As summer continues to drift into fall, American families across the country face their second Halloween beneath the pressures of the pandemic. While not many expected COVID concerns to continue affecting public activities this late into 2021, the Delta variant and overall vaccine hesitancy has led comfort in many public activities to slide since a high in early summer.

Despite this decline in comfort, however, plans to allow children to engage in the yearly tradition of trick-or-treating is far higher as compared to last year

And among those who typically pass out candy from their homes to the best little ghouls and goblins out there, similar jumps in plans to participate have occurred.

Clearly, either being vaccinated or being entirely fatigued from the pressures of the pandemic (or both) has fueled even more willingness to join in the social aspects of Halloween.  

However, concerns about the Delta variant do still have an impact on parents’ levels of concern, regardless of whether they allow their kids to participate or not.

But regardless of Delta concerns, or perhaps due to them, both parents and non-parents are about as likely to either participate in, or not participate in Halloween activities.

This cross-parental likelihood, however, breaks down when we look at it by U.S. census region.

Parents in the Northeast are more likely than their child-free friends to participate in regular Halloween activities, while parents in the Midwest and West skew more towards smaller, COVID-conscious activities with their kids.

Interestingly, parents in the West are the most likely of any sub-demographic to not have any Halloween plans this year, perhaps reflecting an increased level of lingering caution among that particular region. 

While people from all income brackets increased in willingness to allow their kids to trick-or-treat this year, it’s still parents in the highest-earning income bracket that are most likely to collect candy around the neighborhood. 

A similar income relationship exists for those who are planning on passing out candy to the neighborhood as well.

Ultimately, overall consumer data show that people remain concerned about the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. However, while that concern has been shown to increase as we approach the end of summer, we conversely see people returning to normal Halloween activities, especially when compared to last year. 

Pandemic fatigue may truly have gotten the better of many parents unwilling to deny their kids another year of costumes, candies, and scares with their friends and neighbors. 

Finally, and most importantly, for those trick-or-treating out with their families, don’t expect most households to hand out the highly sought-after king-sized candy bars.

Mini-sized candies are the most commonly distributed type of treat, while fruit and nuts remain rightfully at the bottom. 

As CivicScience continues to look at Halloween trends in the coming weeks, check back for more spooky consumer insights.