Undoubtedly, many people across this country—and that might include you, the person reading this article—who have no idea what to do on Halloween. Maybe you have kids who are excited to dress up and go trick-or-treating…but that could be very unsafe given the COVID-19 times. Or perhaps your children are too scared to go from door to door asking for candy. Or perhaps nobody in your neighborhood plans on answering the door when someone knocks. Or perhaps you don’t even have kids but don’t feel safe going to a Halloween party or handing out treats to children.
So, what are people to do?
Luckily, there are services like hoopla that offer everyone (especially families) the chance to celebrate Halloween in a fun-yet-safe way at home.
hoopla is a rising streaming platform that offers over 850,000 titles that are instantly available. As long as your local library partners with hoopla (and over 8,000 of them do), then you’ll gain access to a digital experience that offers thousands of movies and TV shows to library card holders. On top of that, hoopla digital boasts lots of music, eBooks, audiobooks, lesson plans, puzzles, and children’s videos—plenty of which is Halloween-themed for the season.
“I think of Halloween as the kickoff to the holiday season, a time people naturally focus on time together with family and friends,” says hoopla digital co-founder Jeff Jankowski. “The holiday season is going to look different for most families this year with fewer in-person gatherings. So, we wanted to set the tone with Halloween—to provide examples of fantastic digital content from libraries that can be part of the increased number of at-home holiday celebrations this year.”
Since the onset of the pandemic in March, patron borrows for children’s titles on hoopla have increased nearly 200 percent. As schools nationwide have moved to remote learning, more families dealing with that gigantic change have discovered hoopla. Trends on hoopla show soaring borrows for read-a-longs, puzzles, word games, and activity books as families have discovered content for their kids.
According to a survey from HalloweenCostumes.com, 42.32% of people said they are celebrating Halloween at home this year. And, luckily, hoopla has readied for kids a lineup of Halloween content, which includes plenty of movies, comics, music, eBooks and audiobooks.
“We’re having a lot of fun and getting creative in the types of content we’re providing parents,” Jankowski says. “You’re going to find the Halloween classics, like videos for movie marathons and spooky audiobooks.
“But you’re going to find some other ways to have fun with your kids. We’ve curated quite a few Halloween-themed crafting, cooking and activity books that libraries are recommending for at-home parties. We even have a collection just of Halloween comics geared for kids.”
On top of the children’s content, hoopla has lined up plenty of October-themed adult entertainment, including ghost-themed movies, haunted house flicks and horror comedies.
While education is hoopla’s main focus during these trying times, Jankowski says his company is “also helping libraries provide value to their communities through entertainment.”
“I’d say access to high quality entertainment is more essential now than ever before,” he says. “We need content that can provide us with that sense of escapism, content that can make us laugh, and in the case of Halloween, content that can give us a good, fictional scare.”