In a year that’s had plenty of scares, many of us are still wondering what a pandemic Halloween will actually look like. The traditional ways of celebrating this holiday seem more frightful than ever with the possible risk of spreading COVID-19 looming in the background.

Can Halloween be saved? Or should we give up on this ghoulish season? The CDC’s guidelines for a safe Halloween during the pandemic lists alternatives to classic activities, like trick-or-treating, and gives us hope that we can still have fun on the spookiest day of the year.

Safe Halloween Activities

The following activities are festive and fun ways to celebrate Halloween safely with your family:

  • Carving pumpkins with members of your household and proudly putting them on display
  • Having a carving contest outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors and/or friends
  • Decorating your living space
  • Hosting a Halloween scavenger hunt – give out a list of Halloween-themed things to look for in your neighborhood, while you walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Organizing a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Enjoying a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Trick-or-treat indoors with members of your household, staging a scavenger hunt-style search for treats in or around your home

Halloween Activities to Avoid

Avoiding some of these higher risk activities will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of your friends and family:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where children are handed candy door to door
  • Trunk-or-treating where people gather and hand out treats from trunks of cars lined up
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to indoor haunted houses
  • Taking hayrides or tractor rides with people not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs that can cloud your judgement
  • Traveling to rural fall festivals outside your area, if you are from an area with community spread of COVID-19

Celebrate Safely & Responsibly

While these are some great ideas for a safe and spook-tacular Halloween, they aren’t the only ways to celebrate. Lots of people are getting creative in their celebrations. Outdoor costume parades that are socially distanced, goodies left outside houses to limit interaction, and open-air haunted forest walks are all fun activities with moderate risks according to the CDC.

However you decide to join in the festivities, we encourage you to protect yourself and loved ones by taking precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus. Make sure to maintain social distancing from those outside your household, wash your hands, wear a mask when needed (no, not just the one that came with your costume), and stay home if you’re sick.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!