COVID-19 has had a huge impact on many events, and Halloween 2020 is no exception. While trick-or-treating is going ahead in most communities, it is likely to look different than in past years. There are ways to keep the holiday safe for everyone, while still ensuring that everyone has fun.
Bubble, bubble: Kids who are going door-to-door should travel in small groups, and only with other children (siblings, friends, classmates) who are in their “bubble”.
Who was that masked man? Children (and any grown-ups accompanying them) should wear approved masks, as should homeowners greeting kids at the door. If a costume comes with a mask, the odds are that the mask is not designed to slow the spread of viruses. Do not wear a mask over or under the costume; instead, find an alternative cloth mask with an appropriately spooky theme and stick with that.
Knock knock, who’s there: If little ghouls are coming to the door, keep interactions as brief as possible and try to keep your distance.
Candy crush: Putting all the treats in a bowl and having kids help themselves is not ideal. It’s also not ideal to have kids crowding around the front door for you to hand out the treats. Instead, consider putting a table out at a safe distance from the front door and laying the treats out on that, so kids can take one. If you want to put hand sanitizer or wipes on the table as well, go ahead. Some people are constructing small slides or tubes to transport the candy from the front door to waiting kids, so if you have engineering/handyman skills you’re itching to try out, go for it. Hockey sticks have also been suggested as a way to safely pass candies to kids: put the candy on the blade, then extend the stick and deposit the candy in waiting bags. Slapshotting the candies to waiting kids is not recommended.
Good things come in small packages: Make sure your hands are clean and/or use disposable gloves while handling candy. Consider packaging the candy in small paper bags, or wrapping them with cling film in individual bundles, for children to pick up. It probably isn’t necessary for parents to clean or disinfect candies when the kids get home, but make sure your child washes her hands before diving in and sampling the sweets.
Party hearty (and healthy): Going on crowded hayrides, visiting indoor “haunted houses”, or attending large parties are not great ideas this year. If your Halloween celebrations usually include a large gathering, scale it back and/or hold it outdoors (weather permitting). Fun family-friendly Halloween events include a group pumpkin carving session in the run-up to Oct. 31: who can create the creepiest, kookiest, most mysterious and spookiest jack-o’-lantern? You can also decorate your house and yard, or go on a family tour around your neighbourhood to admire other displays (at a distance).
On the day itself, pick one or two age-appropriate spooky films and have your own fright night, complete with Halloween-friendly snacks like candy apples and popcorn. You can also hold a virtual costume contest or scavenger hunt with other families.