We’ve made it through The Summer of the Rona. We’ve adjusted our work schedules, canceled our vacations, and postponed our parties. But now, there are holidays coming.
You know how everyone keeps saying things like, “Hope isn’t canceled”? Well friends, I would like to state for the record that Halloween in a pandemic also does not have to be canceled.
Sure, you might not be able to go to the church trunk or treat, and you might not be able to have a classroom costume party, but Halloween is actually the perfect holiday for safe and creative fun!
No Tricks, Just Treats
If greeting trick-or-treaters is your favorite Halloween activity, I have good news. While it’s not recommended to personally hand out candy (obviously), you can still make sure there are plenty of treats at your house!
– Set up a candy table
If you have the space, why not set up a spooky treat table? You can make individual bags of wrapped candy and let the kids grab one for contactless candy exchange, and you can even sit on the porch or near the table in full costume!
– Keep your front door open
If you have a storm door, you can always set up a treat station on your stoop and stay behind the glass. You’ll get to interact with trick-or-treaters and safely keep an eye on the candy supply, too.
Make Masks Part of the Fun
Nobody loves wearing a pandemic face mask, but if there was ever a time for rocking one, it’s definitely Halloween night.
A quick reminder! The masks that come with costumes aren’t a good substitute for your regular face coverings. You’ll still need to socially distance and bring a regular mask with you.
That being said, I’m all for incorporating your mask into your costume. Superhero doctors, zombie ninjas, veiled princesses, wrapped-up mummies … the possibilities are pretty endless. You can even decorate a special Halloween pandemic face mask with glow-in-the-dark paint, creepy googly eyes, or fake blood.
Halloween at Home
By now, most of us have our “quarantine pod” of friends and family that we’ve been around since lockdown started. If you don’t feel comfortable venturing out in public, that’s totally understandable! You can still have plenty of at-home Halloween fun with your pandemic fam.
– Easter egg hunt, but make it spooky
I’m an adult, and I still think this idea sounds fun. Instead of plastic eggs, you can get plastic pumpkins (like these), tiny cauldrons (like these), or even just decorate regular plastic eggs with glow-in-the-dark paint or fake blood. Fill them with sweets, toys, snacks or whatever you think is fun and age-appropriate!
If you have older kids, you can turn it into a more complicated scavenger hunt with a mystery prize at the end (horror movie night, a kitchen full of scary Halloween snacks, a traumatizing jumpscare … whatever you want!).
– Outdoor party, Monster Mash-style
You were already going to be outside for most of the night if there wasn’t a pandemic, so I say just keep with the spirit of it and have a big outdoor party.
There can be Halloween-themed games, a scary movie marathon, a costume contest, pumpkin carving, and (of course) tons of sweet and savory Halloween treats. If this is an adult party, definitely add some macabre cocktails to the menu, too.
I live in the South, so it’s usually not crazy chilly on Halloween night (sadly), but if you live somewhere that does get super cold, you can always limit your gathering to your quarantine fam and move the festivities indoors.
Risk and Reward—Don’t Let the Internet Scare You Out of Celebrating!
We’re all sick of COVID-19 precautions. I’m just as weary of sanitizing and staying home as you are, but we gotta do what we can to get through this thing, right?
That being said, it’s definitely possible to leave the house and have a fun Halloween without too much worry about spreading (or receiving) germs.
If you believe everything you read (or hear), then … well honestly, then you’re probably totally confused and throwing your hands up in the air because you have no idea what to believe about what’s safe and what’s risky.
So, let me give you a few tips to make everything a little easier (I hope!):
1. Skip the gloves. Just minimize contact with public surfaces, and sanitize your hands.
2. Costume masks won’t protect you or your neighbor, so be sure to have a cloth face covering on hand for passing through crowds. Don’t wear a cloth mask under your costume mask either; it makes breathing difficult!
3. COVID-19 doesn’t survive long on surfaces like candy wrappers, but if you’re worried about contamination, you can wipe down any trick-or-treating spoils with a disinfectant wipe, rubbing alcohol, or a diluted bleach solution.
4. If you’re partying, limit self-serve food and drink options, offer a designated handwashing or sanitizing station, and opt for single-use items wherever you can.
Do you have any other pandemic-friendly Halloween celebration suggestions? Drop them in the comments, and stay spooky, my friends!