Parenting

8 COVID-friendly ways to hand out candy this Halloween

Stay socially distant without missing the fun.

Pumpkin candy bucket with face mask Credit: Getty Images / ArtMarie

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

While the CDC is advising against trick-or-treating, some parents are still looking for safe ways to celebrate Halloween with their kids. From candy chutes to clotheslines, the internet is brimming with ideas for socially-distant candy handouts that help you maintain at least 6 ft. of space.

1. Craft a candy chute

Chute
Credit: Andrew Beattie

Trick-or-treaters can stand at a safe distance as they await their candy at the bottom of this chute.

When Cincinnati dad Andrew Beattie posted this photo of a 6-foot-long orange and black candy chute that he attached to his railing, Facebook went wild, sharing the post over 85,000 times. It even ended up on the news. When trick-or-treaters call, simply put a piece of candy in at the top of the PVC or cardboard chute and let them catch it in their candy bags while they wait—at a safe distance—at the bottom. It’s advised that you still wear a mask and be sure to wear and continuously replace latex gloves often to be extra cautious.

2. Candy on a stick

candypins
Credit: Wendy Reeves Winter

Candy sticking makes your front yard a candy wonderland, and you can sit back and enjoy the costumes from a safe distance.

Denver mom Wendy Reeves Winter didn't want to miss out on the parade of cute kids in costumes, so she came up with the ingenious idea to stick candy in her lawn à la Willy Wonka. Simply tape candy to sticks and put them throughout the yard for kids to come and grab on their own. “I still want to hang out on my porch and see everyone’s cute costumes. But no, I don’t want a bunch of kids ringing my doorbell and fishing in my bowl for candy,” she says. “Kids can come by and get candy from a safe distance and I’ll get to smile and wave from my front porch. Win-win.”

Winter says you can use any type of stick, including popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, glow sticks, and plastic straws, but warns against putting the candy out too early and attracting squirrels before the kiddos arrive.

3. String a clothesline

clothesline
Credit: Jerry Robredo / SEÑOR SCARY JERRY

You can stay inside and run the treats outside on this clothesline that's been rigged to be a candy conveyer.

Halloween blogger Señor Scary plans to rig a clothesline with goodie bags and full-sized candy bars clipped to the line, sending each out piece-by-piece.

“The candy will go from the bag to the clothespin, with my mask on and gloves on, of course. The tots tug the treat off the line without touching anything else, and it will be in the open air instead of coming to the front door,” he writes. “And yes, I'll be prepared if kids take more than one—because that's the Halloween spirit!”

4. A line of twine

In a similar idea to the clothesline, Los Angeles mom Beth Penn is taking more of a trusting approach to the Halloween tradition by decorating her fence in holiday decor and adding a length of twine with small pieces of candy clothes pinned for kids to grab as they come by. Another idea along these lines would be to hang bags or pieces of candy from a tree or decorate a bush at your front door with treats.

5. Secret Satan

pumpkins
Credit: Naama Haviv

Painted rocks in the spirit of Halloween make for perfect small gifts for your Secret Satan.

Who says Halloween needs to be one night only? Get all the families in your pod and have them do a Secret Satan gift and candy exchange. Simply draw a name for a few days leading up to Halloween, and drop off little gifts and notes like stickers, packs of gum, and painted rocks, each week until Halloween. Then the night of Halloween everyone can meet in a park or a front yard to exchange price-limited gifts while they are all in costume.

6. Witchy handout

Witch
Credit: Getty Images / ArtMarie

Go full-on witch with a large cauldron and an extra-long ladle for handing out treats at a distance of 6 feet or more.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, this is the perfect year to get into character and be the neighborhood witch when you hand out candy. A large toy cauldron can be filled with candy and handed out with an extra-long ladle. One friend is using a pool skimmer that she's spray-painting black. Another friend plans to use a fruit picker that's she'll alter by covering the tines with modeling clay and electrical tape. Either tool will work to stir, scoop, and hand out candy from a safe distance.

7. Wear a hazmat suit

strangerthings
Credit: Netflix / Stranger Things

Suit up as a heartless scientist in full PPE for both a thoroughly creepy and a fully protective costume.

If there is one holiday you can pull off wearing biohazard protection, it’s Halloween! Put your full-body PPE to spooky use by suiting up as a scientist like those in E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and Stranger Things. Use kitchen tongs or, if you really want to be authentic, get some extra long science tweezers to hand out pre-portioned bags, and you’ve got yourself a convincing costume and a socially distant solution to the Halloween candy dilemma. A length of biohazard tape to keep kids off your porch and guide them to the candy station completes the scene.

8. Goodie bag stations

Of course, sometimes simplicity is the best. A treat table set up with goodie bags, or Dixie cups filled with candy, in your yard or driveway is an easy and straightforward option. Get your neighbors on board so kids can go from table-to-table collecting their treats. It’ll feel almost just like Halloween in days past, and you might find it such an easy way to hand out candy that you keep doing this years after this pandemic is a distant memory.

If all else fails, don’t judge yourself too harshly if you do what Rena Strober, a mom and musician from Los Angeles plans to. Her daughter is only three, so she plans to skip most of the Halloween festivities and focus on some much-needed self-care. “I’m just eating all the candy myself in front of the TV while I binge watch Say Yes to the Dress,” says Strober.

Sounds like the start of a beautiful new Halloween tradition.

Related content

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Up next