Choosing costumes, decorating pumpkins and trick-or-treating bring joy to many children at Halloween. While the usual spooky traditions may look different this year to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still plenty of ways families can have fun while avoiding the scare of being exposed to or spreading the virus.
Most importantly, keep doing what you have been doing: avoiding large gatherings, keeping six feet from others, wearing cloth face coverings and washing your hands often. Follow our additional recommendations below for a fun and safe Halloween for everyone.
Create Halloween Magic at Home
To avoid any potential exposure to COVID-19 this Halloween, we suggest staying home and making some new traditions! Put a new twist on Halloween, while keeping the evening just as spooky and special as ever, with the following ideas.
- Virtual costume parties: Halloween goes digital! Use video chats for an online party with friends and family to show off costumes and play games. Have fun with it!
- Spooky movie night: Celebrate as a family at home with a movie night and dress as your favorite characters. Consider letting your child watch with their friends while video chatting, with everyone starting the movie at the same time.
- Pumpkin decorating: As always, this is one Halloween tradition that’s as safe and fun as ever. Kids can draw faces with markers while parents carve the pumpkin. Decorate with stickers, glitter and paint to add a little more flair to your jack-o’-lantern.
- Craft projects and contests: Consider making craft projects and virtually host a contest. Decorate masks, paint pumpkins, create Halloween-themed snacks. Be creative and start a fun, new tradition that can add to your celebration every year!
- Haunted candy hunt: Hide candy around your home, then provide your kiddos with flashlights and candy buckets or bags. Turn off the lights and start the hunt. This spooky spin on egg hunts is fun for kids and parents alike! You could also turn this into a scavenger hunt with themed clues.
Avoid indoor events such as haunted houses. A local corn maze may be a better option, if social distancing and one-way walk through are enforced and face coverings are worn. If you go to a pumpkin patch, use hand sanitizer before and after touching what you pick.
If it is possible for everyone to stay at least six feet apart and wear cloth face coverings, team up with your neighbors to do a small, socially distanced neighborhood costume parade. Remember, a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face covering.
Trick-or-Treating in Your Neighborhood
Families should err on the side of caution when it comes to trick-or-treating and stay home instead. If you’ve decided to keep the tradition, anyway, make sure to do so safely. Avoid large groups or clustering at doorsteps or in driveways, and make sure all parties are wearing protective face coverings. Consider sitting outside to hand out treats and lining up individually packaged treat bags for trick-or-treaters to take. Many people have even found creative ways to transport treats, including PVC slides from your doorstep to the street. A fun alternative to trick-or-treating is a family scavenger hunt for treats in your yard.
If your child collects treats from a few, socially-distanced neighbors, wipe the packages or let them sit for a few days before giving them to your child, as it’s unclear how touching objects spreads the COVID-19 virus. And, of course, use hand sanitizer and/or wash hands before and after trick-or-treating and handing out treats!
Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for you to get creative and maybe even add new traditions to your family celebrations. More importantly, it’s a great time to teach kids the importance of protecting themselves and others. Learn more about how TMH is keeping our community safe all year round at TMH.ORG