You already know the deal: Halloween’s quite a bit different this year thanks to the pandemic. Social distancing continues to be encouraged, and many communities are discouraging trick-or-treating, not to mention parties, parades, and other festive events. Salem, New England’s Halloween headquarters, is essentially closed.
For those who choose to sit this year out, there’s still fun to be had at home. Here are some takeout and delivery options for the Boston area, from full meals, including a virtual murder mystery dinner party, to sweet treats, such as doughnuts shaped like your favorite horror movie characters.
Takeout Meals and Virtual Dinners
Juliet’s virtual murder mystery dinner party
Juliet (21 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville) is putting on a murder mystery with three-course dinner kits available for pickup between 4 and 6 p.m. on October 31; delivery is also available. On the menu: breads and spreads, Frogmore stew, and pumpkin cake with candy corn. The virtual “seatings” are at 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. and will include simple steps for preparing the dinner. Costumes encouraged. $45 per ticket, with a discount for those who want to participate in the virtual event but provide their own food. Get tickets for the 6 p.m. event here or the 8:15 here.
Papagayo’s spicy taco challenge
Papagayo (331 Great River Rd., Assembly Row, Somerville) is heating up its menu with its “world’s hottest taco challenge” on October 31, and takeout is available. (Those who eat it at home are encouraged to post a video to social media, tagging @getlegendary and #worldshottesttaco.) It’s $5 for a steak, chicken, or vegetable version. The restaurant’s kitchen is open from noon to 11 p.m. on Halloween. Online ordering is available.
Sweet Cheeks and OddFellows’ barbecue and ice cream collaboration
Sweet Cheeks (1381 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston) chef and owner Tiffani Faison has collaborated with ice cream shop OddFellows (55 Boylston St., the Street, Chestnut Hill) on a limited-edition ice cream flavor for Halloween weekend, Concord cream pie — Concord grape ice cream with chunks of yellow cake, vanilla custard, and Concord grape jelly. It’s being featured in a pickup dinner kit available on October 30 from 1 to 8 p.m. (get it at OddFellows.)
The kit, meant to feed “two really hungry adults,” includes pulled chicken, barbecue chopped brisket, several sides and accoutrements, two of Sweet Cheeks’ famous biscuits, a bottle of wine, and a pint of the ice cream; there’s also a vegetable-focused kit available that features a smoked squash and mushroom pot pie. ($80 for the meat kit, $75 for the vegetable kit.)
A portion of the proceeds will benefit local food rescue organization Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Order online.
Hojoko and Hot Chix’ “chick or treat” fried chicken sandwich throwdown
Get started on celebrating a couple days early with a Hojoko (1271 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston) vs. Hot Chix fried chicken sandwich throwdown on October 29; takeout and delivery are available. (Pick up at Hojoko.) Costumes are “not required but highly encouraged” — which is probably more relevant for those who choose to dine at Hojoko, but it’ll certainly liven up your meal at home, too. Try the sandwiches side by side, and then cast your vote in Hojoko’s Instagram story.
Widowmaker’s sour and stout
Braintree-based Widowmaker Brewing (220 Wood Rd.) currently offers curbside pickup Wednesday through Sunday, and several of the current beers will be thematically appropriate for your at-home celebration — try the Splatterhaus, a fruited sour, or the Candymaker, a peanut butter stout. They’re each available in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Order online.
Night Shift’s pumpkin-carving contest and a spooky stout
Night Shift Brewing (1 Lovejoy Wharf, West End, Boston; 87 Santilli Hwy., Everett) is running an at-home pumpkin-carving contest through October 26, welcoming Night Shift fans to carve the brewery’s owl logo into a pumpkin for a chance to win a taproom gift card or bag of Night Shift Coffee. You could then use your gift card to taste Night Shift’s Halloween beer, Spooky Spice, a Halloween candy-inspired imperial stout with cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, and peanut butter. “Sips with haunting notes of sticky caramel, peanut butter brittle, and dark chocolate.” As of press time, it’s on the to-go roster for the Everett location. (Both locations currently offer beer pickup.)
