For many people, Halloween signifies the start of the holiday season! However, this year during the pandemic it brings with it many questions. Towns and cities all over the country are cancelling trick-or-treating to keep things safe, but that doesn’t mean that all Halloween celebrations have to end. Halloween may look a little different this year, but there are still fun and safe ways to celebrate Halloween during COVID-19.
10 Ideas to Make Halloween Fun and Safe
Celebrate Halloween with a Decoration Contest
See if your neighborhood association or building is hosting an outdoor Halloween decorating contest. You and your family can get in the Halloween spirit by decorating your home. Then make sure to take a family walk sometime to see the other participants’ decorations.
Visit a Local Pumpkin Patch and/or Apple Orchard
Pick out pumpkins or go apple picking at a local orchard. Use your yummy finds to decorate, bake, and more! Before going, check to see what your local pumpkin patch/apple orchard is doing to ensure optimum safety due to COVID-19. Always remember to carry a hand sanitizer, wear a mask and maintain social distancing when going outside.
Halloween Movie Night
Watch your favorite Halloween movie classics, scary and otherwise, to celebrate this year. Watch safely in your own home or see if there are any drive-in options in your area.
Family Pumpkin Carving Contest
Continue the Halloween festivities by bringing home your pumpkins and carving, or painting, them. Zoom other families or groups at the same time to make it a party or meet up in a local park and carve pumpkins together while social distancing. Don’t forget to display your jack-o'-lanterns for others to see and enjoy!
Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, host a scavenger hunt at your home where family members get to find candy and other goodies located around the house. Think Easter meets Halloween!
Another option is to create a list of Halloween-themed items to look for while walking around your neighborhood. Split up into teams to make it a family friendly competition.
Backyard Halloween Games
Organize Halloween activities to play out in the backyard, such as a glow-in-the-dark scavenger hunt, a Piñata shaped like a favorite Halloween creature, a spooky obstacle course, and more. Search online for more fun ideas.
Get Crafty with Kids
There are tons of fun Halloween crafts online that you can make. Use craft supplies to make fun creatures, spooky ghosts, and wicked witches. Other craft ideas involve using natural fall elements to create something. You can use pumpkins or acorns as a blank canvas by painting them or use leaves and other items to make a beautiful fall wreath.
Make Halloween Costumes
If you or your kids plan on dressing up for Halloween, this is an excellent opportunity to get prepared! Get creative with Halloween costumes and turn costume-making into a family activity. If you don’t plan on dressing up, make fun Halloween masks instead. If you don’t need more masks, you can always donate them to someone who does!
Bake Sweet Halloween Treats
Fall is full of so many delicious flavors, so why not dedicate an evening to making something as a family? Dishes and drinks such as apple and pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, hot chocolate, and apple cider are all fall favorites! Don’t like fall flavors? Try decorating cookies with spooky shapes and images or find a creative recipe online. Don't worry if you go overboard, you can always store your food and enjoy the Halloween treats later.
Create a Drive-Thru Haunted House
For any Halloween-lovers who really want to get creative, work with your family to create a drive-thru haunted house on your street or driveway. Work together with your neighbors while social distancing to get even more spooky!
5 Things to Avoid This Halloween
Don't Celebrate Halloween with Trick-or-treating
This Halloween tradition should be avoided this year, as it largely increases the chance of spreading the virus by creating many touch points for each neighborhood. Trunk-or-treating and one-way trick-or-treating are also discouraged, as they still present a risk due to the passing of goods. Instead, try using one of the above trick-or-treating alternatives!
Even with the use of masks, crowded spaces are a high risk for spreading COVID-19. While not as high of a risk, outdoor parties still present a moderate risk and are recommended to be avoided.
While this is an outdoor activity, it is discouraged due to the close proximity of individuals and families and the high amount of touch points. Avoid this activity and go for a walk or drive as a family to take in the beautiful fall scenery.
Avoid attending fall festivals this season, as they tend to be prone to overcrowding. This is especially true if you have to travel to another community to attend, particularly if one of these communities has a high rate of positive COVID-19 cases.
Face-to-face Haunted Houses
Traditional, face-to-face haunted houses often put groups of people in small spaces and encourage people to physically interact with the space, increasing the chance of spreading illness. Screaming can also increase the spread of disease, which is another reason to avoid haunted houses this season. Try doing a virtual haunted house, many of which can be found with a quick internet search!
No matter how you plan to celebrate Halloween during COVID-19, be sure to do any necessary research before visiting somewhere, use standard social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask. Even if Halloween 2020 looks a little different than usual, there are still plenty of ways to have fun, celebrate, and enjoy the holiday season! Happy Halloween!
For more suggestions on how to spend holidays in 2020, check out the CDC’s holiday-specific page.