We’re just over a week out from many people’s favorite holiday! With the cases of Coronavirus still climbing, social gatherings discouraged and both Governor Scott and Health Commissioner Levine urging Vermonters to stay vigilant to suppress the virus, you might be wondering, “what to do about Halloween?” We want to be abundantly clear that throwing caution to the wind over a little candy isn’t only irresponsible but a bad example to our kids. This year it’s time to get creative and think of new ways to celebrate. There are still so many ways to create memories and celebrate the Halloween season without risking anyone’s health or potentially their life. Everything else has been a little “different” this year so why not just embrace a Quarantine Halloween.

There’s no need to skip costumes this year, that’s one of the best parts! Kids especially love the chance to dress and be someone else for a day. Dress up! Take Pictures! Visit loved ones from a distance and let them see you! Make it extra “quarantine-y and Halloween-y” by adding a matching mask to the costume!

Try reverse trick or treating! While going door to door and face to face with strangers for hours on end would be the opposite of Covid safe, there is still some fun to be had. Think about doing reverse trick or treating. “Boo bags” became a thing a few years ago and bring a little Halloween fun to others too! Prepare some small gifts, bags or even just drop a pumpkin and handmade card on friends’ and families’ doorsteps for fun. Kids might miss collecting all the special treats but giving instead of getting always feels extra fun!

Set up a trick-or-treating opportunity at home. Make up mini-games for kids to get treats. From bean bag tosses to trivia, you can find fun ways to engage kids and adults alike. Let their prizes be Halloween treats and prizes they might typically get from trick or treating. Other ideas: pumpkin carving contest, scary movie charades and card games are fun ways to earn treats.

Plan special meals. With Halloween on a Saturday this year it leaves a whole day to plan a special themed food. Ideas:

Breakfast – Avocado toast. This green “slime” on toast topped with a fried egg can look extra Halloween like with a little imagination. Add in some clementine’s as mini pumpkin sides.

Lunch: Make something that all ages love like quesadillas that you can top with black olive eyes! Cut up different veggies and arrange on a platter to make a ghost, pumpkin or a giant spider.

Supper: Use orange peppers to make mini “pumpkins” and fill with ground turkey, brown rice and tomato sauce for a stuffed pepper delight that’s also fun and festive.

Dessert: Get everyone involved with decorating your own cupcakes or cookies. Make it a little healthier by substituting the oil and eggs in your cake mix with yogurt or a can of pumpkin.

Make it extra fun by putting on some Halloween music while you cook up some spooky eats for everyone to share!

Halloween only comes around once a year and even though we are still living in a global pandemic it doesn’t mean it has to be any less special. Maybe this year you go on a Halloween hike, watch cartoon Halloween specials online, do a drive around town at night to check out people’s decorations, facetime with family members to show off your costumes, write your own ghost stories, call the local residential facilities to see if they want kids to come visit and show the residents their costumes.  There’s still a bunch of days to plan celebrations in a new way.

When you think outside of the just parties and trick-or-treating you may find that you have a more meaningful and memorable holiday this year! Take time to enjoy it, slow down and take pictures too! Different doesn’t have to be bad, sad or boring! Have A Happy Quarantine Halloween!


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center