Americans tend to think children should be allowed to trick-or-treat despite COVID-19

Jamie BallardData Journalist
October 14, 2020, 8:00 PM UTC

Halloween may look different this year, but many Americans still intend to celebrate. Data from YouGov finds that 33% of US adults intend to celebrate Halloween by watching a spooky movie, while 28% say they’ll decorate their house and/or carve a pumpkin.  

About one-quarter (26%) of Americans plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, while slightly fewer intend to wear a costume (19%), go to a party (12%), or go trick-or-treating (11%) themselves.  

About three in 10 (31%) don’t intend to do any of the above activities, and 4% aren’t sure of their Halloween plans. 

Among parents who have at least one young child at home (0 to 6 years old), about half (54%) say they plan to celebrate the season by watching a spooky movie, while 52% are going to carve pumpkins and 44% will decorate their homes. Many of these parents say they’ll also be wearing a costume (42%) and going trick-or-treating (36%).  

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in several states, there are concerns about whether it will be safe for people to go trick-or-treating this year. The Centers for Disease Control lists traditional trick-or-treating as a “higher risk activity” and offers suggestions for lower-risk activities like a virtual Halloween costume contest, a Halloween movie night with people you live with, and carving or decorating pumpkins. 

About half (49%) of Americans say they think children in their community should be allowed to go trick-or-treating this year. Among parents of young children (0-6) this figure is higher still at 55%, rising again to 60% among parents of children aged 7-18. 

Nevertheless, four in 10 say they  COVID-19 should keep children indoors for Halloween 2020, include 30-31% of parents.  

 
Most (69%) adults say that if children do trick-or-treat this year, they should be required to wear face masks. About one-quarter (24%) don’t think kids should have to don protective masks to go door-to-door.  

But it seems there will only be half as many jack-o’-lanterns beckoning children to doorways on October 31. While 30% of Americans say they plan to give out treats this year, almost as many (26%) say they would normally do so but are put off by coronavirus.  

See full results from this survey.  

Methodology: This article is based on a poll of 1,500 US adults surveyed via YouGov Direct on October 1, 2020 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:36 p.m. EST. Data were weighted on age, gender, education level, political affiliation and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is ±3.3%.  

Image: Getty