Many communities in and around Des Moines have not yet decided on whether to allow beggar’s night or not, so this is the year to plan some new traditions. Put those costumes on and plan a fun night (or nights!) at your house or within your neighborhood. And let’s be honest, kids are all about the treats. As long as those are plentiful, there will still be smiles all around! With a little preparation, you can celebrate Halloween safely.
5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween Safely
Plan a spooky movie night with your favorite festive movie (We recommend Casper, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, or Curious George Halloween Boo Fest for little kids). Make a themed meal or treat. Decorate or make a craft to go along with the movie.
Virtual or outdoor pumpkin carving or decorating
Get that Zoom going and connect with friends near and far to carve pumpkins. Or if you have plenty of room, have some neighbors over for a socially-distanced carving (or decorating) party. Give out treats (or virtual shout outs) for various categories like best animal carving, best classic jack-o-lantern, or messiest.
Spooky scavenger hunt
Hide fun little items and yummy treats around the house and give spooky clues or just let the kids loose to find the goodies. Put up some fake spider webs or for older kids have some spooky surprises ready to pop out for even more Halloween fun.
Take a note from everyone’s favorite Halloween cartoon and have a fun surprise come overnight and bring all the treats. Think like the Easter bunny and load up those trick or treat bags with treats, toys, crafts, etc.
Safer Traditional Celebrations
If your community is doing beggars night there are ways to safely give out treats too. Use gloves, tongs, or space them out on your front step or yard. Also, if there was ever a time for a fun mask, this is it!
Halloween Events around Des Moines
October 15-18 and 22-25 | Night Eyes at the Blank Park Zoo
Socially distanced costume character photo opportunities, an outstanding array of themed-displays and dazzling lights, and a Fun Zone. Advanced tickets required. Member Rate – $5, Non-member Rate – $6.
October 17 and 18 | The Great Pumpkin Party Valley Church West Des Moines
A reimagined Great Pumpkin Party focused on top-notch performers and a fun, family-friendly, community scavenger hunt. Choose from a trapeze show or an illusion show. Kids can wear non-scary costumes and be part of a costume parade at the end of the show. All kids get a candy bag. Tickets are FREE but must be reserved in advance.
October 16-18 and October 23-25 | Family Halloween at Living History Farms
Take part in a 33-year old tradition at Living History Farms’ Family Halloween! Join us in the 1876 Town of Walnut Hill to enjoy safe, non-scary trick-or-treating at our historic businesses, play fun games, and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Living History Farms will offer “teal pumpkin” stops safe for trick-or-treaters with allergies. Advanced tickets required.
October 23-25 and October 30-November 1 | Spirits in the Garden, Reiman Gardens
Socially distant activities include: Meet-A-Scientist, flash mob dancing, and Simon Says. Prepackaged snacks will be sold as a fundraiser for a local community group. Stay for the sunset viewings of incredibly detailed, volunteer carved Jack-O-Lanterns and receive a treat bag for each child as he/she leaves the event. Tickets must be purchased online, check the Reiman site for more details.
What are your favorite Halloween activities? Let us know if we missed anything!
We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.