One of the things that has kept me going mentally over the past six months has been my garden. Trust me…this thing is nothing to write home about! But it gives me a sense of pride when I look out from my window and I see the tall stalks of our corn blowing in the wind. While I haven’t been able to control a lot since March, I know that this little space I’ve created will be there every day, ready to be watered and weeded. The champions of my garden, without a doubt, have been my pumpkins. I’ve watched these things grow from tiny green balls, to beautiful orange spheres. I’ve been waiting with so much anticipation for October so I can finally cut them off the vine and bring them into our home. Halloween, here we come!
With our Health Officer’s recent announcement about in-person trick-or-treating, along with recommendations from the CDC, I will be honest: I was disappointed. It is okay to feel this way (something I tell myself frequently), and it is normal to mourn our “normal” holiday traditions. That being said, to dwell on this would do a great disservice to ourselves and our loved ones.
So traditional in-person trick-or-treating isn’t happening this year? Okay. There is so much that we can still do—and still control—despite these challenges.
So let’s explore these creative options!
1. Decorate your house and/or yard. You can even hold a contest with your neighbors and vote on the spookiest house!
2. Carve your pumpkins in the front yard this year and have your neighbors do the same. Enjoy this holiday tradition with other families, while keeping a safe distance. Play some Halloween-themed music (Monster Mash, anyone?), and do your best Thriller moves.
3. Coordinate a Halloween scavenger hunt by giving your kids a list of Halloween-themed decorations to look for while they walk outdoors (think cobwebs, ghosts, and black cats).
4. Hold a virtual costume party via video chat with family or friends. Hold a contest for most creative, scariest, sparkliest, best overall, etc.
5. Exchange candy with a few families you know. Do a drop-off delivery at their doorstep for a Halloween surprise for the kids. If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
6. Trick-or-treat inside your home—or in the yard—by hiding candy for your kids to find. A few jump-scares may be in order for older kids (so long as this is something that they would find enjoyable!).
7. Have a spooky movie night or Halloween craft party with the family. Call your local library and ask to have some Halloween-themed DVDs or books put together, and pick them up using the library’s curbside pick-up.
If none of these strike your fancy, ask around and see what other people might be planning. Get creative and try some new things. Who knows…you may incorporate some of these 2020 Halloween activities into your future holiday traditions! For some more helpful insights into COVID-safe holiday fun, visit the CDC’s holiday page. Take care of yourself, and happy haunting!
Note: Skagit County’s Health Officer has recommended against in-person trick-or-treating this year because it “presents too much of a risk for widespread community transmission.” We realize that there may be families who still participate this year, despite the recommendation. For those who intend to trick-or-treat, it is imperative that the following health precautions be taken.
Handing out candy:
- Offer no-contact treats by bagging up separate treats and placing them away from your front door or in your yard or near the sidewalk. Allow trick-or-treaters to gather candy while remaining physically distanced.
- If you are preparing bags of candy, wash your hands well before and after preparing the bags.
- Do not substitute a Halloween mask for a face covering. Wear an approved face mask. Find one that fits in with your costume!
- Maintain six feet of distance from other trick-or-treaters or residents who are handing out candy.
- If you are trick-or-treating with others outside your household, keep six feet of distance between yourselves.
- Stay away from large costume parties or trick-or-treating events.
- Bring plenty of hand sanitizer with you.