Halloween is just around the corner. If you’re a parent looking for spooky activities to entertain your beastly offspring, Emily Writes has got your back.
What to do for Halloween during a global pandemic? It’s a question few parents care about or are asking, but I’m on deadline and so here we are. If you’ve got kids like mine, they might have decided somehow that Halloween is a thing your family does now. Despite it previously not being a thing in New Zealand, the spread of Halloween feels unstoppable.
But how do you do Halloween in a Covid-19 world? Your kids want to dress up and go trick or treating, but you want to swaddle your entire body and have your therapist talk you down from a panic attack on the phone while you have an existential crisis about how it’s almost November and you have achieved barely anything this year and Christmas is coming and who even has the energy for that I mean are we honestly doing Christmas this year it’s all just so fucking relentless I mean we just had an election isn’t that enough really can we not just agree to postpone it or at least agree that we’re not hosting. Sorry – what was I saying?
Oh yes, there’s no contract tracing on houses and Covid-19 is an ever-looming threat and you need to not be the super-spreader family that fucks it up for the entire country. That’s where I was.
So, instead of trick or treating, here are some Halloween ideas to entertain you and the whānau, without leaving the house.
A ghoulish gin party
Want to be a ghostess with the mostess? Host a Halloween gin night! Send the children to Nana’s house and then drink gin.
What you’ll need: Gin. And I guess tonic.
Party games: Pour the gin into a glass and then drink it.
Put on a horror show
No need for witchful thinking – if you want true horror, just read out loud the latest story on how some young couple managed to buy a house without any help whatsoever. It’s in Greymouth. It has black mould and no front door. It’s one-bedroom (two if you count the outhouse). They have a 50-year mortgage. They used three separate government grants and all their Kiwisaver, and both have full-time jobs and no kids. But they’re on the ladder baby! If you can’t do the same living in a major central city with kids and sky-high rental prices, then you’re a lazy piece of shit. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
What you’ll need: Nothing. Not even a capital gains tax or a wealth tax.
Party games: This is a fun one, it’s called the government game. You just sit in the middle of a line and do nothing while everyone fights each other to climb a ladder made of snakes.
A spooky streaming party
Ghouls just want to have fun! This is one the kids can join in on. Choose Neon, Netflix, Disney+, TV – whatever your poison is. Then watch it.
What you’ll need: A screen.
Party games: Make scary popcorn by putting some microwave popcorn into the microwave then putting it in a bowl and giving it to the kids and saying “this is dinner” then make a ghost noise. Play the “zombie game” by putting them in front of the TV for 15 hours and watch them turn into zombies.
A fake it till you make it party
If you’ve got it, haunt it! Worried about how you’ll look on Instagram if you do nothing for Halloween? Why not Google “happy Halloween family” and just use a picture of someone else’s family to show how great your life is and how good you are at being a MOM. If you can’t beat them (and you absolutely can’t, it’s against the law) then join them! Dress as an influencer – all you need is active wear, a smoothie, an Advance NZ vote and a complete disregard for the safety of the public.
What you’ll need: An Instagram account that has “live, laugh, love” in the bio.
Party games: Build a fort for your kids. Take a photo of the fort and use a cute hashtag like #squadghouls. Put the kids to bed then climb inside the fort and eat ice cream directly from the tub.
A frightening food party
Are you bone to be mild? Provide a platter for your child with spooky food. No need to go all out with sausage spiders and pumpkin cupcakes. Here’s my child’s list of food that he believes is evil:
- Anything that isn’t white bread.
What you’ll need: Fruit. Vegetables. Anything that isn’t white bread.
Party games: Blindfold your child and ask them to touch and smell a piece of luncheon meat. Then get them to touch and smell a piece of fruit of any kind. Then say are you fucking seriously telling me you’d rather eat a mix of horse body parts than a strawberry are you fucking serious right now. Are you seriously telling me you want to eat that when it smells like that but you won’t eat anything else. But in your head. Don’t swear at your child.
A bone-chilling babysitter party
Trick or treat yourself this year! Get a babysitter and just go to sleep.
What you’ll need: A babysitter.
Party games: Your sleep deprivation means you’re now having hallucinations so you don’t need party games. Win!
Finally, make sure you get your costume sorted in advance. Last year I had the pleasure of making my children’s costumes the night before when they requested to be “a bubble” and “a flower”. Good times. I wore my normal clothes and was called a witch. This year I’ll be more prepared.
Top 10 costume ideas for 2020 are sure to include: Sexy Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Sexy Centrist Government Ruling Out Transformational Change Ahead Of Forming a Government, Sexy Epidemiologist, Sexy Unemployment Rates, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Sexy Capitalism is Slowly Killing Us But The Kids Still Want To Do Halloween So I Guess We’re Just Doing It.
Subscribe to The Bulletin to get all the day’s key news stories in five minutes – delivered every weekday at 7.30am.