Little girl dressed as a witch having fun kicking orange balloons


Halloween Is Still Happening In My Home This Year

Oct 26, 2020

I can’t imagine a year without Halloween parties, elaborate costumes and trick-or-treating.

Halloween has been my favourite holiday for more years than I can shake a broomstick at. I have the fondest memories of painting my face, taking part in the impossible task of bobbing for apples and eating so much candy I had to book a dentist appointment the next day.

"... it’s hard not to be freaked out thinking that my child could fall ill from simply wanting to be a kid."

Being able to dress up as whatever I wanted to be, watching scary movies and checking out houses decorated in cobwebs, skeletons and impressively carved pumpkins is what makes Halloween such a special day for me to look forward to.

This year would have been an excellent Halloween. It’s on a Saturday, which means a full weekend of costumes. And there is going to be a full moon, which would make the perfect spooky backdrop for trick-or-treating, and the sugar high from all the tiny chocolate bars will disappear by the time school rolls around on Monday.

But with COVID cases on the rise here in Toronto, it’s hard not to be freaked out thinking that my child could fall ill from simply wanting to be a kid. 

Nothing can stop Vanessa's family from finding fun this fall. Find out how she's making it happen here.

For the last four years, I’ve looked forward to making a custom costume for my son. As soon as he could communicate with me, we’d sit down to talk about the things that he’s into and I’d make him something one-of-a-kind. I’m always as happy as a smiley face emoji, getting to spend time with him, being creative and inventing a new kind of dinosaur, hybrid character like a pirate-dog or dragon-doctor, or a shiny Pokémon.

"Despite current concerns, we can still do a lot of our favourite activities."

We fully embrace the Halloween season in my house. We’ll make a playlist of our favourite spooky songs, which usually consists of the Monster Mash and the theme from Ghostbusters on repeat.

We’ll carve our pumpkin, scoop out all the goopy pumpkin guts and roast the seeds in the oven. We’ll put out all the skeleton and bat paraphernalia, and gather all our books that have witches, ghosts or monsters — our faves are Room on The Broom, Where the Wild Things Are and How To Make Friends With a Ghost.

I’ve asked a couple of parents what their ideas are for celebrating Halloween safely with their kids this year.

One is setting up a distanced trick-or-treat scavenger hunt in her backyard with Halloween-themed instructions for a couple of her neighbours to follow along too. One is co-ordinating a virtual pumpkin carving contest with a few of her son’s friends from school, where they will have a certain amount of time to carve out their favourite design. And another is going for a car ride in a new area, to find scary houses, and admire those who took the time to decorate. At my son’s school, they may have an open-air costume parade, so kids can see everyone’s costumes.

Despite current concerns, we can still do a lot of our favourite activities. We can even make a whole Halloween-themed weekend of it.

CBC Kids has six Halloween snacks that kids can make themselves from apple vampire teeth to cheesy mummies. Check them out here.

We can have a dance party with our Halloween playlist and dance like zombies, pumpkins or creatures (complete with corresponding costumes). We can pick a themed movie to watch, like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Casper or Monsters, Inc. and make a bowl of popcorn with hidden gummy worms to snack on.

"... I’m hopeful that with this plan and any welcomed suggestions, Halloween will still happen in my home."

We may even attempt to make our own candy. I’ve found some recipes online for homemade Snicker’s bars, candy corn and tootsie rolls. I think it will be fun to spend the afternoon testing out some nostalgic candy treats. And regardless of that outcome, we’ll make ghost-shaped cookies and witches broomsticks made from pretzel sticks and string cheese.

We will also set up our own indoor trick-or-treating around our house — it'll be nice to stay warm and dry this year. We’ll decorate each door in our home with Halloween decor and get my son to walk around the house, knocking on each door, pretending we’re at different houses. I can switch a hat or mask, and pretend I am a witch or a ghost, and give him something sweet. And if he wants, he can switch up his costume and try out different ways to scare us, with a monster roar or werewolf howl.

I want to try to make Halloween as special as possible despite the circumstances, and I’m hopeful that with this plan and any welcomed suggestions, Halloween will still happen in my home. And it will be just as spooktacular as it’s been in the past.

Speaking of spooktacular — if your family is looking for more ways to celebrate Halloween from home this year, join us on October 29 at 4 p.m. ET for a special Facebook Live event: CBC Kids' Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular!

There will be fun with Studio K's Tony, Janaye and Gary the Unicorn, with kids from across Canada dressed up in their Halloween costumes.

If you can't make the Facebook Live, you can watch the Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular on CBC Gem on October 30, and on CBC TV on Halloween day. Check your local listings.

Article Author Vanessa Magic
Vanessa Magic

Vanessa Magic is a writer, award-winning costume designer and musician. She loves making up magical stories and singing songs to her adorable four-year-old son. When she is not in mama mode, she facilitates workshops with Inclusive Stylist Toronto, an initiative she co-founded that encourages inclusivity within the film industry for costume design and wardrobe styling. Currently, she is a participant in the BIPOC Film and TV Kids writing workshop where she is developing an afro-futurist science-based show.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.