Safe Ways to Celebrate Halloween During the COVID Pandemic
Many aspects of our daily lives have been greatly affected by the COIVD-19 pandemic, and our annual holiday celebrations are no exception. Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States, and many of the ways we enjoy it involve gathering with family and friends. As we know, big groups aren’t really possible right now, but do you have to ditch the Halloween fun all together?
We’ve already covered how you can enjoy trick-or-treating while social distancing and staying safe, but there are other ways to celebrate Halloween. Here are a few ways to enjoy Halloween while staying safe from COVID-19!
Virtual Halloween Parties
If you’re unable to get friends together for a Halloween party, the growth in popularity of video conferencing has given everyone a new option. It may not be “the same” as your annual costume party, but you and your friends can still have a great time.
After you create a guest list and choose a platform to use, pick a time to convene and help everyone get into the video chat when the time comes. Since you won’t actively be together, it helps to have activities planned that everyone can do together. Get everyone to make some Halloween-themed goodies or crafts, everyone taking a turn to lead one or the other. You can also visit some of the world’s famous haunted and spooky spots together with a virtual tour. And of course, what Halloween party would be complete without a costume contest?
Since you won’t actively be together, it helps to have activities planned that everyone can do together.
The virtual environment of your party offers several advantages you otherwise wouldn’t have. Most video conference platforms include special filters or effects that can enhance the presentation of the costumes. Music can also be included to take your contest to the next level. Each attendee can relax in the comfort of their own home and stay in the presence of others longer without having to plan for driving time. And best of all? You don’t have to go overboard with decorating or setting up for the party!
Horror Movie Marathon
Not looking to throw a party? Gather your friends, virtually of course, for a special Halloween cocktail (or mocktail!) and pick out a few of your favorite horror movies to show in a marathon. Simply dial everyone in and watch the movies together while on the call. This presents a nice advantage over traditional in-person movie marathons because you can mute that one friend who won’t stop talking!
If you’re not a huge horror fan, you can mix in a few horror-comedies or Halloween-themed movies like Young Frankenstein, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or The Monster Squad.
Organization is the most important part to a virtual movie marathon. There are plenty of different subgenres of horror and premade marathon lists that can help guide you. If you’re not a huge horror fan, you can mix in a few horror-comedies or Halloween-themed movies like Young Frankenstein, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or The Monster Squad. Just tailor your list to the tastes of your group. You’ll also want to pick a time to start the group video call and a time to start the movie so you’re all roughly at the same point in the movie. After the movie, you can either cue up the next film, talk about the previous film, or call it a night!
Drive-Thru Horror Events
Like the heart-pounding thrills of a professional haunted house, but worried about the pandemic? The industry has heard these fears and are developing ways to work around them. Namely, companies are beginning to develop drive-thru experiences, the first of which was announced in Tokyo. Other areas soon followed, including Houston and Los Angeles, with the aim to bring safety and horror in equal measures.
Even though you’re safe in your car, the companies promise total immersion, so get ready to be scared.
The general idea is that visitors will drive their car to a specific area (strict safety guidelines like speed limits are in place), where the actors will begin their scene. Even though you’re safe in your car, the companies promise total immersion, so get ready to be scared. Once the scene is done, visitors move to the next area. For safety, there won’t be any scares between scenes, since that’s when cars are in motion. Each group is keeping their cards close to their chests about stories and scares, but the themes seem to range from Stranger Things to zombies and more. There’s even family-friendly nights that are a little less scary for kids!
A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch
Of course, not everything dealing with Halloween is horrifying. Carving Jack-o-Lanterns is a popular, fun tradition of Halloween. Pumpkin-picking checks off a lot of the suggestions for a safe activity during the pandemic, though it is considered a moderate-risk activity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Simply being outdoors can lower your chances of catching or spreading COVID.
First and foremost, it’s outside, which lends itself to a number of safety precautions. Simply being outdoors can lower your chances of catching or spreading COVID. Pumpkin-picking is also an activity that allows for easy social distancing with other groups since there’s plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Even though you’re outside, you should still wear a mask, though.
● ● ●
Halloween can be a fun holiday, and it’d be a shame to lose that in the face of a global pandemic. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is exactly that, a global pandemic. We all have to do our part to make sure that we are protecting our loved ones and our community by limiting the spread until the sickness is more under control. That doesn’t mean we have to completely scrap our Halloween fun, though. As you can see, there are plenty of ways that we can be clever enough to thrill and terrify ourselves while still being COVID-safe this year.