This year’s Halloween festivities will certainly look different from previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some traditional activities such as trick-or-treating have been canceled by many communities, there are still a number of ways you can help your children have fun but remain safe.
Remember to keep doing what you have been to stay safe: avoid large gatherings, keep at least six feet from others, wear cloth face coverings, and wash hands often1.
Here are some tips to help your family have fun:
- Have fun with the decoration for the indoors and outdoors of your living space2
- Pumpkins can be carved or decorated indoors with members of your household. Be creative with your carving and how you’ll display them outdoors!
- You can also have a carving and decorating event outdoors, at a safe distance, with friends and neighbors.
- Be careful to avoid pumpkin carving injuries. Allow kids to draw the face with markers and let the adults do the cutting. Then use a battery-operated light rather than a real candle inside for extra safety. You can also roast the seeds from the pumpkin3.
- Have a small group, outdoor, open-air costume party or costume parade where protective masks are used and where people are kept at least 6 feet apart4.
- Create a Halloween scavenger hunt in which children are given lists of Halloween-themed items to find while they walk from house to house, viewing Halloween decorations at a distance.
- Host a virtual Halloween costume contest with friends and neighbors; with a virtual event you can also include people who live far away, bringing everyone together for a fun night.
- Have a “scary” movie night and dress up as your favorite character. You can either do it with members of your household, or let children watch with their friends virtually with everyone starting the movie at the same time5.
- Have fun with food, such as decorating a pizza with toppings in the shape of a jack-o’-lantern, or Halloween-themed cookies. Make sure the treats do not include any choking hazards if you have young children6.
- Don’t visit indoor events such as haunted houses7.
- Look for events that are offered at parks, zoos or other outdoor venues. Make sure to maintain safe distance rules even when outdoors, and avoid close contact or clustering in groups.
- A local haunted forest or corn maze is also an option, as long as everyone is wearing a cloth face covering and maintaining an appropriate physical distance. There should also be one-way walk-throughs. If you think there may be screaming, maintain extra space from others.
- If you visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, use hand sanitizer before and after touching your pick, and keep your distance as appropriate.
- Remember, a costume mask is not the same as a cloth face mask unless it has many layers of breathable fabric and snugly covers the mouth and nose.
- If children will use their cloth face covering as part of their costumes, don’t let them paint them, as many paints contain toxins.
- As always, if you may have the virus or may have been exposed to someone with it, avoid coming into contact with others.
1, 3, 5-7. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Halloween-COVID-Safety-Tips.aspx
2, 4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween