Candy Hedges & Other Ideas for Celebrating Halloween in Safer Ways

Halloween is not canceled, but traditional trick-or-treating should be

person painting pumpkins

Katarina Radovic / Stocksy 

In a time where childhood staples and traditions are becoming a second thought to safety protocols of 2020, finding ways to be a kid for Halloween are hard to come by. While cruising the streets in large groups and visiting neighborhood houses for treats is no longer the norm, Halloween 2020 doesn’t necessarily need to be canceled, and trick or treating can still happen—with some adjustments. Here are some fun and innovative ways to make the most out of your Halloween this year, while still staying safer.

The keys are maintaining physical distance, wearing a mask, and making sure to wash hands often.

  • 01 of 08

    Halloween Candy Fence/Hedge

    no-touch halloween candy hedge or fence


    CDC risk level: Moderate

    If you have a fence in your yard, bushes, or even small trees, you can make a candy tree! It’s a contact-free and fun way to display candy and toys for the taking. This innovative idea is from the creative team at Fun365. Writer Heather Clark provides clear, step-by-step instructions here. If you have a fence in your yard, tape or string candy and toys to it will be a fun way for kids to see all the options they can choose from. 

    If putting out candy, the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling or eating candy.

    If you don’t have a fence, you can still participate. Use a hedge or small tree to hang candy and small treats. Create a spooky theme with loads of goodies the kids will be sure to love. 

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  • 02 of 08

    Candy Table With Grab-and-Go Goodie Bags

    Halloween treat bags

    Maja Argakijeva / Getty Images

    CDC risk level: Moderate

    If you don’t want people at your doorstep, but still want to hand out goodies, set up a treat table. Create pre-packaged goodie bags for neighbors to grab as they stroll by. Get creative with decorations and even give your table its own theme. Dress your (sanitized) table up even more and create social distancing guides with tape marks or pumpkins that are 6 feet apart. And remember to wash your hands before and after handling the candy.

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  • 03 of 08

    Spooky Scavenger Hunt

    Halloween scavenger hunt in the yard

    Aleksandar Nakic / Getty Images

    CDC risk level: Lower

    An epic and spooky scavenger hunt can get kids of all ages out for this fun trick or treat. Plan a nighttime, open-air scavenger hunt to set the spooky mood for older kids and an early evening hunt for the little ones. You can even try a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt. Grab some flashlights and invite the neighborhood to join in. Each family must “decode” where to go to next to collect treats or find signs on each neighbor’s yard or windows for a chance to win some goodies. 

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  • 04 of 08

    Halloween Piñata

    Halloween piñata

    mtreasure / Getty Images 

    Who doesn’t love a piñata? Make a DIY piñata—this site has fun ideas—a few days before October 31. Once the piñata is dried and ready to go, fill it up with any candy, treats, and toys that your kids would enjoy. 

    If DIY is not your forte then, let's be real, there's no shame in buying one. We thought the one pictured above was too funny (and so extremely on point) that we just had to mention it. Buy it here.

    Once you're ready, just string it on a tree and let the kids have fun, at least six feet apart, of course. If you happen to invite neighbors to join in on the fun maybe setup mini piñata for each child to break up for their treats and make for a potentially lower-risk experience. 

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  • 05 of 08

    Trick-or-Treat at Home

    indoor trick or treating

    fotostorm / Getty Images

    CDC risk level: Lower*

    Trick or treating at home is a great option this year that promotes safety and allows parents to add their personal touches. Decorate each room of the house or doorways in a different theme and set up coordinating games or activities. In the kitchen, you can create a mad chef theme where kids can decorate their own personal gut-wrenching pizza, monster cookie, or even mix some potion beverages. Living rooms can be set up with smoke machines, spooky music, and spiderwebs throughout the room to create a silly haunted house feeling.

    *Note: The CDC lists activities similar to this one as lower-risk.

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  • 06 of 08

    Virtual Costume Party

    videoconferencing Halloween call

    Basak Gurbuz Derman / Getty Images

    CDC risk level: Lower

    If you would prefer to stay in, but still want to participate in the fun, throw a virtual costume party. Invite your friends and family, both near and far, grab some spooky snacks, and hop on the computer screen for some fun. Create categories for best costume prizes and see how creative your guests can be. Send out party invites and don't forget to pick a spooky Halloween-themed Zoom background for everyone to download prior to the party.

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  • 07 of 08

    Fall-Themed Family Night

    family carving pumpkins

    Melanie Defazio / Stocksy 

    CDC risk level: Lower

    Create a night of fall-themed fun with recipes, treats, spooky movies, and of course, candy. Decorate pumpkins as a family, bake some yummy treats, even wear your Halloween costume. Let the kids pick out their favorite scary movies, curl up together, and enjoy your home-made treats. 

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  • 08 of 08

    Costume Parade

    toddler parading in costume

    Kinzie+Riehm / Getty Images 

    CDC risk level: Moderate

    Part of the Halloween fun is getting to choose that perfect Halloween costume and showing it to your friends and family. Since some of your favorite festivals and events may be canceled this year, make your own event and plan a neighborhood costume parade. Choose a fun costume for your kiddos to show off, or even partake in the fun by picking a themed costume for the whole family to wear. Don’t forget about your family pets, they can participate too! You never know, your neighbors may want to keep this tradition going year after year. 

    Have a small group of participants line up, at least six feet apart, being mindful of health and safety. They can parade throughout the neighborhood, and neighbors can leave out goodie bags or candy for each child at the end of their driveway or yard.