As fall rolls in, thoughts turn to the upcoming holidays and the celebrations that surround them. No doubt, for many of us, the pandemic and guidelines for gathering in large and small groups will put a damper on some plans, but there are still ways to enjoy festivities while keeping your distance.
The surprise outdoor engagement party I planned for Christine and Ali recently gave me some ideas for how you can use this same strategy to host Halloween activities at home, in your neighborhood, or even as part of a larger community event.
The engagement party, held in Golden Gate Park, included separate matching picnic-style blankets spread an appropriate distance so that each family group had their own safe space. The meal was a catered picnic-style feast with each group receiving its own picnic basket that had been professionally packaged.
Let’s see how we can use this idea to create events that are festive and fun for the entire family.
How to Enjoy Safe, Socially Distanced Halloween Festivities
Day or Night?If you’re planning an evening event, you might think about centering it around showing a movie. You will need to have access to an outdoor screen and projector. However, don’t feel you need to provide that level of entertainment. With as cooped up as most of us are feeling, the kids might not want to sit still for a movie. The time of day or night won’t matter if you have activities planned that allow kids to have fun with their families while social distancing. I’ve provided ideas below to get you started on your planning.
Set UpStart with your space, sketch out where each family group will sit, and determine your capacity before sending out invitations. Mark each location before the event and ask each family to center their blanket on the spot marked. This helps ensure that groups are a safe and appropriate distance apart. Setting up in your own yard for family or a small number of guests might not require this level of planning, but some advance work does make the day of the event go much smoother regardless of size!
There are so many fun things to do with kids that don’t require close mingling. Sometimes we forget just how excited they are to be doing something fun in a group with their families.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Provide themed coloring pages and crayons for each family or group. Small kids love coloring with older siblings or the adults in their lives. And, it’s easy to find free resources for coloring pages. Bulk crayons can be ordered inexpensively if the budget is there.
- Hold a visual scavenger hunt that kids can participate in from their seat or blanket or play “I Spy” and let the kids shout out what they think the object is.
- Provide face masks with markers and self-adhesive decorations so guests can create their own fun face masks.
- Glow sticks and necklaces are great for night events. Once it gets dark have all the kids adorn themselves with their glowing accessories and dance on their blanket to fun music.
- Another after-dark activity is to teach your guests how to create shadow puppets. Each family can bring a flashlight and light colored pillowcase to use as a screen or you can pass out white poster board and provide an inexpensive flashlight in their party favor pack. Show how to create a few and then cut them loose to use their own imagination.
Of course, large community events can host magicians and puppeteers and music performances with the show broadcast to large screens so all can see.
No Halloween event is complete without the distribution of candy. Going door-to-door is out in most communities. Even where it is allowed, many people will be turning off their porch lights this Halloween.
Not that any of us need more candy, but what would Halloween be without it? Parents enjoy that time honored tradition of raiding the candy buckets after their kids are in bed.
One idea for a neighborhood event is to have neighbors deliver unopened packages of candy to the host’s home and a team of gloved and masked moms and dads split up the candy into cellophane or ziplock bags.
For larger community events this same process can be carried out by a team of masked and gloved volunteers.
Another party favor idea is to provide items for each family group and child in attendance to help them participate in the entertainment events. Coloring pages, crayons, flashlights, glow sticks, face mask decorating kits, and scavenger hunt lists can all be packaged prior to the event and handed out as guests arrive.
As you can see, one basic idea can be used to fit a variety of venues, crowd sizes, and budgets. The key is to keep safety precautions front-of-mind while you use your imagination to mold an idea to suit your event.
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Happy Halloween from our Family to Yours
I don’t often get a chance to show off my adorable nephew and what could be a better opportunity than the Halloween issue of my newsletter? May your fall celebrations be happy and safe.
How Can I Help Get Your Next Event Ready to Go?Whether you need help finding an appropriate venue, booking and managing speakers, designing layout and flow of your event, or designing, organizing, and managing the entire event, I can help you put on an unforgettable event.
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