Creative families create Halloween memories amid global pandemic

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Pumpkin on a porch wearing a COVID-19 mask

Jarrett Maki

Local pumpkin gets into the spirit by wearing a mask

Lansing resident Shelby Williams is trying her best to make sure this Halloween is very special for her 20- and 22-month-old granddaughters.

“When I was growing up, Halloween was a massive deal in our family. I have heard others who have said they’re just going to buy a bag of candy and call it a day, but I wasn’t going to let that happen, I still wanted to find ways to make memories this year despite all that’s going on.” 

Parents and grandparents are getting creative to celebrate Halloween while keeping children safe from the coronavirus. Williams came up with the idea to build her own little neighborhood in the backyard and garage out of cardboard boxes for her granddaughters to trick or treat from. 

“I had a box sitting in my office one day and I looked at it and thought ‘I can do something with that’ and it grew from there. We definitely aren’t artists, so it’s been interesting, but I think we are doing a really good job” said Williams. 

Other families are doing things a little differently, though they have the same goals. Amanda Hubble is planning a scavenger hunt on their 4-acre property in Mason for her kids aged 9 and 11.

“When I first thought that maybe we wouldn’t have trick-or-treating I asked my kids if they’d like a scavenger hunt. I told them that I would make a set of clues and every time they solved a clue they would get candy!” Hubble explained enthusiastically. “At first, my children were nervous that if we did the scavenger hunt they wouldn’t bring in the same amount of candy as if they went door-to-door, so I had to promise them that they’d get a good amount of candy and that it would be worth it.”

Other families are staying relatively close to the traditional Halloween model while staying COVID-conscious. Jessica Decker from Holt has been coordinating with her neighbors and painted a sign with her 5-year-old daughter for a table with 100 small bags of candy for the neighborhood kids to safely walk up and grab without having to interact with Decker directly. 

Decker gives a lot of credit to some of the Holt community Facebook pages she is in, saying a lot of houses in her neighborhood are pre-bagging candy and that it has allowed a lot of parents to relax knowing that they are doing their best to keep things as safe as possible. 

“I started working on a plan about a month and a half ago. No matter what, my plan was to keep it safe and bounce ideas off of other parents. This is something that I have been thinking about for months. We decorate for Halloween like crazy, so no matter what I was going to keep it fun.” said Decker.