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  • Mariah Wilson

How to Celebrate Halloween in the time of COVID-19

A lot of parents have been humming and hawing about what to do this Halloween. Fortunately, traditional Halloween has not been cancelled in Calgary but participants will need to follow some ground rules in order to participate.

The City of Calgary has recommended that children stick within their cohort/"bubble" of friends and relatives as well as to maintain six feet of distance from other groups on the streets. Parents will need to get a bit creative by incorporating face masks into their kids' costumes. Even though Halloween has a plethora of costume masks — from goblins to ghouls — they don't meet the criteria for health safety. Also, to limit the amount of surfaces being touched, officials have recommended using objects similar to hockey sticks or brooms to ring doorbells. Remember to only go to houses with their lights on and to sanitize your hands as often as possible.

After getting home, it's strong encouraged to quarantine the candy you've collected for a few days somewhere that your family doesn't use very often (e.g. storage space, closet, garage, basement, etc.). You can read more guidelines by visiting this webpage.

On the flip side, if you're planning on handing out candy then you'll need to wear a proper face covering and either use tongs or a homemade chute to deliver candy to trick-or-treaters. Health officials recommend sanitizing or washing your hands after each interaction. You can also get a little creative by hanging pre-packaged bags of candy from a tree outside of your house, having a zipline from your front door, and even using a drone (see this CBC article to read some more).

Here is a great video on how to make your own chute with supplies that you have at home:

Some Alternatives to Traditional Halloween:

If you're deciding on forgoing traditional Halloween activities completely, then we have some great recommendations to still make this year's Halloween fun for everyone.

Have a Candy Scavenger Hunt

Before Hallow's Eve, hide some candy all over your house. Your kids can get dressed up in their spookiest Halloween costumes and turn the house upside down to find some sweet treats. This is a fun twist on the beloved Easter Egg Hunt and could become a new family tradition.

If your kids are a bit older, you can turn this into a puzzle-filled challenge where they'll have to work together in order to solve clues to find a large Halloween prize at the end.

Host a Spooktacular Party

You can get together with your cohort of friends and family to have a fun celebration at your house. Each guest can cook a dish with a Halloween twist for a potluck and everyone can wear their best Halloween costumes. Some fun activities you can incorporate into the evening include: a Monster Mash dance party, a Halloween costume contest (with a prize), a scavenger hunt, and a backyard bonfire.

Remember to keep the celebration small and to set-up places where people can sanitize and wash their hands. Here are some tips on hosting a gathering this Hallow's Eve.

See some Classic Halloween Movies on the Big Screen

If your family is more into a cozy night with candy, popcorn, and fuzzy blankets, then a movie night may be on the horizon. You can have each family member write down their favourite Halloween film on a piece of paper, place them in a witch's hat, and then randomly draw a movie to watch.

Some of our favourites include:

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Casper (1995)

Hotel Transylvania (2012)


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