We’ve all had to adapt to a new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now, following the trend of 2020, Halloween is also going to look different this year. While some health and Halloween safety precautions need to be taken, you can still have fun and celebrate.
Halloween is a magical holiday beloved by kids and adults alike. From getting creative with at-home festivities to keeping gatherings virtual or outdoors and small, here’s how to keep safety in mind while you celebrate Halloween this year.
Safe Celebratory Activities
There are many low-risk activities you can do to have fun this Halloween. Leading up to the holiday, you can decorate inside and around your home, carve pumpkins and decide on costumes to put you in the Halloween spirit.
When All Hallows’ Eve finally arrives, celebrate in the safest way by dressing up and having a Halloween party among your household members. Do the “Monster Mash,” tell scary stories and hold a virtual costume contest with friends and family over video chat.
If you have kids, rather than going trick-or-treating, plan a scavenger hunt. Make a list of Halloween-themed items for them to find or hide pieces of candy. Play games like Halloween bingo and pin the spider on the web or try making slime.
Curl up on the couch and watch a Halloween movie marathon. There’s plenty to choose from, with kid-friendly options like “Hocus Pocus” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” to horror classics (for the teens!) like “Halloween” and “The Exorcist.”
Once night falls, head outside and do some star-gazing. There’s going to be a full, Hunter’s moon on Oct. 31, which will make the night feel extra creepy.
For additional Halloween safety tips, see here.
The door-to-door, close-contact nature of traditional trick-or-treating is considered higher risk; however, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has guidelines for those with their hearts set on trick-or-treating.
Handing out Candy
The idea of leaving candy out for trick-or-treaters isn’t a new practice, but limiting the risk of crowding and contact is something candy-givers need to consider this year.
“One-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)” is considered moderate risk according to the CDC. “If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.”
Keeping Halloween safety in mind, some have been coming up with creative solutions for giving out candy while maintaining distance. Attaching a PVC pipe or long cardboard tube to a front railing to make a shoot is one option. Another method is using a laundry line pully system to give candy from 6 or more feet away.
What to Avoid
Halloween is all about scares, but you should still feel safe this season.
Avoid attending indoor Halloween parties, indoor haunted houses and traveling outside your community if you choose to trick-or-treat this year.
Even if your seasonal celebrations are outdoors, close-contact activities with nonhousehold members, like hayrides, fall festivals, trunk-or-treat events, etc., are considered higher risk.
“Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart,” is a little safer, and considered moderate risk according to the CDC. “If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.”
For now, mask wearing and social distancing is still here to stay. Take care this Halloween and celebrate in ways that keep you, your family and your community safe.
For more fall activities that follow social distancing, check out this list.
How are you practicing Halloween safety this year? Tell us in the comments below.