Halloween is all about scary fun, but this year some traditional activities may need to be changed to keep COVID-19 away. The CDC recommends wearing a mask at all times when around people who don’t live in your household to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, staying six feet away from others and good hand washing. These few actions can keep you healthy and make you the superhero of the night, and the biggest winner, even if your costume doesn’t get a prize.
The websites healthychildren.org, Center for Disease Control, and National Safety Council are all offering suggestions for how to stay safe and still have fun this Halloween. It is on the night of a blue moon (the second full moon in a month), so you know you have to howl. Just do it with care.
Keep It Outside
One of the easiest things to do when celebrating this year is to do it outside. There are many activities that can take place outside, from outdoor costume contests, to bonfires, to corn mazes, to scary haunted woods. Just make sure you keep the six-foot distance between you and the ghoul crawling out of the grave. But then, that is just common sense.
Be imaginative. Other things that can be done outside are pumpkin carving or decorating contests, scary movie marathons, and you can go trick or treating if you remember to wear a face covering, keep six feet away from others, and wash down all candy wrappers with anti-viral wipes. Do not accept anything that is not individually wrapped and sealed. Make sure to put items out so they can be picked up, not handed out as is done traditonally.
Keep Celebrations at Home with Family
Most community Halloween activities that bring large groups of people together are being cancelled, so make it a special family activity. Decorating the house for Halloween can become a family event, or have each member of the family decorate a room and Zoom to friends to have them choose the best design. Give a prize to the winner.
Prepare special themed foods. Many websites and magazines have interesting recipes — like Eye Ball Cake Pops, Finger Cookies, Cheesecake Brain, Mummy Dogs, Ghost White Pizzas, and Bubbling Caldron Punch. All these recipes can be found on the Food Network website.
Have a Halloween themed scavenger hunt with family or close friends whom you know have stayed safe, too. Keep numbers very small.
Keep It on Zoom
Have a virtual Halloween celebration. Virtually you can have a costume contest, talk, eat, watch the same scary movie and have running humorous commentary, and even play games like charades.
Do Zoom by candlelight and read creepy stories to each other or tell ghost stories. There are a number of Improv theater games that can be adapted for online playing, Word at a Time Stories and Proverbs are adaptable, as are others that can be found at improvencyclopedia.com.
Keep It Safe
The main thing to do is to keep activities fun, while continuing to follow COVID protocols that keep everyone from exposure to the disease. This is a wonderful time to think “outside of the box” and do something different. Explore new ideas with kids and friends. Who knows, something you do this year while adapting to our strange world may become a future annual tradition.