By Guest Blogger Amanda Smolko
The question everyone with small children is wondering right now…how are we going to celebrate Halloween in the middle of a pandemic?
We really struggled with this question. My 4-year old daughter lives for all things spooky, and Halloween is easily her favorite holiday. With trick or treating being cancelled around us, along with pretty much everything else, we weren’t sure how to make the holiday special for her. We eventually came up with some ideas and spent the weekend having a scary good time. For some of you, your neighborhoods may be carrying on as usual with a few precautions, but if you choose not to partake, or are in the same predicament as my family, here’s how we made Halloween special this year.
First and foremost, you have to decorate. I mean, what kind of Halloween is it if you don’t have fake spider webs everywhere? I made a run to the local dollar store and Target and picked up some Halloween décor. We usually decorate inside, but this year we made sure to decorate outside as well. The kids really got into decorating and we blasted some Halloween music while we did it.
Next we decided to try making our own caramel apples this year. It’s really not as difficult as I thought it was going to be, however, the caramel started to harden a little faster than we expected so we had to move fast to make sure our toppings stuck to the apple. All we did was buy two bags of caramel squares from the store and followed the caramel apple directions on the back. Once the caramel and water was mixed and melted, it was ready for dipping. I made sure to get a variety of toppings which included mini chocolate chips, Halloween sprinkles, mini M&Ms and the standard nut topping.
After the caramel apples we did a makeshift version of trick or treating. Going door to door to collect candy is one of their favorite parts of Halloween so we knew we had to figure out a way to make it happen. I decided to adopt a tradition from another holiday and we had a Halloween candy hunt! I got some Halloween treat bags and put a couple pieces of candy in each bag. I then went outside and hid the little bags all around our yard, much like you would do for an Easter egg hunt. The kids changed into their Halloween costumes and met me outside for a spooky hunt. They had so much fun searching high and low for these tasty little treat bags.
Once our candy hunt was done we came back inside to carve pumpkins. We have a family tradition of holding a pumpkin-carving contest. We all carve pumpkins (mom and dad help carry out the vision the younger kids have) and then post a picture on facebook or send them to friends and family and ask for votes on whose pumpkin looks the best. We keep the pumpkin photos anonymous and announce a winner once all the votes have been tallied. It’s not a necessary aspect to pumpkin carving, but it makes it a little more fun in our opinion.
Lastly we wanted to make dinner a little extra festive as well, so we decided to make our own spooky pizzas. I got some mini pizza crusts and cut them into pumpkin shapes. I also set out all kinds of ingredients and even cut a bunch of pepperoni slices into triangles and rectangles to look like jack-o-lantern eyes and teeth. Once the pizzas were in the oven cooking we put on our favorite Halloween movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and settled in to watch it while enjoying our spooky dinner.
We hope you enjoy these “at home” options for Halloween fun! If you decide to venture out, there are some Halloween activities and trunk-or-treats taking place over the next few weeks with COVID-19 precautions in place. Click here to see our calendar of these events.
Have a safe, fun, and Happy Halloween!
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