What the Tech? How to Use Technology This Halloween
Now that many cities and communities have canceled trick-or-treating you may be looking for other ways to enjoy the holiday with your kids or your friends.
Fortunately, we have some really cool tech tools that can make Halloween during a pandemic a happy memory.
If your kids want to share or show off their costumes to their friends consider hosting a virtual Halloween party and costume reveal. Zoom meetings have been helpful for mom and dad since they started working from home but it can also be a lot of fun for the kids.
If you haven’t used Zoom before, just go to www.zoom.us and create an account. Then schedule or start a meeting and share the link with your children’s friends. All anyone has to do is click on the link! Have a costume contest and parents can chip in a few bucks using Venmo for a pizza or other food to be delivered by Door Dash.
Ghost stories are fun over virtual meetings as well.
If you haven’t used Zoom, Facebook Messenger Rooms is almost as easy to use. Set up your own “room” in Messenger and share the link with friends on Facebook or send it in an email or text. Having a Facebook or Messenger account is not required to enter a room where you can chat online using the camera on your phone, tablet, or computer. Note: Facebook Rooms does
not work with some browsers such as Firefox.
Older kids might enjoy watching a movie together even if they’re in separate houses.
“Teleparty”(formerly Netflix Party is a Chrome browser extension you can install on a computer. Someone chooses a movie on Netflix to watch together and shares the link with their friends. You won’t see each other during the movie but you will all watch it simultaneously and be able to chat as you watch.
Watching together over Amazon Prime Video is even easier, provided you’re watching on a web browser. Just find a movie or show to watch and look for a “watch party”. Then share the link with other friends who have Amazon Prime. Again, you’ll watch the movie simultaneously, you can even start it over or fast forward/rewind. You’ll be able to chat in a text window on your screen.
Some museums and haunted spaces are hosting ghost tours through the weekend over live-stream. I found the best selection on www.Eventbrite.com. Some of the tours cost $10-$20 but many of them are free and are live tours of actual homes and buildings where ghosts have been reported.
Sure, Halloween masks mean something different this year and even if your kids won’t be able to go door-to-door collecting candy, it can still be a Halloween they remember.