Halloween is quickly approaching, and it’s a dose of fun every family is in dire need of right now. But considering the pandemic, are traditional Halloween activities off the table? Is trick-or-treating allowed? Can you show off this year’s homemade costume at a spooky soirée? Is Halloween a holiday? No matter what your celebrations look like—and whether they’re in person or not—here’s what to do on Halloween 2020.
Trick-or-Treating: Halloween Safety Tips
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he won’t formally ban trick-or-treating this Halloween, but he doesn’t necessarily encourage parents to take their kids door-to-door either. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified traditional trick-or-treating (where treats are handed to children going door-to-door) as a high-risk activity and instead recommends the following alternatives:
- Individually wrap goodie bags and line them up at the end of your yard or driveway for neighbors to come collect in their costumes.
- Create a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search in your home or backyard for family and friends.
You can determine the risk-level of trick-or-treating in your area with Hershey’s new Halloween website, halloween2020.org. It tracks the risk levels (red, orange, yellow, and green) of trick-or-treating throughout the country.
According to the map, Staten Island is in the yellow zone.
If your family ultimately chooses to go door-to-door, everyone should wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth and regularly sanitize, especially if chowing down on some treats during the trip. Remember: Not every family will feel comfortable handing out treats this year, so be patient and understanding—and try not to ring the doorbell more than once!
Is My Halloween Mask a CDC Face Covering?
A costume mask for Halloween cannot be substituted for a cloth face mask, according to the CDC, unless it’s made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that cover your mouth and nose and don’t leave any gaps around your face. Also, you and your little ones should not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can make it difficult to breathe. Instead, consider buying a fun Halloween-themed cloth mask or one that goes with your costume.
Halloween Activities in Your Area
There are still plenty of fun Halloween events and activities in the area for you and your family to attend. Some are in-person with extra safety precautions and regulations and some are virtual!
How to Have a Safe Costume Party
As we know, outdoor activities are lower risk than indoor ones. Since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, consider hosting an afternoon gathering with just a few guests in your backyard, as long as everyone follows social distancing and face mask guidelines.
If staying home is more your jam right now, throw a costume party (and contest) over Zoom. You can even use spooky Zoom backgrounds to make it feel like a real graveyard smash.
Unfortunately, many Halloween parades and organized events (like NYC’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade), have been canceled. However, you can safely create your own smaller parade outside, socially distanced, and with everyone in a mask (and of course, a costume!). Walk down the street where you normally trick-or-treat and have a costume contest at the end.
The Best Halloween Treats
What’s Halloween without treats? These Hershey Halloween Treats are essentials for this year’s celebrations. (Did someone say spooky grilled cheese?!)
Making jack-o’-lanterns is a timeless Halloween activity that can easily be done outside. Everyone can bring their own pumpkins, tools, and hand sanitizer—and sit 6 feet apart. You can either carve up a spooky jack-o’-lantern the old fashioned way, or decorate one with stickers, paint, googly eyes, and even hair! May the best pumpkin win!
(Not-So) Scary Halloween Movie Nights
Enjoy a spooky (or not-so-spooky) Halloween flick with the fam hosting a Halloween movie marathon at home.
Did you know there’s a Facebook group dedicated entirely to the best haunted houses and decorations on Staten Island? Join the group and spend a night driving around to find the spookiest sights around!
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