Halloween might look a little different this year – but if you follow these five COVID-safe family ideas, your little spooks and ghouls could be jumping for joy this October 31st….
1/ Pumpkin trail
Back in spring, thousands of families from all over Leeds created rainbows with paints, chalks and even wellies to display outside their houses. For Halloween, families can now repeat the same idea, but with pumpkins. The Big Neighbourhood Pumpkin Trail is all about displaying a pumpkin creation in your window – whether that’s a real one, carved into a spooky shape and lit-up with candles or fairy lights – or a painted, crafted, or knitted version. Anything goes! See Artventure’s website for craft ideas, window posters, template letters inviting neighbours to join in, and pumpkin shapes to print off and paint. There’s also a Facebook group for people to share ideas and photos.
Instead of traditional trick-or-treating on October 31st, children can dress up in their Halloween costumes to explore their neighbourhood and spot the pumpkins in each window – and parents can offer treats in return for their eagle-eyed squash-spotting skills. Pre-prep healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, or home-baked goodies to mix it up a bit, and drop a treat in their goodie bags every time they spy a pumpkin.
2/ Ghoulish nosh
From the vampires’ favourite – cranberry juice mocktails – to Change4Life’s (ahem) ‘spirited’ sweet pepper ghouls, Halloween lends itself to spooky snack-making. For a really gruesome treat, try the BBC’s eyeball snot-tail recipe, with lychees for eyes and a green jelly goo to match. Or drop plastic spiders into your ice cube trays for a surprise addition to your family’s Halloween drinks.
3/ Creepy crafts
Fancy creating a clothes-peg bat – or a Frankenstein plate? There’s so many simple, low-cost Halloween crafts to try, using household objects from cotton wool to loo rolls. Check out the masking-tape mummies….if you dare!
4/ Zoom on the Broom
Since our Halloween hangouts with friends and family will be virtual this year, why not go for the full effect with a spooky backdrop – like Hogwarts school, from Harry Potter? Or a dank-looking dungeon? There’s loads of ideas for games to play via online platforms too, from Halloween bingo to a spooky scavenger hunt.
5/ Trick-or-treat tales
Make a den using blankets and cushions, dig out a torch or lantern, and take it in turns to tell ghost stories in the dark. Or check out the Leeds Libraries Halloween book selection – from gorgeous family stories like Pick a Pumpkin, to classics like Ten Little Monsters, from the super-cute Leo: a ghost story to the Amelia Fang series for older readers, there’s loads to choose from. Check out the Leeds Libraries website for the latest info on how to borrow books, access online services and visit a local branch.
Also – keep your eyes peeled on Child Friendly Leeds social media the week beginning 26 Oct for a spooky competition…
If you’re not sure about what’s allowed under the current Coronavirus restrictions in Leeds, see https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/local-rules for answers.