While Halloween should look different this year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this fun and beloved holiday doesn’t need to be cancelled altogether.
Here are some safer alternatives to traditional celebrations, so you can have your candy and eat it too.
Most traditional activities can be safely done within your household with just a little tweaking:
- Pumpkin carving – Take a blind vote to declare a winner (and not hurt any feelings) and display your creations outside for everyone to see.
- Haunted House – Pick a room or even just a hallway to transform your house into a night of fright, or take a virtual walk through a haunted house.
- Scavenger Hunts – This can be done inside your home, in your own yard, or around the neighborhood at a safe distance.
- Backyard Piñata – The best part is you can control what kind of candy your kids get, so they don’t end up with a bucket full of Dots or Almond Joys.
- Spooky Movie Night – Make some festive treats, dim the lights, and get ready for the screams.
- Costume Contest – You could do this virtually among friends or family and have the adults do the judging, or pick a theme as a family and all dress up together.
With social distancing guidelines still in place, trick-or-treating may be halted this year. Have no fear, here are other ways you can celebrate Halloween in your community while practicing social distancing and mask-wearing!
- Look for houses that are participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up or a bowl is placed in the driveway for walk-by pickups.
- If your family wants to give away candy, be sure to wash hands properly before preparing any candy bowls or treat bags. You can also use a six-foot table if you want to be outside and see the costumes as kids come through.
- Hold a small neighborhood or extended family costume parade as long as it’s outdoors, open-air, and distanced at least six feet apart.
- Same goes for a local outdoor Halloween movie night. Make sure everyone is spaced at least six feet apart from people outside their household.
- Find an open-air, one-way walk through a haunted forest or corn maze where mask use is being enforced and people are able to remain more than six feet apart.
- Many pumpkin patches and apple orchards are still open, but be selective with the safety measures put in place before taking your family to one. Hand sanitizer should be available, mask-wearing enforced, and social distancing possible.
HIGH RISK – AVOID
The following activities should be avoided this year to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Traditional door to door trick-or-treating where treats are being handed directly to children.
- Trunk-or-treat events where treats are being handed out in crowded parking lots.
- Any indoor costume party or haunted house with people outside your household.
- Hayrides or tractor rides with people outside your household.
It’s important to note that the CDC has made specific recommendations about costume masks and the increased risks involved with Halloween celebrations:
“A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.”
“Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe, instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.”
“If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.”