How to Stay Safe this Halloween and Still Have Fun


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A pumpkin with a mask over it.

Emilyanne Richart, Reporter

There’s no question that this Halloween will be different from past years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it has to be any less fun.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses.” Luckily, there are a multitude of lower risk activities that you can do this Halloween to lower your chances of contracting the virus. The CDC outlined these low risk activities on their website, at You can carve pumpkins with members of your household and display them outside, decorate your living space with Halloween-themed decorations, do a Halloween scavenger hunt while on a walk, have a virtual Halloween costume contest, have a scary movie night, or have a scavenger trick-or-treat search in the safety of your home.

There are a variety of classic movies that you can watch on Halloween that are sure to make your night memorable. You can eat popcorn or other movie-style snacks with your family and watch films such as “Hocus Pocus” (1993) and “Ghostbusters” (1984). Or, you can go the opposite route and watch movies that will keep you up at night, such as “The Shining” (1980) or “Paranormal Activity” (2007). Either way, you can spend time with your family or a night to yourself while celebrating Halloween safely.

Another fun activity you can do with your family or by yourself is carving pumpkins. This Halloween tradition is fun to create and can be displayed outside for onlookers to see. Your house can resemble the Fall spirit with a couple of carved pumpkins by your doorstep. There are a variety of designs you can carve into the pumpkin, such as a wide grin or one that vaguely resembles a character from your favorite Halloween movie. You can even carve “The Nightmare Before Christmas” character Jack Skellington’s well-known smile into the pumpkin.

You can also do a Halloween scavenger hunt in your house by hiding treats around your house. You can make, or download, Halloween scavenger hunt cards to give clues as to where the treats are hiding. They can be taped under the dining room table or hidden behind books in a bookshelf. The clues can be clever or rhyme, whatever you prefer.

If you want to get out of the house, you can still be safe by distancing yourself from other people in addition to wearing a mask and washing your hands. You can do a Halloween scavenger hunt, which is the perfect way to walk around your neighborhood and not make contact with anyone. You can find free printable Halloween scavenger hunt lists on Pinterest or blogs on Google. These lists often involve searching for items such as a skeleton decoration, jack-o-lantern, or purple lights, in your neighborhood’s Halloween decorations.

If you want to stick to the tradition of trick-or-treating, the CDC has several recommendations to help you do so safely. If you’re passing out candy, the CDC recommends that you avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters by handing out treats outside. You can do this by setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to grab and go. If you’re the one going trick-or-treating, you should wear a mask, which you can incorporate into your costume. The CDC also recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with and to bring hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. When you get home after a night of trick or treating, you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating any treats.