mother and child halloween

Family-friendly Halloween Activities for 2021

In light of the COVID-19 situation in the country, trick or treating is still not an ideal activity for this year’s Halloween. Going up to people’s houses and taking candy from them only increases the risk of transmission, even with proper precautions in place. That said, what other activities can you do for the spooky season that the whole family can enjoy?

Here are a few ideas that might pique your interest:

  1. Go on a haunted hayride

Going on a haunted hayride is a classic activity for Halloween, both for children and adults. Depending on your family’s tolerance for spooky sights, this haunted hayride entertainment on Highway 61 is always a great option for families (although the recommended minimum age of guests is 12 years old and up).

Most Halloween entertainment options follow CDC guidelines, so you won’t have to worry about exposure all that much. But just to be safe, have every member of the family keep their mask on during the ride.

  1. Turn your home into a haunted house

Want to be the scariest home in the neighborhood for Halloween? Turn your home into a haunted house inside and out. Here are a few Halloween décor ideas that are sure to creep your neighbors out:

  • Use trash bags to create fake corpses and spread them around your lawn
  • Position a creepy mannequin or dolls on your windowsills
  • Smear fake blood and bloody handprints on your windows and doors
  • Make your pumpkins extra gory
  • Bury fake hands in the yard to mimic the rise of the living dead
  • Clowns (need we say more?)

Do the same with the inside of your house as well. Bring the spooks into your own home if the family can’t go trick or treating or visit haunted houses! If anything, it will make watching horror movies with the family all the more immersive.

  1. Watch horror movies together online
    Girls watching a terror movie on tv sitting on a couch at home

Cozying up in front of the TV with your friends and family and watching horror movies is one of the best ways to spend Halloween. But because of COVID, this might not be possible for some of us. Luckily, there are plenty of video conferencing platforms that you can use to watch movies with your loved ones simultaneously. Best of all—you can record the call and playback to see their reactions to jump scares afterward.

Just make sure to watch age-appropriate movies if you’re watching with children and pre-teens. Here is a list of scary family-friendly movies to watch with your kids.

  1. Have a backyard Halloween party

Gathering in large groups is still not recommended at this time. But if you want to have a small party, the safest way to do it is in a large, open space like a backyard.

Here are some ideas on how to host a great outdoor Halloween party in your backyard:

  • Have a central theme for decorations, e.g., turn your backyard into a cemetery, haunted lake, zombie apocalypse scene, etc.
  • Serve Halloween-themed drinks for both kids and adults
  • Keep the lighting spooky but bright enough to prevent kids from causing accidents
  • Consider renting a fog machine for extra effect
  • Play some scary music (but only within acceptable times to avoid complaints from the neighbors)
  • Serve traditional outdoor barbecue foods with a spooky twist (e.g., hotdogs shaped like fingers, steaks with extra sauce that mimics blood, potato salad with red food dye, etc.)

To be extra safe, consider inviting only fully vaccinated people. Moreover, it might be best for at-risk family members to sit out the party (elderly people, pregnant women, immuno-compromised individuals, etc.)

  1. Go to a drive-thru haunted house

Halloween event companies have found a great alternative to haunted houses; instead of having guests walk through scary set-ups, they create drive-thru tunnels to keep both actors and guests safe. And even though you won’t get the experience of walking through a haunted house, having horror actors surrounding your car can be just as spine-chilling.

Haunted drive-thrus are also a great option for families with children. Since small kids are generally not allowed in haunted houses, they experience the haunt first-hand while sitting safely inside the car. Just make sure that they’re fully up for it since there might be no turning back once you go past the entry point.

We might not be able to fully enjoy traditional Halloween activities this year, but there are many ways to get into the spooky spirit with the entire family. Hopefully, we’ll be able to go back to a normal Halloween by this time next year—in the meantime, these are some of the best ways you can scare yourself and your loved ones this October.

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