Here’s a reboot of my original post with contactless trick-or-treat ideas, and I’ve got new inspiration to share with you today! Please read the CDC guidelines for trick-or-treating and Halloween safety, and do what you can to keep the magic in the air – safely – for everyone. Thanks!
Contactless Trick-or-Treat Ideas
These are some of the best ideas I’ve seen to pass out treats on Halloween, while keeping your distance. I’ve updated this post for 2021 with examples of fun treat tables we visited last year.
Individual Candy Bags for Trick-or-Treat
The best method for treats is to make little goody bags for kids to grab. This is a CDC suggestion, and it’s definitely the safest, fastest, and easiest way to trick-or-treat.
Here are some display ideas. You’ll need to park yourself nearby to monitor and replenish the stockpile.
- set up a table – you can set up a cute display or just use a simple table
- clip bags along a clothesline tied between trees
- set up “candy sticks” where treats are taped to paint sticks stuck all over the yard
- line bags up on the ground along your driveway or sidewalk
- make a “treat graveyard” – keep reading for that idea!
My neighbors were so thoughtful, generous, and creative in 2020! Check out these treat displays we visited. I added links to similar treat bags, if you feel inspired by any of these ideas:
“Santa is watching!” Ha! I might borrow that.
Here are similar treat bag options and ideas, as well as a few decor ideas.
If you don’t want to fill baggies, set up a folding table outside with candy and/or trinkets sprinkled on top. You can replenish in between groups of trick-or-treaters, and you can really space the candy apart so kids can easily grab it. Make a welcome sign if you want, or just set up shop in the driveway with a blanket and thermos of hot cocoa (or wine, no judgment here!).
2021 Update – Kids really mulled over our choices last year, so there was no distancing. If you make a treat table, I suggest handing out just 1 type of treat, so kids grab quickly and don’t linger.
Brilliant idea here: set up a sloped ramp or angle a tube of PVC pipe so you can send candy down the chute. This doesn’t eliminate the immediate contact with candy, but it helps you maintain distance. Plus, kids would love this trick. Here’s one made from a cardboard shipping tube by a man in Ohio.
Decorate your chute like this family did, and hang hand sanitizer at the end. You could even use tongs to make the distribution contactless.
Similar to an Easter egg hunt, you could place treat bags or pieces of candy near fake tombstones in your front yard. Set up a whole display and let kids enter, spaced apart, for contactless trick-or-treating. With this plan, you’ve got both decorations and trick-or-treating covered! Here’s my neighbor’s treat graveyard from last year:
Use This Map to Plan Contactless Trick-or-Treating
Check out this fantastic idea! This free online map was created by two Houston moms to make trick-or-treating safer this year. Homes that will participate are marked on the map, with notes about their contactless treat method and even allergy info. Anyone can sign up to help grow the map and 2021 is open now. Here’s what ours looked like in 2020:
5 Tips to Keep Your Own Trick-or-Treaters Safer
Well, if there’s ever a year for Halloween masks, 2021 has nailed it. The good news is that being outside is the safest place to interact with neighbors anyway. These are all ways we plan to help our kids trick-or-treat more safely:
- Wear a mask.
- Start early. We will head out before dusk this year to avoid congested sidewalks. If you can coordinate an early T-or-T with your neighborhood, that’s a good idea for spacing out groups.
- Wear gloves. Latex? Costume? Unless you think your kids will touch their faces – then I would skip the gloves and carry hand sanitizer.
- Carry hand sanitizer. Ha! Yes, we always have it on hand. #couldntresist
- Don’t snack on treats until you get home and wash hands. Mentioning this so you warn kids in advance.
What About That Bag of Treats?
Thankfully, we’ve learned that COVID probably won’t travel via candy wrapper. However, if you are concerned, here are a few ideas to clean off the goodies your kids collect.
- Actually wipe down all candy packaging with Clorox wipes to kill potential germs.
- Swap out your child’s bag of treats with a “clean” batch of candy from home. Either extra candy you bought to pass out, or candy you saved for this purpose. Store the trick-or-treat candy in the basement or garage for a few days to let the germs burn off. (Then either give it away or save it for a special occasion, etc.)
- PLAN AHEAD for young kids and tell them about the Switch Witch. At our house, the Switch Witch is like Santa, and she brings one exciting toy overnight on Halloween in exchange for 80% of the candy haul. Our kids pick out a few special pieces they want to save and offer the rest to the Switch Witch. We even write letters a few weeks before Halloween, complete with specific Lego or Playmobil item numbers, so the SW doesn’t get confused…
Wondering What’s on Our Treat Table?
If you need inspiration to pass out something other than candy, I’ve got you covered. I usually have an assortment of these glow bracelets, stamps, glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, spider rings, and tattoos. (Make sure you lay the teeth in the sun for a few hours in advance, so they’ll glow.) The glow stick bracelets are super popular and I’m restocking this week.
Does anyone else remember wax lips? I loved getting those in my bucket as a kid, so I’m paying it forward with fun trinkets.
Please let me know if you spot any other great ideas for contactless trick-or-treating this year. Whether you choose to go out or stay in, I hope you can safely enjoy the festivities and have fun with your neighbors and family.