Kid-Friendly, Socially Distanced Halloween Ideas in Hoboken + Jersey City

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Hoboken is always bustling, but come October 1st the city rings in a new kind of life with spider webs and other Halloween decorations covering stoops all over town. As expected, this year will look different than years past, and traditions like the Ragamuffin Parade on Washington Street are canceled. 

While trick-or-treating is not officially prohibited, the City of Hoboken will not be closing off streets or hosting trick-or-treating at the shops on Washington Street this year. But rest assured, there are still ways for little ones to celebrate. Read on for ideas that will bring the spooky spirit to your virtual celebrations on Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, or any other online platform.

kid friendly halloween ideas 2020

Try Your Hands at Pumpkin Carving + Decorating

This idea requires minimal preparation and is fun for a wide range of ages. Everyone is in charge of their own pumpkin, decorations, and carving tools. Younger kids {and parents} might enjoy decorating an uncarved pumpkin, as it’s quick and relatively mess-free. If the paint is too involved, consider using stickers or markers to really simplify the process and emphasize the fun. Older kids who can carve on their own, or with less supervision, can chat while they carve innovative designs into their personal pumpkin. Each participant can provide their own treat {themed or otherwise} and get into the fantastical spirit over beautifully decorated jack-o-lanterns. At the end of the night, everyone can show off their final product. Add a superlative contest for the competitive souls and a little flair to the finale.

Decorate for Halloween

Pause during the holidays this year to spend more time together. This Halloween could include more family time dedicated to picking pumpkins, finding the perfect pot of mums, arranging giant spider webs across the stoop, or cutting out paper bats and ghosts. Get as creative as you want and have some frightful fun decorating your space together.

Host a Spooky Charades Night

If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it’s the number of games that can easily be transferred to a virtual setting. Charades is likely one of the easiest games to play as a group online. At the start, everyone sends in Halloween-themed ideas for the group {or the host can find them online} and when it’s your turn, the host sends a private message relaying the action. Make sure the camera is set up in an area with enough space so spider legs and ghostly spirits have enough room to act their role.

Read More: Spots for Locally-Made Halloween-Themed Sweets

Play Virtual Bingo

A great option for kids and adults. For this virtual game, the host sends out the printable bingo board ahead of time and everyone can use candy corn or other Halloween candies to cover the spaces. When you get bingo, you get to eat your candy — score! After you’re done, everyone else wipes their board clean and tries again. Set up a five-round bracket to see who wins the night.

Host Trick-or-Treat Exchange

Instead of taking the kids out and going door to door, children can exchange a gift bag of goodies within their pod or a small circle of friends. Organize a schedule so one friend takes one night of the week and drops a treat off at each friend’s apartment until each friend has gotten a turn. By the end of the week, everyone will have shared in the fun.

Have a Witches Tea Party

Gather {virtually} together for high tea with your fellow witches, big or small. Brew a potion, make some {gummy} worm sandwiches, and cackle together over the latest gossip. Witches and wizards from six to 96x never pass up the chance to share spells and swap stories.

Host at Magical Movie Night

Instead of fighting the technology, embrace it. Halloween is only one night and there are so many great options for themed movies. Lean into screen time and finally do that Harry Potter marathon you’ve been talking about or stick with a classic, Hocus Pocus. Get a jump start on the holiday and bring the big screen home with The Witches coming to HBO Max on October 22nd.

Create a Haunted Home Scavenger Hunt

Create a haunted house maze scavenger hunt at home. Luckily, space is limited in the average city apartment which means this shouldn’t take too long to pull together or to execute. Hide candy, treats, prizes, stickers, or any other things that are traditional for your family. Keep things “egg hunt” style for younger kids and more complicated with clues and harder hiding spots for the older ones.

See More: Cooking Classes for Kids In Hoboken + Beyond

Host a Juice + Candy Pairing

A kid-themed take on the usual wine tasting, provide a list of select juices and candy for each guest to prepare ahead of time. Guide the kids on a fun and sugar-filled journey through the aroma and balance of each juice. Once kiddos are down and the grown-ups need time to hang, pull out the adult pairings and keep the good times going.

Watch a Movies Under the Stars

The City of Hoboken will be sponsoring Halloween themed drive-in Movies Under the Stars this year. The three-night schedule will fall on Thursday, October 29th, Friday, October 30th, and Saturday, October 31st. Times and movies will be announced soon. 

Throw Supernatural Costume Contest

Costume contests are typically part of a Halloween party, festival, or class celebration. This year the City of Hoboken will host an online costume contest where photos can be submitted electronically. Don’t skimp on the costumes this year! The winner will be announced on the City of Hoboken Facebook page.

Take your pick from this fun roundup and create your own holiday magic this Halloween!


Written by:

Originally from North Carolina, Ainsley became a proud Hoboken Girl years ago. As a freelance journalist she has written about everything under the sun for the past six years. She works from her home office in uptown Hoboken or sometimes from Choc-o-Pain, because nothing says “freelancer” like working from a café with a fresh croissant nearby. As the mother of one very fast toddler, she has a passion for self-care, parenting hacks, and discovering all the fun things the Mile Square has to offer.