Introduction: Flying Pumpkin Candy ZIpline for Social Distancing Halloween Trick or Treating

Halloween isn't cancelled. Makers to the rescue!

This project will show you how to send candy speeding down a zipline for a safe and socially distant exchange.

Daytime movie at:


Zipline String

Pulley- larger is better; fixed axis preferred

Return string

electrical tape

Wire (or rings)

Eye bolt (and place to attach)

Optional- flashing red light, streamers


Step 1: Prepare the Zipline

Carefully select your line with safety in mind. In a perfect world no leaning out is required. Also, be sure that no one will be hit by the descending bucket.

With all caution and ladder safety, add an eye bolt or cleat at upper level outside. Attach string. Leave a little extra so you can tie the candy bucket at the upper position.
Extend the string to the lower level. In my case, I lashed a strong scarp piece of wood onto my gate so it hangs out the width of the bucket (around 8 inches). (You don't want the bucket crashing into the post.)

Initially the string is likely to stretch. The pictured string is a festive orange, but any color will do. Metal can stretch more tightly resulting a faster ride, but also requires more reinforcing to handle the tension. Tiny pulleys need steeper pitch. The pulley is the most important piece for smooth operation. Splurge a little for a bigger one.

Caution: NOT suitable for people to ride in.

Step 2: Prepare the Candy Bucket

I like the look of the pumpkin just as it is with back lighting. You could also choose to make a flying ghost, bat or anything else (but the internal lighting will be more difficult).

Use electrical tape wrap and create a "groove" to keep the wire/rings centered on the top of the handle.

Tape a top wire/ring (which will attach to the pulley) and optionally a bottom wire/ring to support the flashlight. Continue to add rings as needed so flashlight is hidden. It's best not to have it touch the bottom so that no weight is on the bucket; all weight suspended except bucket and candy (or a beverage).

Make a small hole in the back of the bucket near the top. This is where the retrieval string will be attached.

Step 3: Put It All Together and Test

Attach the retrieval string to the back of the bucket. Some might choose fishing line.

Clip the bucket to the pulley.Using clips makes it easier to take apart or bring inside.

Gently lower the bucket down the string, holding onto the retrieval string. Once the bucket lowers all the way, then the retrieval string can be sized (optional: attach to upper eyebolt).

Tighten zipline string as appropriate. Retrieval string can also have a ring or two around zipling so it doesn't hang too low.

Bumper at bottom is optional. Wrapping more string around bottom end can also slow bucket. It would be really unfortunate if the bucket hit a small child so holding the retrieval string's last 5+ feet in hand until you see the space clear is important.

Try a fully loaded and almost empty bucket. Notice if it needs a push or held back.

Step 4: Decorate the Landing Area + Signage

You WILL be popular. Manage your crowd.

Lighting- Decorate the landing area with enough lighting to reduce tripping hazard(s). It's also nice to have enough light so you can see who you are sending candy to. Any other inflatables or graveyard decorations fit nicely as well.

Add 6 foot waiting marks so courtesy is easier. You can do this with chalk or duct tape.

Of course you should consider your own costume as well.

A small sign in advance will alert your neighbors about why there is a string coming down to the gate.If you really want crowds, add your information and a demo movie to social media.

#Halloween Not Cancelled! Flying Pumpkin Candy Zipline!
Wait in Line
Yell "Trick or Treat"
Get candy

You'll love it so much you might want to leave it up year round!
Maybe your newspaper or other delivery can go in the bucket. HAVE FUN.

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