This year, fall is such a welcome change. The beautiful fall colors, leaves, gourds, and pumpkins are old friends, reminding us of the good old days. Thankfully, we can still decorate like always! COVID-19 isn’t taking away all our fun.
Fall Home Decor
When to decorate for fall? We like to dust off our decorations at the end of September when the leaves are beginning to change and there starts to be a bit of a nip in the air for the first time after a long, hot summer.
There’s nothing better in the autumn than a wide front porch with gorgeous decorations.
Photo Credit: Sarah Bennett, realtor
Fall Decor for Your Front Porch
Farmhouse fall decor is popular this year for front porches and entryways. Line the sides of your front porch steps generously with orange pumpkins, white pumpkins, mums, and other fall flowers and gourds. Set up some dried corn stalks in the corners near your door and tie them together with burgundy, orange, or gold ribbon.
Use a hanging chalkboard to draw a pumpkin and write something about fall like, “gather,” “harvest time,” or “we gather together.” Include some farmhouse-style benches with an assortment of white or fall-colored crocheted accent pillows.
Fall Fireplace Decor
The colors of autumn make for stunning DIY fall decor inside your home, as well. Use gourds, painted pumpkins, fall garland (with LED lights), lanterns, and autumn wreaths to create fall fireplace decor along the mantel and on the hearth. Consider including a painting or picture of a full autumn moon.
With the fireplace and heart as the centerpiece of your fall living room decor, you can also spread other accent flowers, garland, candles, and gourds around on side tables and bookshelves. Then create another smaller focal point on the buffet table, coffee table, or sofa table to complete the autumn harvest celebration.
Fall Kitchen Decor
For beautiful fall kitchen decor, place a few mums around on the kitchen counter and one as a centerpiece on the table. If you have a window seat or bay windows with wide ledges, you can set more mums along the windows and some colorful gourds, your favorite fall-scented candles, and fall leaves. Maybe even an arrangement of pussy willow spray or bare twigs in a fall-themed vase would look perfect to one side.
Halloween Social Distancing Ideas
Halloween 2020 is quite unique. Other than the fact that we must deal with COVID-19 restrictions, this Halloween has a blue moon (the second full moon in one month) and it is the night we gain an hour as we “fall back” as we end Daylight Savings Time. These events make this year extra special. But celebrating with family and friends may be a bit more challenging.
Here are some ways you can let your kids enjoy the holiday while keeping everyone safe and healthy.
Invite friends or neighbors’ children to dress up in their costumes and have a parade in your neighborhood. They can either participate in a car parade where they can decorate their cars and wear costumes there, stopping for pictures along the way at your house. Or they can join in a socially distanced sidewalk parade where they can wear costumes and facemasks.
Have a costume contest and award prizes to the first, second, and third places. Play Halloween music for kids and be ready with some contactless treat bags for everyone who comes by.
In-Person Halloween Party
Invite a few families over to celebrate but keep the festivities outside. Ask people to wear masks and mark areas to help people social distance. Choose activities families can do together or children can do alone like cookie decorating or pumpkin-painting. Set out supplies for each person who will participate and make them disposable for easy clean-up.
You could have a movie of your choice on a white sheet outside after dark and have pre-wrapped snacks, candy, and treats that people can choose from on a table. Be sure to have plenty of hand sanitizing stations. And bottled or canned drinks work well for being touchless, too.
Zoom Costume Party
If the weather is too cold or you would rather avoid in-person gatherings completely, consider hosting a Zoom Halloween party or Zoom fall festival with friends, family, and neighbors. Invite the children to dress up in their costumes and take turns letting each child showcase his or her outfit. Then let everyone vote on which costume is the best. Or arrange to have special judges who can be impartial in this decision. Then present an award to the winner for your virtual Halloween party.
Play online Halloween party activities or fall games together like Pictionary or create your own Halloween trivia questions and use Kahoot. Kahoot offers a free account and up to 10 players.
