EARLY YEARS: Halloween making comeback, and Macaroni Kid Roanoke can help families plan

Beth Bell has suggestions from the Downtown Candy Crawl, to trunk-or-treat events and crafts you can make at home
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:27 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - After COVID canceled trick-or-treating and Halloween parties in 2020, little ghosts and goblins are probably itching to get back out on the trick-or-treating trail this year.

“I think that we’ve all learned now how to deal with COVID and what’s expected. Halloween masks don’t really count as a real mask, but it’s a barrier. It’s easy to social distance, and I think people are more comfortable now with how we traditionally trick-or-treat and have fun,” says Beth Bell, publisher of Macaroni Kid Roanoke.

There’s plenty of fun to be had. bYou just have to know where to look.

Macaroni Kid Roanoke is a great source to help fill your calendar.

Still, Bell says she’s having to do a bit more digging this year.

“One thing I’ve noticed is people are not putting out their events as far in advance as normal. Like in 2019, our October calendar had almost 400 events on it, and we were able to sit down a few weeks before the month started and just fill it up. And this year it’s like every week, I’m looking for what’s going on,” says Bell.

One big event coming back this year actually got its start during the pandemic last year. Macaroni Kid Roanoke will again host its Downtown Candy Crawl Saturday, October 30.

“We’ll follow the same guidelines. Everyone had a blast. The merchants were so happy to see all the kids. So, that’s coming up, as well,” says Bell.

Trunk-or-treating is back on, as well as other big events.

“A lot of churches are doing trunk-or-treats again. I know the Salem Red Sox is having their Spooktacular on the 23rd and that’s where community organizations come together for trick-or-treating,” says Bell.

Homemade crafts are always fun in the days leading up to Halloween. Click here to learn how to make pumpkin play doh.

One idea Bell is encouraging is making a “Boo Basket.”

“You fill up like a pumpkin basket or a tote bag with candy and games and just leave it on your neighbor’s door step. We actually have templates, it says “you’ve been booed.” And it encourages the person receiving your boo basket to do the same for another neighbor,” says Bell.

If you do venture out trick-or-treating, Bell reminds parents of the importance of checking your child’s candy bag to make sure treats are pre-packaged and safe. For children who suffer from food allergies, alternatives are appreciated, too.

“If you are handing out candy on Halloween and things like that, consider handing out things they don’t have an allergy type of reaction. You can put those items in a teal pumpkin, and that tells families that they are safe for their child that might have an allergy,” says Bell.

Non-candy items like games, toys and pop-its can help fill up those trick-or-treat bags, and allow all children to enjoy the holiday.

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