Summer’s officially over and Halloween will be here before you know it. This is many people’s favorite time of year, especially kids that love monsters and candy.However, as well all know, everything looks a little different this year due to COVID-19. Halloween celebrations are no exception. But that doesn’t mean we have to sit out on all the fun.
A few extra precautions and intentionality in how we approach the holiday can make all the difference.
Here are 5 tips to help you and your family stay safe this Halloween:
- Avoid Large Gatherings
- Consider Alternate Methods of Celebrating Halloween
- Research Autumn Activities for Safe Practices
- Maintain Best Practices if Trick-or-Treating
- Explore New Ways of Handing Out Candy
1. Avoid Large Gatherings
This is usually a great time of year for city-sponsored festivities. This year is going to be quite different, however. Many municipalities are cancelling their standard celebrations. For instance, officials in Rutherford County, TN have cancelled the annual trick-or-treat event in Murfreesboro square. This event usually draws hundreds of visitors and local officials felt it wasn’t appropriate in the current climate.
This isn’t true for every city, though. And it doesn’t necessarily make it safe even if your local authorities don’t cancel any pre-planned events. You need to use your best judgement when it comes to these types of gatherings.
How many people are going to be there? Is it inside or outside? Will there be enough space to properly distance from other people? Ask yourself these questions when deciding whether or not to attend large-scale Halloween celebrations.
2. Consider Alternate Methods of Celebrating Halloween
This is a time to get creative. The truth is that there are numerous different ways to celebrate the spookiest time of the year. Planning your own, smaller event gives you full control of what precautions are being taken.
Consider hosting an outdoor movie screening or even a backyard gathering. You can provide food and drinks but try to offer single-serving packages. This keeps people from sticking their hands into the same containers.
Another option is to simply keep the celebration between you and your family. Decorate your home with ghosts and witches for your kids. Play fun games and watch your favorite (age appropriate) scary movies.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween, and this year is a good opportunity to try something different.
3. Research Autumn Activities for Safe Practices
There are plenty of autumn activities that are still possible. Haunted hayrides, corn mazes, and visits to the pumpkin patch are viable options this year as long as the hosting business is taking proper precautions.
This includes limiting the number of people allowed in a certain area, mask mandates, an updated cleaning regimen, and so on.
Be sure to call ahead before taking your family for a day trip. Inquire about their updated safety practices and make a decision on what’s best for your family from what you learn.
4. Maintain Best Practices if Trick-or-Treating
You can still practice safe behaviors even if you plan on participating in traditional Halloween activities such as trick-or-treating. Keep in mind the main recommendations throughout the entirety of COVID-19:
- Practice social distancing
- Maintain good hygiene
- Wear a face covering
There’s much more you can do besides these three items, but these are the main considerations.
First, limit the amount of people in your trick-or-treating group. Many kids like to hit the neighborhood with a pack of their friends, but try to limit your groups to three or four kids this year.
Bring along hand sanitizer so you can clean up multiple times throughout the night. It would be great if you can wipe your hands off after every home.
This is perhaps the easiest day of the year to wear a mask. However, understand that many Halloween masks aren’t going to provide the necessary protection. Plan ahead and incorporate your everyday mask into the costume — either wearing it underneath your spooky mask, or working it into your overall look.
5. Explore New Ways of Handing Out Candy
Inviting people to your home for candy might seem like a risky move. However, there are two ways you can go about doing this while giving yourself the best chance at staying safe.
The first method is to put the treats outside. You can prepare individual bags of treats that can be left on a small table on your porch, or perhaps even a chair. These will need to be restocked as the night goes on. Another option is to simply fill a bowl with individually-wrapped candies. However, this means many people will be sticking their hands into a singular area which has the potential to create problems.
The second method is to hand out the candy yourself. However, you’re going to need to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer after every visitor.
Halloween is going to present its own set of challenges in the current climate. Pay attention to these considerations and you’ll be able to stay safe while having a great time.