7 Tips for a Safe, Socially Distanced Halloween
Somehow, it’s October already, and despite the pandemic that’s still raging on around us, Halloween is fast approaching.
If you have kids, that brings up new and unprecedented concerns. Should you chance it and let them do their typical trick-or-treating? Is it better to skip the holiday entirely and just watch movies at home?
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be so black-and-white.
Do you want to celebrate the holiday without putting your family at big risk?
Here are some tips for ringing in Halloween with social distancing in mind
1. Consider a neighborhood parade instead of trick-or-treating.
Get together with your neighbors and talk trick-or-treating alternatives. A good option is a parade — ideally one by car. You can all decorate your vehicles, don your best costumes, and drive around the streets one by one blasting spooky music (hello, Monster Mash!) You could even vote on the best costumes and dole out prizes.
Porch parties are also another option. Pick a time Halloween night to all go out on your porch. Play scary music, show off your costumes, and toss goody bags back and forth. (Just make sure to wash your hands after).
2. Adjust how you hand out candy.
If trick-or-treating is still going on in your area, make plans to adjust your candy hand-off strategy.
Rather than having kiddos ring the doorbell and interact with you directly, consider one of these more creative options:
- Tape the candy to popsicle sticks, and place them throughout the front yard. Kids can grab one as they pass by.
- Put out a table, and scatter the candy across it. Make sure to put a bottle of hand sanitizer out, too.
- Create a hands-off contraption like these homeowners. You can also use a clothesline to slide candy down from your porch.
3. Choose outdoor activities when possible.
If you’re going to do any Halloween-themed activities, opt for outdoor ones, where you can spread out properly and stick to yourselves. Good options include corn or hay mazes, haunted forests, scavenger hunts, etc.
Options like haunted houses, group hayrides, or costume parties at someone’s house — which are indoor and/or full of crowds — should be avoided. They’re not well-ventilated and will only increase your exposure.
4. Opt for virtual events.
Virtual celebrations are a good choice, too. You can host a costume party on Zoom, participate in a spooky, virtual escape room, or have a scary movie marathon via Netflix party. Get creative and try to find ways to celebrate with your favorite people digitally. There are more options out there than you might think.
5. Keep any in-person gatherings small and outdoors.
If you do opt to see a few people in person for the holiday, keep it small (think 10 people or less), and celebrate outdoors. Set up smaller tables for individual households, and make sure each one is at least six feet apart. Avoid activities that require sharing — like potluck dinners, bobbing for apples, and the like. Stick to ones you can collectively enjoy without being too close together (an outdoor movie screening, corn hole, horseshoes, etc.)
6. Choose costumes with masks and gloves.
While a costume mask isn’t a good replacement for a cloth or medical-grade face mask, it will provide extra protection on top of these precautions. Costumes with gloves are also a great option, especially if your child will be handling candy, ringing doorbells, or touching any shared surfaces.
If you really want your child protected, consider timely costumes like a nurse or doctor. They can wear a surgical face mask or shield, latex gloves, and other protective wear and be perfectly festive and on theme.
7. Stick with your household.
Finally, avoid congregating with people who aren’t in your immediate family or a part of your everyday household. Ask your kids to stick together (rather than going with friends) if you let them trick or treat, and keep any gatherings within the family. This will cut down on the potential exposure for you and everyone involved.
When in doubt, stay home
If you’re still feeling leery about celebrating the holidays, then stay home and ring in All Hallow’s Eve solo. Turn off the porch light to keep trick-or-treaters at bay, and let each family member pick their favorite scary movie. Turn it into an all-night movie marathon, complete with candy, popcorn, and all the best snacks. You can even wear your costumes on the couch (or in the backyard, if you’re doing an outdoor movie night.)
Do you want some more ideas for making the holiday fun at home? Then try these fall-themed activities on for size. Number seven can be a great way to ring in the night!