Trick-or-treat is either a fun chance to dress-up and claim free sweets from neighbours, or it’s an antisocial American travesty which has infiltrated these shores. I happen to fall squarely in the latter camp, my kids the former. They start planning their outfits in March. I don’t want to rain on their scary parades, but what should we do about Halloween in the face of a global pandemic?
It’s not certain that any of our neighbours will actually welcome my young visitors (or plague-bearers as I’ve come to think of them of them since their return to school) to their doorsteps, no matter how cute their costumes or beguiling their manners.
Frankly, I’d freak out about them grabbing handfuls of potentially COVID-coated Crunchie bars, so I’m not exactly devastated that I won’t have to accompany them door-to-door and smile apologetically as they beg for treats. But neither am I a total killjoy, so I’ve come up with some ideas for alternative activities:
1. Hang a spooky piñata for your children in your own back garden.
2. Create a haunted house for your kids at home. Let them dress up and be scared in a fun but safe way.
3. Create a spooky scavenger hunt inside and out. Leave clues, or a trail of blood, or spiders.
4. Snuggle up and watch a scary movie...something like Monsters Inc or The Corpse Bride (depending on age).
5. Read age-appropriate ghost stories in the dark in front of the fire.
6. If the weather is mild, go outside, snuggle under blankets, light pumpkins and toast marshmallows on a camping stove or fire pit. Now, that’s the sort of trick-or-treat night I could get behind!
I suppose we should also leave a bowl of Quality Street and bottle of hand sanitiser on the doorstep and wave at the hardcore trick-or-treaters from the safety of the upstairs window.
Whatever you decide, have a Happy COVID-safe Halloween!