As we balance our desire to return to some sense of normalcy with the ongoing need to follow COVID protocols, we all need to figure out how we are handling Halloween this year. We certainly won’t be bobbing for apples, but there are plenty of other Halloween activities we can enjoy while staying safer.
1. Pick and carve pumpkins.
Picking pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch is an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed with proper social distancing and wearing a mask. Once you get your pumpkins home, you can also carve them outside, which means maybe a small group of your kids’ friends can come over for an outdoor pumpkin-carving party.
2. Host a backyard movie night.
Set up a backyard movie theater for an outdoor Halloween celebration. Spread out some chairs or blankets, distribute individual servings of popcorn and snacks, and pick your favorite scary (or not-so-scary) movies to watch with your family or friends. If you do not have an outdoor movie screen or projector, there is still time to order one for quick delivery before Halloween.
3. Tell ghost stories around the fire.
Gather around your fire pit or patio fireplace to enjoy a socially distanced celebration filled with your favorite ghost stories.
4. Plan outdoor games and crafts.
If you are hosting a small Halloween gathering, keep it outside and plan themed games and crafts to keep both kids and adults entertained. When including crafts, make individual craft kits for each guest with everything they need to complete the project. If folks are not sharing supplies, they can more easily maintain social distancing and will not come in contact with the same surfaces as much.
5. Make a plan for safer trick-or-treating.
If you plan on taking your kids trick-or-treating this year, make it safer by having a plan and making sure everyone adheres to it. Your plan should include staying outside, social distancing, and wearing masks. You can make or buy masks to match your kids’ costumes to make this part more fun, but kids are so used to wearing masks at this point, that it probably won’t take much convincing. Keep your group small and determine a limited number of houses to go to before you head out so that your kids are not disappointed that they aren’t hitting every house on the street.
6. Give out candy safely.
If you are planning on handing out candy, take steps to keep your family and the trick-or-treaters safer. Consider making individual treat bags to set out on a bench or table and replenish throughout the evening. This is better than having little hands grab candy from a communal bowl, but if you would rather set out a bowl filled with treats, be sure to set out some hand sanitizer with a note asking folks to sanitize their hands before taking candy. Either way, you can still enjoy the parade of costumes by greeting trick-or-treaters from your door while they pick up their treat bag at the end of your porch or in your driveway.
AimeeJo Davis-Varela is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, sustainable home improvement, eco-friendly landscaping, green living and travel writing. She is also the owner of Mind Your Manors, which provides second home management services.
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