Halloween celebrations are sure to look a little bit different this season — but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on celebrating the most frightfully fun day of the year! From taking your annual costume party to Zoom to coming up with new methods for trick-or-treating, there are all sorts of creative ways to have a safe and spooktacular Halloween.
First and foremost, remember to look for guidance from local and national public health officials. The CDC has a lengthy list of safety precautions to take during the fall holidays, along with some fun ideas for socially distanced celebrations:
- Wear a mask when around people who don’t live with you. Remember that a rubber costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
- Regularly wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place.
- Regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and shared items between useusing EPA-approved disinfectants.
- When in public, try to maintain a distance of at least six feet or more from people you don’t live with.
- Do not attend any holiday events if anyone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19, is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results, or if they may have been exposed any time in the last 14 days.
While these important guidelines mean that standard trick-or-treating and exploring crowded haunted houses may be out of the picture this year, there are still all sorts of clever ways to make the most of this fun and festive day.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are seven creative ways to observe a socially distanced Halloween in Chicagoland:
1.) Take Your Halloween Celebrations Online
Video conferencing can be a great way to adapt some of your favorite Halloween traditions for the era of social distancing. Host an online dinner party with friends from around the country, or throw your annual costume contest over Zoom or Skype. Have everyone choose a scary Halloween-themed background and take part in a scary stories contest, or lead your kids on a virtual trick-or-treat expedition by organizing a Zoom call with your neighbors.
2.) Host a Socially Distanced Costume Parade
While you may not be able to enjoy an indoor costume ball this year, you can still take the fun outdoors! Think about dressing up with members of your household, decorating your car, and participating in a Halloween vehicle parade through your community with your friends and neighbors. You could also consider having a small group, open-air costume parade — as long as people are distanced more than six feet apart, as the CDC explains.
3.) Decorate Your Home, Inside and Out
Don’t be shy about decorating your home to embrace the Halloween spirit! The CDC says that carving and decorating pumpkins is a low-risk activity — you can even do it with neighbors and friends as long as you stay outdoors and keep a safe distance. Hang a festive Halloween flag or banner, decorate your tables with seasonal centerpieces, or break out your spookiest home decor. Consider embracing fall colors with locally grown seasonal flowers, or decorate your porch with lots of rustic autumnal flair. On Halloween night, you could even take a walk or drive through your neighborhood to see all the decorations in your community.
4.) Enjoy a Movie Marathon
What could be better than a Halloween movie marathon? Pop the popcorn, turn down the lights, and curl up on the couch to watch your favorite scary classics. You could even throw a virtual watch party with friends and family from around the country. Zoom and other video conferencing apps make it easy to watch a movie with friends while keeping your distance, and streaming apps like Netflix let you schedule online watch parties with people you choose.
5.) Host a Halloween Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be a fun way to transform Halloween into an adventure. As a substitute for door-to-door trick or treating, you could hide prizes or clues around your home and encourage your little ones to seek them out. Or, for an outdoor activity, the CDC says that you can give children “lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.” For example, ten points for each pumpkin, 50 points for a giant spider, and so on.
6.) Visit a Local Orchard or Fall Market
A crisp, golden October Day can be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Look into local orchards, forest preserves, pumpkin patches, and parks that can give you the chance to escape into nature for a few hours. In addition to hiking and biking trails where you can keep your distance, the CDC encourages sticking to outdoor sites “where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing.”
7.) Prepare and Send Halloween Care Packages
While you may not be able to give away armfuls of candy this year, you can still show your friends and loved ones that you’re thinking of them. Your whole family can work together to create Halloween care packages filled with pre-packaged candy, cleaning supplies, fun Halloween decorations, and a friendly greeting card or handwritten letter. You can ship these packages to your loved ones, or drop off care packages for people in your neighborhood. Just remember to keep your distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands along the way.
Chicagoland, We’re By Your Side — No Matter What
This is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, and the bonds that tie us together. Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, our home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.
We are here for you, no matter what. We understand that you still have important real estate decisions to make, and our mission is to make achieving those goals easier. We will continue to provide the most updated information and guide you through this extraordinary time with a calm and steady hand.