris (from Halloween) and Kimberly J. Brown (from Halloweentown). Something tells me Cameo will curate a Halloween landing page closer to October 31 with more creators!

 

About the Author

 
Sara Skirboll is the resident Shopping & Trends expert for savings destination RetailMeNot. Based in-house at the RetailMeNot headquarters in Austin, Texas, Sara also splits her time between NYC and Los Angeles on a monthly basis. With more than a decade of experience working within the retail, fashion and beauty arenas, Sara often speaks to shopping habits, trends, statistics and spending habits in both the online and brick & mortar landscapes. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends in retail, pop culture and consumer behavior and is passionate about what’s new now and how to shop to get the best deals possible on everything from apparel and food to electronics and travel. Sara has appeared on-air coast to coast on Today, The View, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Headline News, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood Live, EXTRA!, Good Day LA, NY1, CNN, WGN, KTLA, national affiliates for ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX plus top radio stations.  

*Bio photo courtesy of Sara Skirboll

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