Halloween without trick or treating, haunted houses, or indoor costume parties: This is our 2020 reality. Our childhood selves wail in disapproval. Our adult selves, while understandably a little put out, know better.
Fret not. You don’t have to cancel Halloween. You only have to rethink it, getting a little more creative than usual. Welcome to Covered’s COVID-safe ideas for 5 things to do this Halloween!
Before we dive in, however, let’s dispense with a few important practicalities:
Check state and local guidance on in-person gatherings. Your state public health website is a great place to start. Some areas have tightened regulations due to recent COVID spikes.
Review relevant guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Better understand and limit your risk by reading the CDC’s Halloween-specific guidance and recommendations.
Continue observing COVID-safe protocols. Whatever your plans, cloth face masks and social distancing are still critical. Halloween costume masks will NOT provide adequate protection. (Well, unless you’re dressing up as a medical professional who’s wearing a cloth face mask…)
Alright. Now that Dr. Fauci is happy, let’s get to those ideas for celebrating a COVID-safe Halloween!
Get Fancy with Some Halloween-themed Food
Unleash your inner cut-rate Martha Stewart by planning a Halloween-themed meal for your household. Desserts are a natural fit, with cupcakes offering hundreds of easy possibilities. You can create a meal that’s entirely orange and black, taking it as upscale (homemade pumpernickel and caviar) or low-budget (Doritos and store-bought black bean dip) as you like. You can try your hand at making delicious things that only appear to be frighteningly disgusting. Or you can go retro, offering up candied apples, popcorn balls, hot mulled cider, or an all-around disturbing-looking “vegetable beef loaf” sure to send everyone running.
Reimagine Trick or Treating: Treat Yo’ Self!
Door-to-door trick or treating just isn’t meant to be this year. But that doesn’t mean those kiddos have to go entirely without tricks and treats. Consider these COVID-safe alternatives:
Treat drop-off (aka reverse trick-or-treating). Have trusted friends or neighbors prepare treat parcels and drop them off on your doorstep. For absolute confidence, make sure you know what to expect and when. As an alternative, prepare parcels yourself and ding-dong-ditch your own house. Like a Halloween Santa who’s too smart to bother with those dangerous, impractical chimneys!
Treats by mail (aka Jeff Bezos to the rescue). Ask far-flung friends or family members to consider sending your kiddos treats by mail, or volunteer to do so for folks with kids. Put that Amazon Prime membership to work! Consider not only candy but also gifts like DVDs of scary movies, Halloween-themed decorations or craft projects, and costume accessories.
Trick-or-treat scavenger hunts. We love this inspiration, which comes straight from the CDC:
Create an indoor or outdoor trick-or-treat scavenger hunt at your own home. Hide treats as well as tricks (e.g., fake spiders, “ghosts” hung inside closets, motion-activated decor, Halloween-themed party favors). Kids collect the treats and favors they find.
Limit trick-or-treating to collecting Halloween SIGHTS. Give kids a list of Halloween-themed decor to look for — like carved pumpkins, bats, spiderwebs, witches, ghosts, ghouls, scary clowns, fake tombstones, spooky lights, skeletons, scarecrows, and zombies — and take them for a walk around your neighborhood so that they can check off all they see. Give treats as prizes when you get back home.
Have a Virtual(ly Hilarious) Halloween Costume Contest
You may feel like you’ve had your fill of Zoom calls and events. Still, a virtual Halloween costume contest could absolutely be worth the screen time and/or trouble. Kids and adults alike will have fun showing off their costumes. Encourage each household to plan costume-specific skits, or ask each person to perform a five-second dance to match their costume. Virtual smiles are still smiles!
Plan a Halloween Movie Night to Remember
Turn Halloween into a scary movie night for your household, picking an age-appropriate movie and prepping a couple of age-appropriate scares. Little kids will be best served by friendlier fare like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenweenie, The Addams Family, ParaNorman, or Monsters, Inc. Pair your choice with fake spiders hidden in the popcorn, a “ghost” hanging from a tree that you reveal by turning on the porch light, and Sharpie-scrawled spiders on the toilet paper, waiting to be revealed on a bathroom break. For older kids or adults-only households (caveat: where nobody has a heart condition), consider darker films like Get Out, Psycho, The Exorcist, It, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, or Halloween. Or take a walk on the lighter side with Ghostbusters, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or Beetlejuice. Serve up a side of scary with a genuinely frightening prank or two, like these ideas from Bustle (head in a jar, anyone?).
Host a BYOP Outdoor Pumpkin-carving Event
If your Halloween really won’t feel complete without an actual PARTY, we recommend making it an outdoor, socially-distanced-and-masked pumpkin-carving event. Host it somewhere folks can safely spread out, whether that means your backyard or a nearby park. Make it Bring-Your-Own-Pumpkin (BYOP), as well as BYO camp chairs, blankets, snacks, drinks, and safe carving tools. Invite people to wear Halloween-themed cloth face masks or COVID-appropriate costumes. Play Halloween-themed music, have people showcase their own finished pumpkins (from the safety of their own picnic blankets), and prepare treat parcels for folks to take home.
Bonus Insurance Tip
Skip the candles, and reduce the risk of an accidental Halloween fire in your home or yard! In your jack o’ lanterns and luminaria, use battery-powered lights or “flameless” candles rather than actual candles. Statistically, the time around Halloween sees a serious increase in accidental home fires causing property loss, injuries, or even death. While your homeowners insurance policy may provide coverage during an accidental Halloween fire, there’s no reason to push your luck. (For more tips, make sure to check out our 2019 blog on “6 Ways to Have a Safer Halloween.”)
At Covered, we’re all about sharing helpful tips — like did you know you may be able to get better homeowners insurance coverage for a lower price? There’s nothing scary about that! Find out today, getting a quote in 90 seconds or less. Got questions? Call us at (833) 487-2683 or send us a message.