16 Spooky Ways To Celebrate Halloween At Home This Year

Photo: getty
How To Celebrate Halloween During A Pandemic

Celebrating Halloween during a pandemic? Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any scarier!

Halloween is normally one of the best holidays of the year. Who doesn’t love dressing up in over-the-top costumes and eating their body weight in candy?

But since most of our favorites Halloween activities (AKA trick-or-treating and partying) aren’t very COVID-safe, we’re going to have to channel our creativity away from thinking of costume ideas into coming up with alternative ways to get in the spooky spirit. 

RELATED: 50 Frighteningly Scary Movies To Watch This Halloween

The CDC has made things pretty clear when it comes to holiday activities, releasing these guidelines recently.

But the TL;DR is this: Stay home and stay distant. So, like most things in 2020, Halloween is getting reinvented.

Luckily, there are a bunch of fun things you can do at home, all while minimizing your coronavirus exposure. If you do attend any outdoor Halloween events suggested below, make sure to wear a mask — not just a scary Halloween costume mask, an actual one! 

16 Ways to Celebrate Halloween This Year

1. Decorate your home to the max.


A post shared by  (@aurelie.erikson) on Sep 28, 2020 at 4:23pm PDT

Spook your whole neighborhood by making your very own haunted house. We might be missing out on most of our usual Halloween traditions this year, but we can make up for it by going over-the-top on decor.

Shop for fake cobwebs, pumpkin garlands, and broomsticks online, or choose DIY decorations of your own. 

2. Host a costume party on Zoom.

Set up a video call with your friends or family members, and tell everyone to dress up in their scariest (or funniest) costumes.

Keep your costume ideas a secret so everyone gets a surprise. Make Halloween-themed drinks, play spooky songs, or tell ghost stories. Best costume wins! 

3. Ghosting the trick-or-treaters.

Not the kind of ghosting where you ignore someone’s messages and then act like you don’t know them in person!

Set up an abandoned candy station for trick-or-treaters to collect candies without contact. Lay out a table with individually wrapped candy bags (and maybe hand sanitizers), and supervise from behind your window.

4. Or, create other no-contact trick-or-treat ideas.

You could get extra creative and put candies inside balloons or piñatas for your neighbors to burst and collect their treats. Or, just pass out candies using an extendable litter picker so you can keep your distance and still spread Halloween cheer. 

5. Have a Halloween photoshoot.

Since you can't show off your costume around the neighborhood or at parties, get cute photos of you and your household all dressed up to show off on social media. You can make spooky backdrops using the decorations in your house and a little mood lighting.

6. Send a Halloween card.

Print out your photoshoot or save the photos on your computer to make a card to send or email to your friends and family you won’t get to see this Halloween. Think of it like a Holiday card with an extra spooky surprise. 

7. Make a DIY costume.

If you are one of those people rushing to Walmart on October 31st to find a last-minute costume 3 hours before you are supposed to go to a party, no excuses this year! With all this time on our hands thanks to quarantine, you should be able to pull together your own DIY costume.

8. Go to the pumpkin patch.


A post shared by San Diego Hat Company  (@sandiegohatcompany) on Sep 24, 2020 at 11:03am PDT

Visiting an outdoor pumpkin patch is one of the safer public activities you can do this fall, since it is easy to socially distance while doing so. Make sure to inquire about your local patch’s COVID-19 precautions in advance so you feel comfortable that appropriate measures are being taken. 

9. Whip up batches of Halloween treats.

Keep the party at home this year with delicious homemade Halloween recipes. Make candied apples, ghost-shaped cookies, or decorate cupcakes with spider web patterns.

Get the whole family involved for this one, or even have a decorate-off on a group chat with your friends. 

RELATED: 101 Best Fall Instagram Captions Perfect For Autumn Pictures

10. Set up scary pranks.

Set up spooky pranks around the house with surprise cob webs in doorways or fake spiders. You could make your own haunted house inside your home, or make a candy scavenger hunt around the garden. 

11. Deliver treats to neighbors.

Speaking of the holidays, become your neighborhood’s own scary Santa by dropping off goodie bags on the doorsteps of your friends and neighbors.

Play a game of ding-dong ditch so they can collect their treats without you breaking social distancing rules. It is like reverse trick-or-treating! 

12. Join UNICEF’s virtual trick-or-treating event.

On October 1st, UNICEF USA is launching their own virtual trick-or-treat event that enables people to collect virtual donations and give back to global communities. This has been a hard year for many, and this is a great way to give back while still having Halloween fun. 

13. Host a socially distant pumpkin-off.

Challenge people to carve their most creative pumpkin designs and send photos of the finished work. This could be done on a video call, community social media page, or take it to the front yard and have your neighbors participate from a distance. 

14. Decorate your face masks.


A post shared by Sparkle & Splat (@sparkleandsplat_) on Sep 24, 2020 at 10:26am PDT

Masks aren’t just for Halloween — we’ve been wearing them all year long! Sew, print, or draw your own spooky designs on to your face masks. Or, get pumpkin print fabric and make a new mask at home.

15. Try drive-by trick-or-treating.

Host a community trick-or-treating event where everyone stays in their cars and drives through the neighborhood, collecting goodie bags from each house. You could even turn this into a cycling parade so you can get a better look at everyone’s costumes. 

16. Have a spooky movie marathon.

From Hocus Pocus to the Halloween movies, there are plenty of spooky movie titles to keep your bones rattling.

Now that you don’t have to give away candies to your pesky neighbors this year, you should have plenty of delicious snacks, so you can watch back-to-back movies without having to get up to go to the kitchen.

RELATED: 100 Couple Costume Ideas For Halloween

Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. When she’s not creating content for Your Tango, you can catch her working on creative fiction and vintage shopping.

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.