Halloween is an annual rite of passage for kids. From the first time a new walker toddles up to trick or treat with his parents, to older kids finally being allowed to go door-to-door on their own—Halloween is as much a part of childhood as any holiday. Which makes it one of the hardest things to see our kids giving up this year (along with birthdays, graduations and more). That’s why we decided to compile some of the best ways we’ve heard of getting into the spooky season—safely. Because while nothing is more important than keeping our kids safe (this year and always…), we’re moms—so we’ll obviously find a way to inject some joy into this day! Hope the list below helps you, too.
Wear Masks on Masks
Luckily, masks and Halloween go hand in hand. “With Halloween, this is a masked holiday anyway, and people in their homes can also wear masks,” says Manisha Juthani, infectious disease doctor at Yale Medicine and associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine. She notes that a costume mask is not the same as a cloth or medical mask, and those should be worn in addition to a costume mask.
Be Creative with Candy
“You can have a few trays of candy so that multiple kids can get candy without being right next to each other. Keeping nut-based candies on a separate tray is also a good idea for the kids with allergies,” says Dr. Juthani, adding that you may also skip nut-based candies all together. (To read about The Teal Pumpkin Project and keeping kids with nut allergies safe this holiday season, click here.) You can use a candy shute, a grabber hand or individually wrap little Halloween grab and go bags—these will all encourage proper social distancing throughout the evening.
Visit an Outdoor Haunted House
An open air, one-way, socially-distanced haunted house walk is fun for all ages. Before you go, though, double check that they’re accommodating for COVID protocols.
Host a Scavenger Hunt
“If you live on a street with multiple kids, you could have a Halloween scavenger hunt for candy through multiple yards,’ suggests Dr. Juthani. You can also do an indoor scavenger hunt with family only.
Activities like pumpkin carving can usually be done at a safe distance—the pumpkin itself can help households stay six feet away from other households during a neighborhood carving party.
Have a Spooky Movie Night
We love this list of silly (and just a little bit scary) movies for kids. If you’re sticking to a strict quarantine, a movie night may just be the ticket. For extra fun, have your kids dress up as their favorite characters from the movie!
Do a Halloween Story Time
There are so many fun options for all ages, from board to chapter books.
Go on a Décor Drive
Some neighborhoods are going all out, so families can drive by to admire their handiwork. Ask around for the best streets, pack up some fun snacks and make a night touring some decked out neighborhoods.
Zoom costume parties can be a great way to be completely safe while connecting with friends outside your home. Adults can add a spooky cocktail for a post-bedtime holiday soiree.
Remember the Usual Safety Protocols
Social distancing, hand-washing, mask-wearing and staying outdoors, no matter what way you celebrate, can lessen the risk of infection. The bottom line is, we’ve never had Halloween during a pandemic like this–so experts are advising against trick or treating or if they do, asking people to be as safe as possible, to avoid a “super-spreader” event. If you do decide to go door to door, don’t forget these simple steps above, and stick to uncrowded streets, as opposed to your usual routine of hitting the “hot” Halloween neighborhoods.
This originally appeared on The Local Moms Network. For more information on COVID-19 safety and Halloween from the CDC, click here.