Idle Hands’ undead sour ale
“The closest thing we have to pumpkin beer is a beer in front of a pumpkin,” writes the Idle Hands (89 Commercial St., Malden) team on social media, promoting the brewery’s cherry and black currant sour ale, Kill Your Idles: Undead Red. The beer features a suitably spooky label for your small Halloween gathering. Order online for pickup at the brewery.
Speakeasy Donuts’ creepy character doughnuts
North Shore doughnut pop-up Speakeasy Donuts has a reputation for producing lots of fun character-shaped doughnuts, so Halloween is the perfect time to get familiar with its offerings. There are a few pickup and delivery options in the coming days. People in Marblehead, Peabody, and Beverly can get delivery from the “Spooky Donut Sunday” collection on October 25; there’s a huge range of horror movie characters from which to choose (or request one not on the list). The same collection is also available for pickup on October 30 at Deacon Giles Distillery in Salem, while Halloween “cereal killer” boxes (Halloween-themed, cereal-topped doughnuts) are available at three pickup locations on October 24 (Amesbury, Lowell, and Norwood).
Harvest’s Halloween candy-inspired doughnut boxes
Harvest (44 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge) executive pastry chef Josh Livsey is serving boxes of four doughnuts ($13) for the holiday, with each doughnut inspired by a popular candy or treat — peanut butter cup, Skittles, Twix, and candy apple. Call the restaurant at (617) 868-2255 from October 23 to October 29 to place an order (preordering required); pickup is on October 31.
Kane’s Donuts’ DIY kits
The two Saugus locations of Kane’s Donuts (120 Lincoln Ave. and Essex Landing, 1575 Broadway) are offering DIY doughnut decorating kits for pickup. Each kit is $25 and includes six doughnuts with assorted holiday-themed frostings and toppings. (Note: Gluten-free doughnuts are not available in this kit.) Order online at least one hour ahead of time. Available through Halloween.
EHChocolatier’s bonbons, marshmallow ghosts, and more
Cambridge chocolate shop EHChocolatier (145 Huron Ave.) always has excellent holiday collections, and Halloween is no exception: Shop online for Halloween bonbons, ghost shortbread cookies, and more. Shipping and pickup are available.
Confections by Carly’s bat pops, chocolate hearts, and more
Chestnut Hill-based candy-maker Confections by Carly has a variety of Halloween treats available for pickup in Chestnut Hill or the Longwood Medical Area. Order online and choose from tell-tale hearts in ruby chocolate with a popping candy filling, white chocolate skulls filled with passionfruit ganache, bat-shaped dark or milk chocolate lollipops, and more.
Allium Market’s boo boxes
Allium Market (1330 Beacon St., Brookline) is selling “boo boxes” ($36) stuffed with eight treats — two each of witchy macarons, chocolate raspberry bat sandwiches, mini pumpkin cakes, and ghost eclairs. Order online; pickup and delivery available on October 30 and 31.
Honeycomb Creamery’s creepy ice cream tacos
Available on Tuesday, October 27, for in-store pickup or delivery throughout the final weeks of October, Honeycomb Creamery’s (1702 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) creepy taco features a charcoal vanilla cone filled with apple crisp ice cream, dipped in dark chocolate, and topped with honeycomb and “spooky sprinkles.” Order online; note the delivery days and deadlines for different areas. (Place same-day pickup orders here.)
Union Square Donuts’ Frankenstein doughnuts
The yeasted Frankenstein doughnut has a green vanilla bean glaze, chocolate sprinkle hair, Belgian dark chocolate smile, and sprinkle eyes; it’s on the regular roster at all locations (20 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville; 409 Harvard St., Brookline; Time Out Market Boston, 401 Park Dr., Fenway, Boston; Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., downtown Boston) through Halloween. Online ordering for pickup is available, and delivery is also available via Uber Eats and Grubhub.