Trick-or-Treat? Fun, Safe Halloween Celebration Ideas for Families

Two children in Halloween costumes wearing COVID masks.

Does your family celebrate Halloween? Do you have kids who love to dress up, go trick-or-treating, get spooked and fill up on candy?

With COVID-19 and physical distancing, festivities will have to look different this year, especially in high-risk zones. Whether you’re a parent, foster parent or kinship caregiver, here are some ideas to help give your kiddo a fun, spooky—and most importantly, safe—Halloween celebration.

At Home

  • Decorate, decorate, decorate! Decorating for Halloween is half the fun (especially for us adults!). Have the kids help pick out and put up store-bought decorations, and you can even get crafty and make some decorations as a family!
  • Bake some spooky snacks: Check out these Halloween-themed desserts for inspiration.
  • Have a scary movie night: Pick out an age-appropriate scary movie and watch as a family.
  • Set up a “candy graveyard”: Sort of like an egg hunt, but for Halloween. Put out candy and other fun treats in the yard for children to gather!


  • Host a Zoom costume party! Invite children’s friends and loved ones.
  • Have a pumpkin carving contest: Take the tradition online!
  • Try out an online escape room: Have an older kid who enjoys brain-scratchers? See if they’re interested in trying one out with the family or with their friends.

In the Neighborhood

  • Trunk-or-Treat! Organize a neighborhood Trunk-or-Treat in a community parking lot. Decorate your car, bring treats, and wear a spooky mask! Children can go from car to car and designated adults can safely hand out candy, giving them the fun, trick-or-treat feeling but in a more controlled environment.
  • Trick-or-Treat, if and only if you’re in a low-risk area and can do so in compliance with CDC guidelines. Several organizations and businesses partnered to put together this helpful website that maps out how to trick-or-treat safely in every county in the U.S. with guidance from the CDC. Counties fall into four risk levels: Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. They offer in-person trick-or-treat safety guidelines for Green, Yellow and Orange areas, but do not recommend it in Red areas.

These are just a few ideas to help get you thinking about fun and safe ways for your family to celebrate this year. For more ideas organized by risk level in your county, visit

Have a safe and happy Halloween!