Ho-hum Halloween? 1 in 3 parents not letting their kids trick-or-treat this year

NEW YORK — Like nearly every other holiday this year, it seems the coronavirus pandemic is going to rain on Halloween’s parade as well. A study on holiday spending finds fewer Americans will be celebrating the spookiest day of the year in 2020. Researchers say the nation will spend nearly a billion dollars less on Halloween than it did in 2019. Even worse for kids, nearly one in three parents won’t be letting their children go trick-or-treating.

The study, conducted by Coupon Lawn, looked at data spending data, statistics, and a survey of over 1,000 workers to project what Halloween 2020 will look like. According to their estimates, spending in the United States will fall to $8 billion, down from $8.8 billion last year. It’s the lowest Halloween spending spree in four years according to the analysts. In 2016, during another presidential election, Halloween spending plummeted to $6.89 billion. Trick-or-treaters set a record the following year however, dishing out $9.1 billion (and plenty of candy) in 2017.

With COVID-19 fears on the minds of many, the study finds only 58 percent of the country plan to celebrate Halloween. That’s down 10 percent from last year and nearly 14 percent from 2017. Among those who are still getting into the spirit of things, most say handing out candy is their favorite part. More than six in 10 Americans say rewarding trick-or-treaters is their top Halloween activity. Over half the poll said decorating their home is the best thing to do.

Alternative ways to keep Halloween sweet

While some parents are always nervous about letting their kids out on Halloween, COVID-19 is pushing things to new heights. The study finds 31 percent of parents will forbid their children from trick-or-treating this year. Another 31 percent aren’t sure what they’ll do and 38 percent will continue to let their kids go out on Oct. 31.

Only 22 percent of parents said they wouldn’t let their children trick-or-treat in 2019, compared to 78 percent who did. A previous study adds that parents in 2020 are limiting the number of homes their children will visit due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This latest research finds there will be one positive thing about more people staying indoors this Halloween, more Jack-O-Lanterns. The study estimates nearly 152 million Americans will carve a pumpkin this Halloween. That’s the highest total in four years and almost seven million more people than in 2019.

The price of those pumpkins will set you back a little more however, as prices on the average pumpkin have risen from $4.04 last year to $4.18 in 2020.