New Pinterest data on Halloween-related searches shows that celebrators have safety on the mind.

By Lauren Phillips
October 12, 2020
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This year, the best things to do on Halloween are more about safety and distance than accumulating as much candy as possible. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging and the CDC issuing warnings against traditional trick-or-treating, many people are canceling Halloween party plans in favor of outdoor or virtual activities (or no activities at all).

The shift in Halloween activities can be seen everywhere, even in people’s online activity. On Pinterest, where millions go for inspiration and ideas around the holidays, searches for 'quarantine Halloween' increased 75 times in August 2020. People are clearly looking for ways to celebrate Halloween safely beyond watching the best Halloween movies on Netflix and texting each other Halloween quotes, and—according to data from Pinterest—there are plenty of popular and trending options and ideas out there.

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Outdoor activities are the safest right now, but outdoor space availability—and chilly or rainy weather—can make outdoor Halloween activities feel uncertain. Searches for 'outdoor Halloween party' are still up 90 percent on Pinterest, though, proving that people will take a small weather risk if it means a less risky celebration. Another option? The garage. Previously a storage space for cars, lawn gear, and other odds and ends, the garage can actually be a great hangout spot. Pinners realize this: Searches for 'haunted garage' are four times higher this year than last.

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The realities of 2020 mean that, in areas where cases are high or in families or communities with immunocompromised or elderly individuals, gatherings of any sort for Halloween are off the table. That doesn’t mean there can’t be plenty of decorations and household celebrations. According to Pinterest, people want to decorate for Halloween and show off their handiwork without bringing others into their home. Their solution? Outdoor decorations. The best Halloween decor of 2020 is large-scale, and searches for 'Halloween lawn decorations' and 'Halloween door wreaths' have nearly tripled as people look for ways to share the spookiness outdoors. Decorating is its own fun activity, whether you buy decorations or make your own, but so is looking at what others have done: Close to Halloween, load up the car and drive around the neighborhood to see everyone’s Halloween decorations.

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Other trends for activities for Halloween on Pinterest are all about keeping the whole family occupied: People have been searching for 'DIY Halloween projects,' 'Halloween scavenger hunt,' and 'Halloween food ideas' more this year. Whether they’re looking to craft elaborate DIY Halloween costumes (or easy Halloween costumes) or cook an upscale Halloween feast at home, people are looking for creative ways to celebrate in small groups at home.

When you’re putting together your Halloween plans, try to keep things outdoors (or limited to your household), small, and distanced. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained and appropriately spooked if you get a little creative.