Many families are searching for safe things to do on Halloween at home due to COVID-19.
Since the CDC has noted in their Halloween guidelines for 2020 many traditional Halloween activities such as trick or treating and attending parties may increase your risk of getting or spreading the virus, it’s time to get creative.
Our Complete Care team shares their ideas for safe things to do on Halloween at home. We’ve also provided you with tips on staying healthy just in case you do decide to go out, as well as a list of activities you really should avoid altogether.
Whatever you choose to do this Halloween, rest assured that our team is here and ready to help you should an emergency medical situation arise. We will be open all night long on Halloween and are always prepared to handle the same types of medical emergencies as an ER — but without the wait.
We also offer rapid COVID-19 testing for patients displaying symptoms. If you begin experiencing coronavirus-type symptoms before, during, or after your Halloween celebrations, visit your nearest Complete Care facility for quick and efficient testing.
Quarantine-O-Ween: 11 safe things to do on Halloween at home
While there are ways (which we will cover in a minute) to make the traditional Halloween walk around the neighborhood safer during the pandemic, the safest option by far for you and your family is to celebrate the holiday at home. Fortunately, you can still have an amazing Quarantine-O-Ween while following CDC guidelines. Here are some suggestions our staff has put together.
1. Halloween movie marathon
With hundreds of scary movies available on streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu, you and your family can always find movies to enjoy. If you or your family aren’t big fans of jump-scare flicks or creepy clowns, consider watching movies that fit around the theme of your or your children’s costumes. Grab some popcorn and/or candy or bake up some Halloween-themed treats to add to the fun.
2. Halloween egg hunt
Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. Simply trade in your Easter egg basket for a pumpkin bucket and hide candy around your house and backyard for your kids to find. If using plain Easter eggs feels too out-of-season, try adding stickers and using treats to mix things up.
3. Halloween-themed scavenger hunt
Want to take it up a notch from an egg hunt? A Halloween-themed scavenger hunt is perfect for older kids and adults. Consider using halloween-themed clues, adding little prizes to each destination, or raising the stakes of the end-goal (save Mom from the goblins by solving these mysteries, etc!)
4. Zoom costume party
Just because you can’t parade your costumes around the neighborhood doesn’t mean that it has to languish in the closet! If you have family and friends you would like to see dressed up, consider having a costume party via Zoom. You can even award prizes based on the most creative, silly, or scary costumes. This is a great idea for grandparents who want to see their grandkids in costume.
5. Pumpkin carving contest + pumpkin decorating
Carving pumpkins is a fun tradition to have and is something you can do at the kitchen table or, if you do have a few guests over, preferably the backyard. While very small kids may not be able to carve pumpkins themselves, they typically enjoy scooping out the pumpkin “guts.” Small children can also decorate pumpkins using sharpies, paint pens, googly eyes, stickers, and so on. You can play a Halloween playlist in the background to up the ambiance.
Remember to be extra careful when using sharp knives. If you do happen to get a deep cut, put pressure on the wound and head to Complete Care for quick and efficient treatment.
6. Tell ghost stories
When’s the last time you sat in the dark and told scary stories? This is one of the easiest things to do on Halloween at home because it doesn’t require any additional supplies. If you don’t know any ghost stories and are unable to make one up, the internet is your best friend. For example, since it’s in the public domain, you can even find a complete recording of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on LibriVox.
7. Make spooky cocktails
Have a few adults in the house? For a delicious treat, try making custom witch’s brew cocktails or mocktails. We’ve even seen folks freeze plastic spiders into ice cubes to up the spooky factor. (Just keep in mind that these can create a choking hazard, so be extra careful and skip this idea if you have small children.)
8. Decorate Halloween-themed face masks
The doctors, nurses, and staff at Complete Care will, of course, be dressed as (real) doctors, nurses, and staff this Halloween… but unless you opt to dress up as a (scary) medical professional this Halloween, your typical medical face mask is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Solve this problem by decorating a cloth mask to match your costume! Just make sure to use a mask that uses at least two layers of fabric.
We do not advise wearing a standard face mask under a costume mask, as this could significantly hinder breathing.
9. Make your house a haunted house
Do you and your family typically go to a haunted house for Halloween? This year, consider making your own house or backyard a spooky walk through for your kids. Just make sure that you include enough lighting so that nobody trips and falls in the dark!
COVID-19 is most frequently spread via airborne transmission, and screaming is more likely to up the virus than talking. For that reason, we do not recommend having other people over to explore your haunted house, since doing so will likely involve screaming in close quarters.
10. Face paint and photos
An oldie but a goodie! If you are artistically inclined, stock up on a little facepaint and give the kids’ costume(s) that added oomph with some custom face painting or Halloween makeup! Snap some photos as a memento and send them to friends and family. Again, this idea is best for families and not if you have other people over, as it involves you breathing near the face of your little ones.
11. Create a candy chute to send candy far away from your door
Even if you stay home for Halloween, others may not. If you want to hand out candy to your neighbors while maintaining social distancing, consider taking a page out of Ohio dad Andrew Beattie’s book. Beattie created a candy chute that lets you hand out candy in a fun, contact-free way. Simply use a 6 ft. long tube, tarp, bed sheet, or a slip and slide, to create a makeshift candy chute. Remember to wear gloves and to change those gloves out regularly!
The bottom line: Is it safe to celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The short answer is: it depends on how and where you celebrate. As a healthcare provider, we strongly recommend that you stay home this year to help slow the spread of this virus. However, we recognize that not everyone is going to follow that recommendation. If this is the case for you or other members of your family, there are still simple things you can do to help protect yourself and others on Halloween night.
How to protect yourself if you do go out on Halloween
What should you do to protect yourself if you do go trick-or-treating? And what activities should I avoid for Halloween during COVID-19, even if I do choose to go out? We recommend the following.
- Wear a mask (not just a Halloween mask.)
- Use hand sanitizer (made with 60% or more alcohol content).
- Stay 6 ft. away from others.
- Wash your hands before eating candy.
- Avoid houses or trunk-or-treats that encourage children to get candy by putting their hands in a single communal bucket, as well as locations where the owners are not practicing social distancing or following safety measures such as wearing masks. Instead look for houses or trunk-or-treats that lay candy out in a pre-spaced manner and are following standard safety procedures.
- Avoid large gatherings and extended periods in small spaces such as house parties or bars. Instead, go to smaller parties with close friends that take place out-of-doors.
- Avoid going to haunted houses that do not practice any type of social distancing. Screaming increases the likelihood of transmission of the virus, especially if you are in a confined space with others. Instead, consider going through a drive-thru haunted house or other drive-thru Halloween spaces.
- Speak to party hosts about their safety measures before attending any event.
- If going to a gathering, consider getting tested and asking others to get tested.
All of that said, if you or anyone you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it’s critical for you to also get tested and to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. But remember: 40 percent of people are estimated to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, which means they do not have a fever or other symptoms.
Whatever you do, it always helps to know where your area stands in terms of new infections. This helpful website uses CDC data to help you understand the risk level in your community.
When a BOO! turns into a nasty boo-boo, Complete Care is here to help
Even the best-laid plans go awry, so if a medical emergency does happen this Halloween, know that you can visit your nearest Complete Care for help. Our award-winning facilities will see to your treatment quickly, efficiently, and with the utmost in professional care. Like other ERs, we are open 24/7 and are equipped to handle a wide variety of emergency medical situations; unlike other ERs, we typically see our patients within minutes, not hours.
Even on Halloween, there’s no reason a trip to the ER should be more frightening and frustrating than it already is. Take as much scare out of your medical care with Complete Care in Texas and Colorado Springs, Colorado.