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How to plan a safe & healthy COVID-19 Halloween celebration

As people gear up to celebrate the spookiest season of the year, COVID-19 Halloween may look a little different. With restrictions on gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, many traditional Halloween activities are on hold this year, including trick-or-treating in many neighborhoods. But for those that still want to celebrate, Halloween 2020 is not totally cancelled. Luckily, there are plenty of socially distanced Halloween activities that you can still participate in. Plan a safe, spooky Halloween with these ideas.

How to stay safe on Halloween

A COVID-19 Halloween should still follow the CDC guidelines, including staying 6 feet apart from those outside your household. Social distancing on Halloween means you should avoid indoor house parties, crowded haunted houses, and bars. For many cities and counties, neighborhood trick-or-treating has also been cancelled to keep people safe. Check your county’s website for more details on what is allowed in your area. You should also still follow the guidelines of wearing a cloth mask or face covering on Halloween. 

A little planning ahead can help ensure your COVID-19 Halloween activities are safe for all involved. If you’re going to do an activity with people outside your household, make sure everyone knows the safety protocols ahead of time. If you plan on exchanging food with other households, individually wrapped treats or single-serve food is generally safer than a communal dish. 

Halloween costume ideas for COVID-19 

To ensure you stay safe celebrating October 31st, wearing a CDC-approved face mask is a must. While this may seem like a hindrance for your costume, a mask can actually make it more fun! Think of COVID-19 costume ideas that can incorporate the mask into the look. A great 2020 Halloween costume idea is to be a jack-o-lantern, and have a classic pumpkin grin on your mask. You can go for the classic doctor or nurse costume idea and still have a safe Halloween celebration, too. There are plenty of famous (or infamous!) characters that wear a mask too. Don’t be afraid to get creative! 

When choosing your 2020 costume, it’s important to note that a traditional Halloween mask does NOT replace the recommended cloth face mask. The CDC also warns against layering a cloth mask underneath a Halloween mask, as it can make it difficult to breathe. 

Safe outdoor activities

One of the safest ways to celebrate Halloween in 2020 is to take your spooky activities outdoors. If the weather is good in your area, you can try some of these socially distanced Halloween activities, perfect for adults and kids alike.

  • Pumpkin carving or painting. Nothing says Halloween like a carved jack-o-lantern! Pick up a pumpkin at a local farm or pumpkin patch, or try your local grocery store. If you’ve never carved a pumpkin before, you can purchase a carving kit, and print stencils online. Pumpkin painting is a great alternative if you’re not loving the idea of using a sharp knife, or are worried about your pumpkins lasting until Halloween. Pro tip: scoop out the seeds and bake them for a crunchy treat!
  • Get lost in a corn maze. Another fall favorite, corn mazes are a great outdoor activity that’s safe during COVID-19. You can even go in costume to make it more fun! Make sure the maze you visit ensures proper social distancing between groups. 
  • Visit an apple orchard. Apple picking is a common fall activity, and many local apple orchards are open for Halloween celebrations. Go during the day to pick apples (hello, apple pie!), or see if your orchard is open in the evening for a scarier experience. 
  • Walk a haunted forest trail. In lieu of a haunted house this year, try a haunted forest trail. Because it’s outside, a haunted forest is a safe COVID-19 Halloween experience as long as you stick to social distancing. Plus, the natural elements can be just as scary! If you plan on doing this Halloween activity with kids, make sure your local haunted trails are appropriate for children.
  • Neighborhood costume parade. Show off those COVID-19 costumes with a socially distanced costume parade. Plan the event with your community to make sure everyone follows the guidelines for wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart throughout the event. 

Indoor activities for Halloween 2020

Planning on staying in for Halloween 2020? With concerns over maintaining safety during COVID-19 Halloween celebrations, the best way to stay safe on Halloween in 2020 is to stay home. But with the right details, an evening in can be just as spook-tacular (and a whole lot safer). Here are some fun at-home ways to celebrate Halloween.

  • Scary movie marathon. Whether you’re home alone or with your family, watching horror movies on Halloween is always fun. Invite your friends to participate virtually at home, too. Vote on your favorite films and create a movie playlist. Then, have everybody tune in at the same time. Jump on video calls, or start a group chat to share your reactions. Oh, and don’t forget the popcorn. 
  • Make a monster feast. Fire up the oven and get cooking. Create a fun Halloween-themed meal, and bake spooky treats to go along with it! Need some ideas? Check out these scary-delicious recipes for your Halloween table. 
  • Host a virtual costume party. For adults looking for a safe way to celebrate Halloween in 2020, going digital is always a good idea. Invite your friends to a virtual costume party! Create themed e-invites, and go all-out on your decorations and costumes. During the event, play horror-themed trivia, have a costume contest, or even have a pumpkin beer tasting or wine-and-candy pairing. 

From all of us at Soothe, we hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!