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BR Parents Blog - Halloween 2020: No Tricks Just Treats for This Family


Originally published on the Baton Rouge Parents magazine blog.

“What are you doing about Halloween?” has replaced “What are you doing about school?” as the new go-to question within my parent friend groups now that we’re all pretty settled in our learning routines, whether hybrid, virtual or homeschooling. It’s not a super easy or clear cut decision, mostly because we want our kids’ childhoods to be magical, and what’s more magical than a full moon Halloween on a Saturday night when the clocks fall back?! And we’re also all so, so tired of the restrictions even as they’re making a difference in our state.

The Center for Disease Control & Prevention has said traditional trick-or-treating and costume parties are “high-risk” activities during the pandemic. EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has set trick-or-treat hours as 6-8 p.m. in our parish while also recommending safer options as found on the CDC website.

Our family is choosing to forgo traditional trick-or-treating this year in the name of safety, both for ourselves and our neighbors. We’ve been celebrating the spooky season all month with pumpkin activities, sweet snacks galore, and plenty of Halloween movie marathons. We may swing through a couple drive-thru and socially distant events being held by local churches as we get closer to Halloween, but those are lagniappe to the fun we’ve been having as a family. 

Nothing about this year has been the same, but we’re making unique memories anyway and hopefully building resilience and flexibility in our kids and ourselves at the same time.

Specifically, our family’s October 31 plans will include a morning of soccer–outdoors and socially distanced and masked up as much as possible–and then pumpkin-themed baking (with lots of candy included!), a spooky supper (complete with mummy dogs, which actually is a family tradition!) and watching more movies. I’m hoping to convince my girls that The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993) are worth making the cut (both are available to stream with Amazon Prime).

My girls won’t be lacking for candy of course. To make up for staying home on Halloween night, I’ve been buying them whatever candy strikes their fancy. If they’ve mentioned it this month, I have a bag ready in the pantry to fill their pumpkin buckets full…no door-to-door traipsing needed! (Sorry to our orthodontist!) Although we will miss the community aspect of the holiday, I will save myself from mosquito bites or tripping on roots in the dark, both things that have happened on Halloweens past.

We have costumes galore at our house, and my girls dress up often so that’s definitely still a big part of celebrating the holiday. This year, they’re dressing up as characters from Harry Potter, my big girl’s favorite book and movie series. We did a trial run at an outdoor event at our church recently. I put my never-going-to-cut-my-hair daughter’s hair in 15 small braids when it was wet on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon, we undid the braids and fluffed it out. With a Gryffindor robe and headband, plus a cheap time-turner necklace, she is the spitting image of Hermoine Granger. Little sister has reddish hair, and she was happy to wear a Gryffindor robe and headband and call herself Ginny Weasley. If it weren’t for big sister, I’m sure she’d have chosen a different costume, but I like when they match so it’s a win for me. I think they will have a chance to show off their looks at school on Friday, but even if not, Mama loves a good photo shoot and I’ll get some better images of their 2020 costumes.

What are your plans for Halloween 2020? I’d love to hear, and I’m certainly looking for more movie suggestions (nothing too scary for us yet) and any spooky supper ideas or Halloween treat recipes you might have tucked away!