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Families get creative for Halloween in a pandemic with 'candy chute'

Cathy Bambenek and her grand-daughter created a "treat tube" out of an 8-foot PVC pipe. Now she can dispense candy this Halloween and still maintain social distance.

Cathy Bambenek prides herself on being the house in her neighborhood that draws a large crowd on Halloween. Despite the pandemic, this year was no different. She decorated her front lawn with "The Nightmare Before Christmas" theme. She even has an outfit to match the theme along with a tophat.

"It's pretty sad that people don't enjoy Halloween as much as I do," Cathy said.

Ted Bambenek tells WFAA that his wife lives for both Halloween and Christmas. Cathy was a school teacher for 35 years in Plano before she retired. The holidays were one way to re-connect with children the way she used to as an educator.

"We're on opposite ends of the planet. I'm quiet, she's not," laughed Ted Bambenek.

The pandemic makes this Halloween a lot trickier than treat. Cathy, with the help of her 9-year-old granddaughter, devised a candy tube that would allow her to dispense candy to trick-or-treaters this Halloween. 

She admits the idea to use PVC pipe to create a chute was not her original idea. She saw it somewhere else and made it to fit their specifications.

"At least at this house, it will be safe," Cathy said. "We got to have fun right now. We've got to do something to make kids feel like they can some normalcy," she said.

Now Cathy can be dressed up for Halloween as she always does and hand or drop-down candy into buckets and bags from six feet away.

DIY Candy Tube or Chute TIPS

-Buy PVC pipe which you can find at any hardware store or use a shipping tube if you have one at the home. *make sure the openings are large enough for candy to pass through.

- Cut the tube to the desired length *if trying to keep 6 feet social distance make sure the tube is longer than 6 feet

-Angle pipe or tube based on location and specifications of your home

-Make sure the contraption is safely set so you don't put trick-or-treaters in harms way

-Make sure the person dispensing candy sanitizes hands or wear gloves

-Try to avoid trick-or-treaters from gathering in close proximity around the tube