Not taking part in traditional trick or treating? No worries – there’s plenty of creative ways to celebrate in Champaign-Urbana
By Kelly Youngblood
The countdown to Halloween is on, but plans to celebrate the holiday may look different for a lot of families this year.
Trick or treating isn’t cancelled, as many people feared. But it certainly will be unusual. (Silly us, we thought snow in Champaign-Urbana on Halloween in 2019 was weird ….)
The Illinois Department of Public Health gave the green light for trick or treating and released safety guidelines. You can find additional safety guidelines issued by the Champaign Urbana Public Health District here, too.
But it’s likely not everyone will partake in the traditional trick or treating festivities.
If you’re choosing to sit this year out from trick or treating, don’t worry. There are plenty of fun and creative alternatives for your family to consider.
Reverse Trick or Treating– It’s better to give than receive, right? Rather than going to door to door to receive candy, dress up in costumes and surprise your friends by giving THEM candy/gifts/treats instead.
“Boo” People: Another take on reverse trick or treating, “Booing” people is a great way to celebrate Halloween and spread happiness and cheer. It’s kind of like paying it forward at the drive-thru. Here’s the gist: you anonymously drop off a bucket or bag filled with treats, gifts, etc. and leave a note encouraging the recipients to keep the fun, giving spirit going.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt– Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Make it a Halloween-themed hunt to delight all of the little ghouls in your life. There’s plenty of free templates available to download. You could plan a hunt in your neighborhood, especially if your neighbors are big on Halloween and deck out their porches and yards with lot’s of Halloween decorations. You could also do a candy scavenger hunt inside your house if it’s too chilly for an outdoor walk. Or you could even drive around town looking for certain clues.
Halloween in the Kitchen– If your little ones enjoy cooking in the kitchen, plan to make some Halloween themed dishes or treats! Or get creative with your presentation- caramel apple bar anyone?
Candy Piñata– Make your own Halloween piñata and fill it with your favorite candy or buy one at the store- either way, what kid doesn’t love whacking a piñata and watching candy spill out? (Frankly, I think the grownups might enjoy whacking that thing just as much!)
Take a Spooky Cruise– Load up the family in the car with your hot chocolate and/or hot apple cider and drive around town to see the Halloween sights. There’s plenty of Halloween houses in the area that are worth seeing. The Crowley Pumpkin Glow in Mahomet is also a must-see destination! Check out these other drive-thru events around Champaign-Urbana this Halloween.
Costume Parade– Plan a socially distanced costume parade with neighborhood families.
Halloween Craft Night– Make Halloween slime, paint pumpkins, or simply color Halloween pages. Depending on your child’s age and interests, crafts could keep them busy all night.
Halloween Movie Night– Pop some popcorn, turn out the lights, and snuggle up on the couch for a family movie night featuring your favorite Halloween flicks! (A few recommended favorites: Hocus Pocus; It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; and Ghostbusters.)
Creative Costume Contest– Have your kiddos make their own costumes out of whatever they can find around the house! Make up multiple awards so everyone wins.
Virtual Story Time– Perhaps your family is too far away for a drive by visit this Halloween. No problem, take it virtual! Dress up your little ones in their costumes and set up a virtual meeting with grandma and grandpa (or other relatives/friends) for Halloween story time. The kids get to show off their costumes and hear their favorite Halloween books read by people they love. (Need ideas for Halloween-themed or related books? Some of our favorites include: Clifford’s Halloween, Pete the Cat Trick or Pete, Little Blue Trucks Halloween, Creepy Carrots, and Go Away Big Green Monster.)
Family Halloween Party– play Halloween games, blast some Monster Mash, carve pumpkins- it’s your party, you can do what you want to.
For more information about celebrating Halloween around Champaign-Urbana in 2020, check out these links here: Halloween Events and Activities around Champaign-Urbana | Drive-Thru Halloween Events | Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and Apple Picking | Pumpkin Treats