Halloween is fast approaching, and while usually families up and down the country would be preparing for a good-natured evening of trick or treating, this year that’s not going to be so easy.
With coronavirus restrictions in place across much of the country, going door-to-door and knocking on other households is not advised, and so you may have to find some alternative ways to celebrate this year.
Thankfully, we’ve got you covered, with a list of ideas to keep things safe while you’re keeping things spooky.
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One idea is a pumpkin trail, which involves children drawing pictures of pumpkins and sticking them in their windows for other children to see.
Families can then see how many they can spot throughout October as an alternative to trick or treating.
You can download a pumpkin template from the internet, or design your own from scratch.
You could even paint a funny face onto a real pumpkin and put it in your garden. Which leads us nicely on to…
Another popular alternative activity this year is picking your own pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch.
Being an outside activity, it negates much of the risk of being indoors in public spaces during a pandemic, and given properly implemented social distancing measures, can be a fun day out for the whole family.
And once you’ve got those pumpkins home, you’re going to want to carve them into a traditional Jack-O-lantern.
Pumpkin carving doesn’t always have to just be scary faces either; why not try recreating the visage of your favourite cartoon character, a heartwarming family portrait, or forgo imagery altogether and carve out some wording instead!
Trick or treat trails
Just because you can’t leave the house to go knocking on other doors, that doesn't mean you can’t do that indoors instead.
Why not set up a trick or treating trail around your home, with challenges and sweet rewards hidden behind each room’s door?
Another sure fire way to keep everyone entertained is with a movie night, but while it can be fun to get frightened at Halloween, no parent wants to give their children nightmares.
If you want to show the little ones a spooky but suitable film, here are 10 of the best.
For older viewers and film buffs, we’ve compiled a list using metrics that are sure to ensure a quality horror film experience.
Here are the best 13 horror films – as ranked by review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes – that are readily available to stream in the UK.
While trick or treating may be advised against this year, there's absolutely nothing stopping you and the kids from going ahead with that complex fancy dress plan.
Yes, your outfit might not get the same audience as it may have done in other years (though you can still make sure all your family and friends see through the magic of social media), but you’ll stay safe.
Getting a costume together days before Halloween is a frightening task – avoid the black bin bag treatment with these perfect last-minute ideas.
Another fun idea is to have yourself a bake off and cook up a batch of sweet Halloween treats.
Turning regular gingerbread men into Halloween skeleton cookies is a fun way to entertain the kids this Halloween, and you could even decorate some pre-made doughnuts with vampire teeth, which the kids can wear for themselves when they're done eating!
The best thing about Halloween sweets and treats is that many retailers go all out for you and start up their own spookily-themed ranges, so even if you’re not up for making something from scratch yourself, you can still easily stock up for an evening of sweet-toothed fun!
If cooking isn’t your thing, you could attempt to make your own Halloween goos and slimes, perfect messy fun for the kids.
Or how about designing and making the Halloween decor? There are plenty of great examples online to inspire you to get started.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Scotsman