How parents are planning for a pandemic Halloween

By UserTesting | October 16, 2020

Welcome to UserTesting HITs, an ongoing series that shares human insight trends (HITs) uncovered from studies conducted by the UserTesting team. We hope you find these insights interesting and that they inspire you to conduct similar studies of your own! In this study, you'll learn how families in the Atlanta and San Francisco Bay Area metropolitan regions are preparing for Halloween during the pandemic.

What we did

With the CDC recently issuing guidance on Halloween celebrations, a treasured pastime to many US households is facing some major changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. To better understand how families are planning to celebrate this year, we asked parents of children 10 and younger in the Atlanta and San Francisco Bay Area metropolitan regions how the pandemic is impacting their Halloween traditions and spending.

What we learned

Who's trick-or-treating this year?

San Francisco Bay and Atlanta Metropolitan areas have different plans for trick-or-treating.


Halloween spending

Most parents expected to spend less on Halloween this year, with top spending planned on costumes or decorations, correlating with the likelihood of trick-or-treating. Here's how parents plan to spend this Halloween:

San Francisco area families

  • 46% decorations
  • 36% costumes
  • 18% candy

Atlanta area families

  • 46% costumes
  • 18% decorations
  • 18% candy
  • 9% renting movies
  • 9% no extra spending

How Halloween traditions are changing due to the pandemic

  • School closures and distance learning make a big impact on Halloween celebrations as schools typically host parties, parades, and activities that children look forward to. 
  • Uncertainty about local regulations, neighbor preferences, and the status of the pandemic have some parents waiting to make Halloween plans.
  • Trick-or-treating may be the only Halloween tradition to prevail this year, with others like haunted houses, parties, parades, and other indoor activities being canceled.
  • Many families are planning more intimate activities with only immediate family and close, "quarantine-safe" friends.

Hear parents talk about Halloween during the pandemic



Share your insights with us! 

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About the author(s)

With UserTesting’s on-demand platform, you uncover ‘the why’ behind customer interactions. In just a few hours, you can capture the critical human insights you need to confidently deliver what your customers want and expect.