Fall in the Time of Corona

As we move towards the holidays, lots of moms (myself included!) are starting to fret about what COVID and ongoing restrictions mean for their fall traditions. The pumpkin patch has already been canceled. What’s trick-or-treating going to look like? Should I even bother finding a costume? Will family who has to travel be able to visit for Thanksgiving?

Even as Louisiana moves into Phase 3, families are still being cautious, and having to rethink things in their “new normal” (I’m so sick of that phrase, I hate myself a little for using it here).

All right, COVID. Game on. We’ll make new traditions.

What should be on our stay-at-home Fall-o-Ween to-do lists? Let’s talk about a few options to jump-start your own ideas.

At Home

  • Let’s start with the obvious one: carving pumpkins. Even though the pumpkin patch isn’t open, you’ll still be able to find pumpkins at the grocery store, Target, Walmart, etc. Go for a basic jack-o-lantern face, or search online to find ghoulishly detailed cutouts!
  • In the event that trick-or-treating gets canceled (I’ll need a moment to recover if that happens), grab a bag of candy anyway, and set up a candy treasure hunt around your house. Hide the treats, and create a map or clues to guide your kids to find their sweet reward. This one could be easily made more or less difficult based on the age of your kids.
  • Make a Thankful list: Once we move past Halloween and into fall, it may feel difficult to find things to be thankful for this year. But despite the setbacks COVID has given many of us, there are some silver linings in there as well. Take time as a family to think about what you’re thankful for. Display them in an art project, or as a list where you can see them every day.

In the Kitchen

My daughter and I love to bake together, so we pull out the stand mixer and hit the kitchen around the holidays! Here are

  • Did you carve pumpkins? Pick out the seeds and roast them. I keep it simple with a little bit of butter or oil, salt, and pop them in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every now and then. Try experimenting with different seasonings, and see which one’s your family favorite.
  • Want to whip up another treat that screams fall? How about some pumpkin muffins, cinnamon rolls (the canned stuff is great, but nothing tops a big, pillowy, homemade one), or cranberry dessert bars?
  • Need the very-easy route? Grab those classic slice-and-bake cookies with pumpkins or ghosts on the inside, and go to town!

On the Screens

Because you know you’re going to want to turn to screen time eventually. Turn it into a movie night with some of those snacks you whipped up! Here are some kid-friendly Halloween movie options:

  • Hocus Pocus (of course!)
  • Goosebumps
  • Halloweentown
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Paranorman (My daughter’s personal favorite!)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (Enjoy the debate over whether this is a Halloween movie or a Christmas one. I vote you watch it from mid-September through New Year’s, just to be safe.)

How are you adapting your fall traditions this year?

Caitlin Jacob
Caitlin made her way to Lafayette more than a decade ago, after growing up in North Carolina and then graduating from the University of Georgia. Since then, she married the man who introduced her to Cajun country, and they welcomed their now 5 year old daughter into the world. She spends her days working in marketing, telling stories using her bag of digital tricks. When she’s not working or wrangling her tiny human, she can be found running (slowly), testing new baking recipes (ask about her almond poppyseed bread), or wielding a glue gun for her latest craft project.


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