Socially Distanced Fun for the Military Family

Pumpkins sit in a batch during the annual Fall Festival, October 31, 2018, at Altus AFB, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jackson Haddon)
Pumpkins sit in a batch during the annual Fall Festival, October 31, 2018, at Altus AFB, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jackson Haddon)

The temperature and leaves aren't the only things changing this year.

While many families are eager to celebrate the new season, others are conflicted on which activities are safe to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. So far, this fall season looks a bit different from the last.

Although the CDC has given the green light on traditional trick-or-treating in small groups this year, other fall activities have varying exposure risk levels. Many parents are still choosing to forego haunted houses and Halloween parties to keep their families safe. Fortunately, there are still dozens of ways to celebrate all that is spooky while socially distancing. So, let's bring back those candy chutes and get creative as we embark on fall 2021!

Pumpkin picking

Nothing says "hello, October" like strolling through a pumpkin patch, in search of the best gourd for your jack-o-lantern. Luckily, this family-favorite activity makes social distancing easy. Be sure to throw on your flannel and snap some photos of these lifetime memories.

Carving pumpkins

It wouldn't be fall without a pile of decorative squash adorning the porch. Dress up your pumpkin with a carved face and add a candle to make it a jack-o-lantern. Don't forget to save the seeds for roasting!

Hiking outdoors

Lace up your boots and hit the trails at your local park. Have your kids help make a fall trail mix (complete with pumpkin seeds, candy corn, peanuts, marshmallows and chocolate chips) to bring along. Turn your hike into a scavenger hunt by discovering fall sights, smells, and sounds! Bring home some of your findings for a festive art project. 

Fall arts and crafts

Break out those acorns and leaves from your autumn scavenger hunt and let your Pinterest board come alive! Leaf scratch art, spooky Halloween characters made from household items, fingerprint fall trees, or even pumpkin pie playdough are perfect craft ideas for kids of any age. Play some spooky music to set the mood.

Making caramel apples

Channel your inner Pioneer Woman and take a shot at homemade caramel apples! Get creative with different toppings or drizzles; M&Ms, coconut, crushed pretzels, or sea salt. This activity will make for a great family tradition.

Family movie night

Did someone say "Halloweentown"? Maybe "Hocus Pocus" is more your speed. Whatever the case, grab those fresh caramel apples and cuddle up for a family movie night. Level-up your experience by making a pillow fort for the whole family. You'll be sure to laugh the night away.

Cozy bonfires

When the stars come out, grab your favorite blanket and cozy up around a bonfire. Take turns telling spooky stories or singing songs. Don't forget the fixings for s'mores!

Fall colors driving tour

Soak up the sights of fall from the comfort of your own car. Tour around some of your favorite local spots where the changing colors can be seen. Maybe even grab some cider and donuts for the ride!

Fall yard games

Nothing brings the family together like a friendly competition. Host a backyard game day, complete with flag football, gourd bowling and bobbing for apples. Dress for the occasion in themed costumes!

Backyard camping

Keep the outdoor spirit alive and turn your backyard into a camping oasis. Pitch a tent and drape some string lights to spruce up your space.

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Family and Spouse