Tips for having a safe Halloween 2020

Halloween is a fun holiday that’s meant to be joyous and lighthearted. But with the coronavirus looming, you might be a bit at a loss of how to keep the fun and magic in the day for you and your family. All the little kids who trick-or-treat – your own included – are in need of their sugar and their fun fall activities! (Especially this year, where everything has been upside-down and topsy-turvy.) The priority, of course, is keeping everyone safe and healthy, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun for Halloween 2020. Here are a few suggestions (as outlined by the CDC) to have a COVID-19 safe Halloween.

Low risk activities for Halloween 2020.

The following are a few low-risk activities that you can enjoy with your family for Halloween 2020.

1. Pumpkin carving.

Decorating pumpkins is a classic fall activity. You can get some pumpkins and go to town, then display them for people driving by to see. You can either keep it within your household or you can set up outdoor pumpkin carving station with family friends or neighbors. Just be sure to keep everyone distanced from each other, wear masks, and keep the numbers small. Then you can enjoy getting your hands dirty with pumpkin guts.

2. Halloween scavenger hunt.

Here’s a way to get some exercise, get the kids out of the house, and get some fresh air. Have a scavenger hunt list of fall and Halloween-related items for the kids to look out for as you go for a nice walk in the neighborhood. Hey, bounding around the neighborhood and searching for fall items can help everyone get into the Halloween spirit. The kids can have a blast.

3. Set up a candy hunt at home.

Another way to have some Halloween fun during COVID-19 is by setting up a candy hunt at home for your kids. Stash candy around the house and let the kids search for it. They’ll have fun somewhat tearing the house apart (just this once) and they can still have their treats. Maybe it’s not quite like trick-or-treating, but it’s still something that involves running around and getting candy, right? Even more fun, you can put the kids in their costumes!

4. Do a virtual costume show.

Speaking of costumes, you can do a virtual costume show with your family and friends. Everyone can dress up and show off their Halloween costumes! That’s such a big part of Halloween after all, seeing everyone’s costumes. Technology is great.

5. Halloween movie night.

If you’ve decided to stay in for Halloween 2020, cue up a great Halloween movie marathon. Pick out some of your family’s favorite Halloween flicks and grab the popcorn. And candy, of course! There’s such a limited time we can enjoy Halloween movies, why not take advantage of it?

6. Decorating masks.

Looking for a craft to do with the kids? Why not decorate protective masks together? You can make some really fun masks that are spooky, ghostly, and Halloween-themed. Then you can wear them as you take your scavenger hunt walk or do your outdoor pumpkin carving!

Halloween 2020 (b)

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Moderate risk.

There are Halloween-related activities that you can partake in that the CDC classifies as moderate-risk. Before deciding whether you want to go out to celebrate, consider the community spread of COVID in your area. If the numbers aren’t looking good, you might want to consider staying in to celebrate. If you are going out and getting together with other families be sure to find out what precautions will be taken and have been taken. Anyways – here are a few different Halloween activities.

7. Have goodie bags for “one-way” trick-or-treat.

To have some sort of candy-giving for Halloween, you can do what the CDC calls “one-way” trick-or-treating. You can prepare individual goodie bags and set them up at the end of the driveway so people can stay socially distanced. Or you can create a cardboard slide so you can send the candy to the children in a socially distanced way. (Just remember to wash your hands before you prepare the goodie bags.) However, one caveat is that you might want to opt out of giving candy if you’re sick or feeling well. And even if you’re healthy, you should still wear a protective mask.

8. Having a small outdoor costume party.

You can also do a small outdoor costume party. (Outdoor events are lower risk than indoor events.) Be sure that you’re doing social distancing and make sure that everyone’s wearing a protective mask. Remember that a Halloween mask doesn’t take the place of a protective cloth mask. They shouldn’t be used unless it has two or more layers of fabric that cover your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps. The CDC cautions against putting a costume mask over the protective mask because that can make breathing difficult. Anyways, that’s a few things to consider about a costume party.

9. Going to an outdoor haunted forest.

If you enjoy being scared, you can go to an outdoor haunted forest. The risk can be lowered if everyone only goes in one direction, stays six feet apart, and wears masks. So it’s like going to a haunted house, but more COVID-safe. However, if things are going to be scary and there will be screaming involved, you should spread everyone out more to reduce the risk of spreading respiratory viruses. Yes, screaming is kind of the point, so basically keep your distance.

10. Pumpkin patches.

You can visit a pumpkin patch and go look for the best pumpkins! Just make sure to use hand sanitizer and wear masks. And keep in mind that everyone should be social distancing. That way you can have a nice outing and get into the fall spirit.

11. Outdoor Halloween movie night.

There could also be an outdoor Halloween movie night. You can arrange it with your local family friends or neighbors. Make sure to keep everyone six feet apart. And again, if there’s going to be screaming, space everyone out more. Horror movies will likely result in a lot of screaming, so plan for that.

High-risk activities.

When you’re planning Halloween 2020, you probably should avoid the following activities which the CDC has classified as high-risk:

  • Traditional trick-or-treat
  • Trunk-or-treat where people congregate and give candy out from parked cars
  • Crowded indoor parties
  • Indoor haunted house where people will be squashed together (and probably screaming)
  • Hay rides with people who aren’t part of your household
  • Drinking – drinking can impair judgment
  • Going to a rural fall festival not in your community if you’re in an area with community spread

Halloween 2020 is going to be different than years past due to COVID-19. If you want to celebrate the holiday, consider doing a low or moderate-risk activity and taking precautions. It’s maybe not going to look like the Halloweens you’ve had before, but you can still celebrate and have a good time. You just have to be careful and have Halloween fun … in a COVID-safe way. That’s the way to go.

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