No real Trick-or-Treating this Halloween? There are still plenty of fun ways to have a spooktastic Halloween party celebration at home during the pandemic
Halloween 2020 held so much promise: falling on a Saturday with a full Blue moon, large scale events on the actual day with no debate about the “best” time to have fun – and no school to worry about! What could be more perfect?
Sadly, the reality – in this COVID-19 dogged year – is that Halloween celebrations will need to be adapted. Big community events cannot go ahead – and probably haven’t even been planned for. And Trick-or-Treating, in the neighbourhood or around the condo, is ill-advised because of the potential issues like cross-contamination from little hands in bowls of Halloween chocs and candy, or accidentally bumping into other groups.
Despite being British, I am an avid Halloween junkie, and have helped to organise the events at Opera Estate for the last three years, so trust me – I am just as bummed. So what can we do instead? I’m a believer in the fact that your kids are going to love whatever you try and do at home for them. Honestly. A small private party with games and decorations and an inventive different kind of Trick or Treat can be even more special than traipsing around for an hour sweating under a Halloween costume that was (let’s be honest) designed to be worn at the end of Autumn, when the temperature drops!
So here are my easy top tips to celebrate Halloween at Home
1. Get the kids involved. There are lots (and lots) of easy crafts on the internet and Pinterest. Use the rainy days to make some fabulous decorations from recycling old toilet rolls and other fun things. Once you have a basic set of paints, papers or pens in spooky colours – you are all set to make so much!
2. Purchase any other decorations early. I mean now, if you haven’t already! Compared to previous years, there is a distinct lack of Halloween merchandise in the shops here in Singapore, which means that if you don’t have a box hidden away, you’ll need to do this as soon as possible. If you are considering purchasing online, you’ll need time for items to arrive! There’s nothing more annoying than that 6ft inflatable pumpkin arriving in November!
3. Send out the invitations. With current restrictions only allowing 5 persons to visit your house at one time, make sure your invitations go out early too – so you can invite someone else in case someone declines – making the most of your quota! Make sure you include an end time – so that you have time to relax afterwards!
4. Plan. Your party doesn’t need to go on for hours and hours – but you want to make it as fun as you can. Decided if you will be letting kids watch a movie (factor in games and snack time on top of the movie time).
5. Start with an “Arrival Gift” – this can be a small pumpkin/cauldron filled with some fun accessories to be used throughout the night. Think of glowsticks, silly glasses, hair clips, fake fangs – the list is endless! Make sure they are labelled so there are no mix ups. The guests can fill them with the candy they get through party games and more.
6. Set the mood. Nothing sets the scene better than a mixture of music and spooky sounds. Grab an online playlist – or make your own.
7. Snacks. There are some fiercely creative and easy snack ideas to add atmosphere, from all out sweet-fests to cute ghosty bananas or fruit sticks – there really is something for everyone’s taste and cooking ability.
8.Games. Organise a couple of games – team and individual. From traditional bobbing for apples (switch over the water and apples between participants) to dangling donuts, balloon stomping, pumpkin drop, musical pumpkins and spaghetti eyeball dig! You can be as messy – or not – as you choose!
9. Crafts. Getting the kids crafty can be a lot of fun – from scary toilet roll eyes, paper monster lanterns, witch wind catchers or flying ghosts. Set up some easy crafts and pre-prepare the materials needed.
10. Trick or Treat. Ok – so this is the big one, the one that concerns people the most. There is no denying that Trick or Treating isn’t going to be “normal” this year, but hiding some candy around the space you have can be just as fun! Why not turn out the lights to make it even more difficult and spooky? Cellophane goodie bags with a glowstick inside are fun to find, or decorate some leftover plastic Easter eggs! You can make toilet roll monster piñatas – or even ghost lollipops to find. You can hide the candy – or have the children find the ghost to win the candy. Throw in some clues and you have a Spooky Scavenger Hunt!
11. Leaving Gift. As with all the things mentioned, this is just an idea and is optional. Try filling a disposable glove with candy or other Halloween treats.
12. Halloween Movie Time. If you are happy to keep the little monsters a bit longer, you can get them settled in front of a Halloween movie – but if they are on a sugar high you might want to turn out the lights and let them have a boogie instead!
What if you have kids of differing ages? Why not try and organise with your friends to each take a different age group? One of you can host 7-9 year olds whilst the other hosts for the 4-6 year olds. This makes concentrating on one set of games much easier. If you are not ‘swapping’ kids, why not ask the invitees to bring along some candy to share – thus making it a little lighter on your pocket?
If the idea of Pinterest or the wide-open web scares you as much as the freakiest monsters, you can follow a curated Halloween Facebook page that shares articles, ideas and what’s going on in Singapore for Halloween this year. It’s a kind of one-stop shop designed to help you have fun making memories with your little monsters.
However you celebrate Halloween this year, I hope you have fun!