Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year. Adults and children alike enjoy the celebration of ghosts and goblins. In fact, it’s estimated that in a typical year, about 70% of the American population takes part in Halloween festivities.
Of course, 2020 is far from a typical year.
The CDC considers traditional trick-or-treating a higher risk activity because of the typically large groups of children, and potential for face-to-face and high-touch moments (like grabbing candy). Indoor parties, be they for adults or children, are also considered high risk. And, depending on where you live, might violate city and state safety guidelines.
So, while many of us are haunted by what to do this Halloween, we thought it might be helpful to share some safety tips and alternative options to enjoy the night.
Play it Safe for Trick-or-Treating:
Most of these we already know, but it’s always worth a reminder:
- Wear a mask…and not just the costume kind. Keep in mind that most costume masks alone aren’t effective at stopping the spread of germs. So make sure your child wears at least a two-ply mask and that they can breathe comfortably if also using a costume mask.
- Limit the group size. Keep your child’s trick-or-treating group to just siblings or a close friend or two.
- Limit the houses you visit. To reduce unnecessary exposure to others, just go to a few homes on your street or visit a few friends you know well.
- Social distance. Leave lots of space between trick-or-treaters.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Remember to have kids use hand sanitizer in between homes.
- Stay home if you might be sick. If any of your family members are feeling sick, please stay home!
- For more suggestions and guidelines, check out these Halloween Safety Tips from the CDC.
Other Great Halloween Options:
If yours is one of the many families who have decided to look for alternative ways to celebrate this spooktacular night, here are a few ideas to kick-start your creativity.
Giving Out Candy
For those looking to continue the tradition of handing out candy to visiting trick-or-treaters, lower the risk factor by adding a little imagination. Try setting out goody bags on a table in your front yard, or hang them from a clothesline. Or, use it as an opportunity to put your DIY skills to the test…check out this idea for a homemade Halloween candy chute!
Outdoor or Drive-Thru Haunted Houses/Mazes
Haunted houses will certainly look different this year, too. Drive-thru, outdoor and other contact-free Halloween experiences are starting to make headlines. Search online for “haunted roads”, “drive-thru haunted houses” and haunted outdoor mazes” to see if there is one near you. Want an example? Here’s a look at an Orlando, FL drive-thru haunted house.
Test Your Luck with Virtual Escape Rooms
Escape rooms have been a popular activity for years now, especially during Halloween because they can be as spooky or family friendly as you want. Due to the pandemic, escape rooms have pivoted by going virtual! Check out this list of the best virtual Halloween escape rooms, or contact your local escape room to see if they have virtual options.
What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than by settling in for an evening of Halloween appropriate movies or television shows? Whether you’re looking for something to put some fright in your night, or something a little more family friendly, here is a great resource from Netflix.
This is the year to let your creativity shine and carve up something cool. There are endless websites offering advice and tips on carving pumpkin masterpieces. Plus, you get the added bonus of being able to roast some pumpkin seeds! Feeling a little competitive? Make it a contest among family members or neighbors. Check out some of the amazing photos here for a little pumpkin inspiration.
Like many other events this year, Halloween will look different, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a terrifyingly fantastic time! Whatever your choice this Halloween, find a way to enjoy it safely.