Tips to Have a Fun and Safe Halloween
Posted on 09/23/2020
Fall Pumpkins

Autumn is here. The air is cooling. We are kicking off the fall and winter holiday seasons in just over a month with Halloween. Many have asked us, “Is Halloween canceled?” The short answer, absolutely not.

Many families in our area are already struggling with the upside down world we find ourselves in due to a very different, and sometimes depressing, year. Tensions are high in the US as we battle a novel virus that has taken the lives of over 200,000 Americans, are inundated with political messages, and have communities hurting from civil unrest. Many are feeling the heartache of these strange times while others are just feeling over it all and want life to get back to normal.

So what’s next? How do we handle a season where we typically gather with close family or friends for celebrations and parties? At the Health District, it is not our intention to cancel any holidays, however, we would not be doing our duty to you as our community health leader if we did not provide you the resources to make your celebrations this year as safe as possible.

Traditions may look a little different this year, but we need to remember to try to enjoy these time-honored and precious holidays in the spirit in which they were intended, while also keeping ourselves, our children and other members of our community safe.

The CDC has made a list of ideas of how to celebrate Halloween differently this year with a scale associated by risk. You can access that here.

The Washington State Department of Health is discouraging traditional trick-or-treating. Read more here.

Here are some ideas to celebrate more safely:

  • Evaluate the risk vs. reward. If you have a high-risk family member or if you have a high-risk person in your social 5, consider if the activities you choose put anyone at risk.
  • Stay local. If you choose to trick-or-treat, stay close to home and with members of your household. Avoid large groups of people outside and always keep that six foot distance.
  • Make that cloth mask fun. Get creative with costumes and incorporate your face covering into the costume. There are cute masks with animal mouths on them, etc. that could be incorporated into your theme. ***Remember, costume masks are not a replacement for cloth masks***
  • Choose treats wisely. Many houses will set treats outdoors to avoid close contact.
  • Keep it outside. Avoid gatherings of anyone outside your core 5 and your household.
  • Start a new tradition. Does your neighborhood have a social group? Consider proposing that houses decorate a treat station outdoors and sit on the porch, away from the goodies, and wave to all the passersby.

Other ideas to celebrate at home:

  • Buy some of your kids’ favorite treats (along with some healthy snacks) and hold a virtual Halloween.
  • Zoom, Duo or Facetime family and friends to show off your costumes. Share pics on social media in a private event group and think of prizes for all the participants and vote for your favorite.
  • Decorate indoors and out, turn off the lights and watch age-appropriate scary movies.
  • Start in mid to late October and “Boo” friends and family and get them in on the fun. Here’s a link for instructions.

However you choose to celebrate Halloween this year, keep it fun, but also keep it safe. Traditions are important for the social and emotional health of everyone, especially children. And of course, stay home if you’re feeling ill, have diagnosed COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact.