Kids trick or treat. Halloween. Child at door.

(© famveldman -

NEW YORK — The coronavirus pandemic has forced many celebrations across America to be toned down this year. It seems Halloween will be the next one to join that list. New research shows the country’s favorite spooky holiday is adjusting to keep kids safe as they trick-or-treat in 2020.

A OnePoll survey of 2,000 adults — half of them parents — finds most Americans will be taking extra precautions this Halloween, but still fully intend to celebrate. Three in four parents say they’re still taking their children trick-or-treating despite COVID restrictions.

While kids will be out scouring neighborhoods for candy, they’ll be knocking on fewer doors. The poll, commissioned by HI-CHEW, reveals parents are allowing their youngsters to trick-or-treat at just five houses on average. One-third of respondents say they’ll also be limiting these stops to neighbors they know and have already checked in with to make sure they’ve tested negative for COVID-19.

Overall, half of parents agree that trick-or-treating is a tradition that is simply too important to skip this year.

It’s all about the candy

Whether you’re heading out or staying inside on Halloween, 83 percent of Americans will still be stocking up on treats. Four in 10 adults plan to only buy candy they like since they don’t expect to receive many trick-or-treaters this year. Nearly the same amount (38%) are excited to get a year off from handing out treats and saving more for themselves.

“While celebrations may look different this year, the best part of Halloween will carry on: eating and enjoying candy,” says Tatsuya Takamiya, Chief Marketing Officer for Morinaga America, Inc., in a statement. “From trick-or-treating to swapping with friends, candy will continue to play an integral part of the spooky holiday.”

Halloween is starting early in 2020

The poll finds many people will be getting a jump on the festivities this year to bring some more spirit to the toned down holiday. Nearly half (45%) say they’re decorating their homes earlier and the same number are planning to eat more candy from the comfort of their couch.

Forty-two percent say they’ll spend Halloween watching non-stop Halloween-themed movies, while 35 percent plan to enjoy a horror movie marathon.

“Halloween festivities have grown to be bigger than just one single day,” Takamiya adds. “Beyond enjoying your favorite candy, this year provides a unique opportunity to spend time with family and small groups of friends and find creative ways to make each moment memorable. Whether it’s virtual scavenger hunts, Halloween movie marathons, or carving pumpkins, the options are endless.”

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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