How to Celebrate Halloween at Home

Last Update: February 5, 2024

With a pandemic sweeping across the country, what’s a little firefighter, ghost, or princess to do? We might not know what the future holds, but we’re pretty certain some COVID-19 strategies will definitely be required to make the best of Halloween this year. We’ve rounded up a few ways to celebrate this sugar-fueled holiday in the comfort of your home, socially distanced neighborhood, and beyond.

Halloween Party Ideas

In 2020, Halloween trick-or-treat cancellations are a reality of the season. With so much changing in a matter of days, it’s always best to check with your city before making plans. Some counties have cancelled public Halloween celebrations entirely (like festivals and parades), and are recommending trick-or-treating be avoided. According to a recent Los Angeles public health order, “door to door trick-or-treating is not recommended because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure that everyone answering or coming to the door is appropriately masked to prevent disease spread, and because sharing food is risky.”

Staying solo or with a pod

With typical celebrations off the table this year, it’s time to get creative. So don your cute Halloween costumes and try one of our suggestions to keep your spirits high whether you’re staying in with your own family or joining forces with your pandemic pod.

  • Indoor trick-or-treating. Take a cue from Easter and turn trick-or-treating into a scavenger hunt. Instead of hiding eggs around the house and yard, hide pieces of candy instead.
  • Halloween crawl. Inspired by progressive dinner parties, each family in a pod can tackle a different element of the festivities, and you can spend the evening going from house to house. For example, one family can put out appetizers and snacks. At the next house, kids can find candy hidden around the back yard (see above), and dessert can be served at the next house.
  • Playroom transformation. Here’s a fun Halloween party idea for kids: Instead of visiting a haunted house the next block over, surprise your little ones by turning their play space (or another room into your home) into a mini haunted house.
  • DIY candy. We have six tempting recipe ideas below, but you can also set up a caramel apple bar or cookie decorating station.
    Movie night. Grab bowls of popcorn and candy, then snuggle up to watch festive films like “Hotel Transylvania,” “Casper,” or “Hocus Pocus.”
  • Art project. Before starting the candy search, have kids decorate their own trick-or-treat bags a few days ahead of time. Set out white gift bags, then let them loose with markers or paint.

In the neighborhood

Before solidifying plans, check with your city, county, and state for the most current Halloween guidelines. That being said, if you live on a particularly tight-knit block, here are two ways to come together (while staying apart) this year.

  • Decorating upgrade. Go all out with Halloween decorations this year. From fog machines to all the pumpkins, festive front yards and porches will make a socially distanced walkabout a lot of fun.
  • Candy swap. Instead of placing candy close to your door, put pieces in clear bags and arrange them on a table or blanket on the lawn. This lets everyone choose a goodie gift bag without having to put their hands into a shared bin.

Thrive Market’s New Halloween Candy

We’ve been hard at work perfecting a brand new line of sweets just in time for the holidays, making the best place to buy Halloween candy. Our irresistible chocolate-covered nuts are made with ethically sourced cacao and coconut sugar, making them a sweet addition to the season.

Chocolate Covered Almonds

Whether it’s an afternoon snack, after-dinner treat, or Halloween confection, chocolate covered almonds are a crunchy way to nosh on premium ingredients like stone-ground cacao and roasted nuts.

Chocolate Covered Cashews

Add our paleo, vegan, and gluten-free chocolate-covered cashews to your rotation and you won’t be sorry. Instead of refined sugar, we sweeten ours with coconut sugar.

Chocolate Covered Hazelnuts

Roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate are a classic combo—add a bit of coconut sugar and it’s an elevated treat.

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

Need a boost? Ethically sourced espresso beans and dark chocolate are the perfect pick-me-up. (Parents: keep this bag in your private stash.)

Chocolate Chunks

Self-proclaimed chocoholics will want to stock up on our chocolate chunks. We work directly with farmers to source ingredients who help ensure every bite is extra chocolatey. Eat these by the handful, or add to trail mix.

Best Halloween Candy

Our virtual shelves have plenty to offer when it comes to better-for-you candy.

SmartSweets Fruity Gummy Bears

Cheers to a new generation of gummy bears (without the dyes, additives, or artificial sweeteners). This non-GMO candy is the perfect bag to enjoy when you’re looking for a juicy, sweet ending.

Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems

Peanuts and dark chocolate—what’s not to love? Unreal makes its gems with non-GMO and Fair Trade Certified ingredients, and Thrive Market member Hannah admits it’s hard not to eat the whole bag in one sitting!

RJ’s Licorice Soft Eating Licorice

If licorice has always been your candy of choice, chew on this raspberry confection from RJ’s. Made from non-GMO licorice root and natural raspberry flavor, the chewiness is just right.

YumEarth Assorted Flavor Lollipops

No need to choose favorites. YumEarth’s lollipop variety pack comes with all the best flavors (like Pomegranate Pucker, Strawberry Smash, Googly Grape, and Very Very Cherry). Member Michelle shares she first bought these for a family reunion and all the kids kept asking for more. Sounds like a home run to us.

Cocomels Chocolate Covered Cocomel Bites

These heavenly morsels are bite sized, dairy-free, and plant-based. Each treat wraps coconut milk caramel in a thick coat of dark chocolate—which means these are practically guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth.

6 Easy Homemade Halloween Candy Recipes

One guaranteed way to make this year’s celebrations special? Homemade Halloween candy. It’s a project even the littlest family members can help with, and here are six recipes to get started.

Homemade Twix Bars

Almond flour, coconut oil, and cashew butter make these chocolate bars paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan—and in the running for best homemade Halloween candy. And since every bite is sweetened with maple syrup instead of granulated sugar, it’s a more wholesome way to indulge.

Homemade Paleo Twix for Halloween

Keto Almond Joys

If Almond Joys were one of your favorite candies as a kid, meet the keto-friendly version of your dreams. Coconut butter makes the filling extra creamy, and each morsel is dipped in a dark chocolate coating.

Chocolate-Covered Pumpkin Seed Brittle

This recipe is definitely not your average peanut brittle. Our upgrade uses pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and cardamom, and finishes each piece with a dunk into melted chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky salt.

Pumpkin seed brittle

Honey Almond Popcorn Balls

Nutty, light, and crunchy, these honey-sweetened popcorn balls get high marks for taste. Bonus: it only takes 10 minutes to whip up a batch. Once all the ingredients are prepped, get the kids involved in rolling balls before letting them dig in.

Almond Butter Cups

Nothing against peanut butter cups, but almond butter is taking center stage. Our recipe is paleo-friendly (thanks to maple syrup and raw honey), and doesn’t take long to make. The hardest part? Waiting for the treats to chill.

Homemade Quinoa Crunch Bars

For a make-ahead dessert everyone will love, try our crunch bars that swap quinoa for white rice and dark chocolate for milk. You can refrigerate the leftovers … if they last that long.

Quinoa crunch bar

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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