For teens, look into letting them play Jackbox games online together. Up to 8 players can actively play the games at one time, but others can participate in the audience. The Murder Trivia game in Jackbox pack 3, and Monster Seeking Monster in pack 4 work well as Halloween party games for kids for Middle, High School, and even college students. They aren’t actually scary, so they make great Halloween party games for tweens on up. They are a lot of fun and have a spooky flavor. Jackbox also has many games that can be used all year-round for online social interaction and parties. (Check out this link to determine which games have family-friendly options.)
Think about having everyone make some treats at home. Then they can show everyone in the online meeting what they made and the children can eat together during the meeting. Arrange ahead of time for the parents to provide similar/identical treat bags for each of the children participating and hand them out at the same time.
Touchless Trick-or-Treating ideas
Put up signs at the edge of your front yard near the road to let people know you are giving out candy this year. Mark the hand sanitizing station with a cute sign, too. Be sure the signs talk about social distancing. You may even want to include any special instructions you would like the children to follow at your house.
Instead of having candy in a bowl and holding it for kids to reach their hands into, how about these suggestions?
A Trick-or-Treat Table on the Driveway
If you don’t want people coming to your front door, you could cover your entire front steps with various sized pumpkins, mums, and jack-o-lanterns to discourage people from using the steps.
Or use Halloween caution tape and metal stakes to lead the traffic flow where you would like it to go.
Set up a folding table out on your driveway with individual treat bags (plastic or brown paper bags) for all your trick-or-treaters.
Contactless Halloween Treat Bags
Include several kinds of pre-wrapped, commercially available candy in the bags. Use gloves when you assemble the treats to be sure you don’t accidentally contaminate them. Then children can come by and choose one bag. Or you can have non-latex gloves on and choose a bag for them and put it into a fancy decorated shoebox or plastic container and let them take it out.
A Candy Slide
If your front porch is up several steps from the sidewalk, you could follow one creative dad’s idea and set up a candy slide on your railing with a PVC pipe. Decorate the pipe on the outside. Then put a basket below the lower end. Create a sign to let children know to wait for the candy to come to them.
Then sit on your porch, wear gloves, and slide several pieces of candy down the chute to a basket or to your trick-or-treater’s bags/buckets.
A Sucker Tree
Another contactless trick-or-treat idea is to have a sucker lollipop tree. Make a sign to let kids know you have a candy station and let them choose one or two suckers from the tree. You may need to supervise to be sure they aren’t touching more than the one or two they choose for themselves.
Pre-organized Neighborhood Trick-or-Treating
If you have some family friends in the neighborhood with children, how about arranging a specific trick-or-treat route with them ahead of time. Each house can have a table out front with treat bags or lollipop trees. The children can dress up and go to each trick-or-treat station. The advantage is that you have all agreed upon the same social distancing rules ahead of time. So the kids get to have the normal trick-or-treating experience but you have peace of mind they will be healthy and safe.
For little ones arrange with the parents to make fall craft ideas for the kids for Halloween together. If everyone has the items they need at home, they can work on their project and then show everyone what they made while you play fun music
Kid-Friendly at-Home Halloween Ideas
If you decide to celebrate at home and nix any public gatherings this year, there are lots of things you can do to have fun at home with your family.
- Have a pumpkin carving contest.
- Bake Halloween cookies or treats together and decorate them.
- Create your own private candy scavenger hunt with clues for the kids to find the candy you’ve hidden around the house.
- Do some candy hunting (like an Easter Egg hunt).
- Have a home Halloween party with just your family.
- Make homemade Halloween costumes for 2020.
- Serve hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks or hot cocoa.
- Make s’mores over the fire pit.
- Print out free autumn coloring pages for younger kids to color.
- Record and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown together on TV.
- Watch some fall movies for kids together.
Ready to Build a New Home to Decorate for Fall in Lexington, SC?
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