This holiday season will be like nothing we’ve ever experienced. Trying to take part in the different Halloween festivities while staying safe will take some creativity, but that shouldn’t discourage you from having a good time. Virtual parties, spooky movie nights, and taking part in safe trick or treating around your neighborhood are just some of the ideas for this year’s Halloween. The key this year will be to plan ahead. We can still have fun, eat a ton of candy, and have a great time while staying safe.
Let’s dive in and talk about some of the different ways we can safely celebrate Halloween this year!
Perhaps the safest way to celebrate is by organizing a virtual costume party. While most of us spend a big chunk of our day in Zoom meetings and such, this is actually a great way to have fun not just with the family and friends you normally see. It’s a great opportunity to be able to celebrate alongside friends and family from other states or countries. Show off your funny or scary costume, have everyone vote on the best one, and send the winner a virtual gift card.
Another creative way to celebrate Halloween and stay safe is by doing a spooky movie night. Set up a big white bedsheet and projector over the garage door or a big wall inside of your house and project some fun or scary Halloween movies (depending on the audience.) From cute family classics like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” to some more scary films – that I for one cannot watch because I won’t be able to sleep after – it’s a really fun way to watch movies. It’s like an outdoor movie theater!
If you are going to have some friends and family over, add some fun activities that guests can do while watching the movie (or instead of), like decorating pumpkins. Have some bowls out with candy and treats if you don’t plan to go out and this way everyone stays together and avoids crowds out on the street.
A great idea as an alternative to going out to trick-or-treat from the healthychildren.org website is a family scavenger “haunt” around your house, “Trick-or-treating may be discouraged or canceled in some areas this year. A family scavenger ‘haunt’ (hunt) for Halloween treats in your home or yard can be a fun alternative. If trick-or-treating is still on in your neighborhood, avoid large groups or clustering at doorsteps or anywhere else.”
Of course, if you feel comfortable going out to trick-or-treat or handing out treats to the neighborhood kids, there are certain things you can do to ensure everyone is safe. You can prepackage the candy and treat it in zip-lock bags and lay them out on a table outside. This way kids grab their one bag without having to dig in a bowl for candy. Make sure to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer out with the treats as well.
There are also some guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as limiting the number of people that come over to an indoor party, considering hosting your party outdoors where it’s safer, setting out some hand sanitizers, and encouraging guests to wash their hands frequently. Of course, as much as possible, try to maintain social distancing, wear a mask, and make sure to clean and disinfect tables and surfaces around the places where people may gather.
According to the CDC website, people who should not attend in-person events include:
- People with or exposed to COVID-19. Do not host or participate in any in-person festivities if you or anyone in your household
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- People at increased risk for severe illness
If you are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should
- Avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household
- Avoid larger gatherings and consider attending activities that pose a lower risk if you decide to attend an in-person gathering with people who do not live in your household.
While this may not be the ideal Halloween, there are still lots of ways to have fun, get lots of candy (I’m definitely in it for the candy), and spend time with friends and family. Don’t get discouraged and have fun. Safe, clean disinfected fun.