On the recent Thanksgiving weekend, Canadians were asked not to gather in large groups and in some provinces, urged not to visit with anyone outside of their own household. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the holiday season more challenging, to say the least, and Christmas and other winter holiday celebrations will likely look quite different this year.
But before we get to December, there’s another big celebration on the calendar: Halloween, which falls on a Saturday and is expected to have a brilliant full moon. While it seems plausible that trick-or-treating will still happen in many regions - it’s an outdoor activity, after all, and can be done while social distancing - other regions will be discouraging door-to-door Halloween activities as well as community activities such as parties or costume parades. Some families may opt not to take the risk, even if trick-or-treating is allowed. This is particularly true in densely populated areas or current COVID-19 hot spots.
No matter how the pandemic impacts your Halloween plans, there are ways to have a spooky good time. Here are some great ways to celebrate safely on October 31st.
Have a Halloween Scavenger Hunt
If you have kids, take a cue from the Easter Bunny this Halloween and hide all the treats. Give each child a “boo basket” (this can be as simple as a grocery bag or pillowcase) and have them search for Halloween treats that you’ve hidden all over the house. Or, make it a scavenger hunt with written clues along the way! Play some Halloween music, dim the lights if you can and enjoy this 2020 twist on trick-or-treating.
If you really want to get out there on Halloween but hope to limit contact with others, arrange to meet a few friends in a public space like the parking lot of a local park or shopping centre. Park in a wide circle with the other vehicles and maintain distance while trick-or-treating out of each car’s trunk. Bring hand sanitizer and consider letting your treats sit untouched for a day or two before diving in (a challenge, we know). We also recommend wearing a mask if you’re interacting with others, even outdoors - and remember, a Halloween mask doesn’t count! The CDC even said so.
Make a Backyard Haunted House
If you have a backyard, it’s the perfect setting for a homemade haunted house for your kids (and even your neighbours) to enjoy. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get in costume! All you need is some inexpensive decorations, some creativity and your imagination. You can create a creepy graveyard using cardboard headstones and plastic bones, hang ghosts and goblins from your fence or trees, hide plastic skulls in the garden or hang a flying witch from an overhead tree branch. Most bargain stores have inexpensive Halloween decor and in a pinch, a plain white sheet makes a great ghost. Or, make your own with simple paper and markers! Don’t forget the jack-o-lanterns.
Have a Scary Movie Night
Spooky, eerie or downright terrifying - how do you like your scary movies? If your household includes adults or teenagers, consider holding a screening of some classic slasher flicks. There are some pretty incredible 1980s gems to choose from, not to mention the popular suspense and horror franchises of the 90s and early 2000s. Turn off the lights, hit play and get ready to jump and scream in fright! If you’ve got young kids at home, try something more silly than spooky. A Halloween-themed cartoon or family-friendly film about witches will do just fine. Make some popcorn, bust out the Halloween candy and say BOO!
Party With Your Household
Gathering with friends and other families will likely be discouraged in many areas, but you can plan a great Halloween party within your household. Get in costume, bob for apples, play Halloween-themed games and dance along to songs like Thriller and Monster Mash. No costume yet? No worries - it’s a great excuse to enjoy some DIY time with your family or housemates. If you have a chiminea or fire pit in your backyard, consider an evening of ghost stories by the fire (or some Halloween smores). When you’ve got costumes, a spooky atmosphere and plenty of chocolate, you’re set for a wonderful night. Happy Halloween!