ARTS & LEISURE, COVID-19 — September 29, 2020 at 12:17 pm

MSD students consider alternative Halloween activities

Instead of going out on Halloween night, you can spend the night watching Halloween themed movies on sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Photo by Ayah Ibrahim.

Now that fall is approaching, the question has been raised by kids and parents alike: is trick-or-treating canceled this year?

The current answer isn’t a clear yes or no, because it’s truly up to how comfortable someone is going door-to-door and possibly coming in contact with a large number of people while the threat of contracting COVID-19 is still a reality. However, if you do not feel safe trick-or-treating, there are still plenty of alternative activities that you can partake in. 

Looking back at the past six months spent in quarantine, the Jewish holiday Passover occurred right at the height of the pandemic in early April. Instead of an in-person celebration, many people hosted a virtual Seder via Zoom, where they had the ability to connect with family and friends while managing to stay socially distant. While holidays may not look the same as they have looked in the past, it doesn’t mean that Halloween cannot be enjoyable while still being safe. 

The CDC released a new set of Halloween regulations that recommend avoiding higher risk activities such as traditional trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating and indoor costume parties or haunted houses. They describe low risk activities as carving pumpkins with a small group of people outside, decorating your house and admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.

“I definitely think Halloween this year is going to look different than it has in the past,” senior Josie Sotter said. “I don’t think it’s in everybody’s best interests to attend large gatherings, but I think smaller groups are okay.”

One idea for a socially distanced Halloween is a scary movie night. It’s an easy way to see friends from a distance and all you need is a laptop, projector or television. Sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and YouTube offer a countless number of options to choose from. 

If you want to watch a scarier movie, “The Conjuring” or “IT” are two popular options. Other choices include something from the Harry Potter series, “E.T.” or “Goosebumps.” Throughout the course of the movie, you can snack on classic Halloween treats like candy corn and chocolate covered pretzels.

Another option is to spend the night making Halloween treats in the kitchen. There are tons of easy recipes online that require minimal ingredients and time. Some easy fall-themed recipes include candy corn cupcakes, Frankenstein Rice Krispie Treats, Halloween bark and pumpkin pie dip

Once finished making all the treats, one can set up a dessert bar filled with handmade masterpieces. You can also follow a Halloween candy recipe and make enough batches to drop off at a friend’s house. 

“I love making Halloween treats because fall is my favorite season and it really puts me in the mood,” sophomore Olivia Alvarez said. “There are so many cute recipes online that I like to make every year.”

Another way to stay safe while having fun this Halloween is by hosting a pumpkin decorating party, where each person gets their own small pumpkin to carve or paint. There are small kits that you can find online or in stores like Walmart or Target that have stencils and small carving tools. Everyone should have their own tools and workspace, so they can maintain distance between one another. 

“Every Halloween I go to the pumpkin patch and pick a few pumpkins that I can carve,” sophomore Emma Betancourt said. “Usually I find a design online and I trace it onto the pumpkin with a sharpie.”

A quick last minute idea is a themed scavenger hunt. Many pre-made hunts can be found and printed from the internet. Kids of all ages can participate in this activity. It’s a way to stay spread out, yet still be with your friends or family. For instance, there can be a hunt that requires a sheet of things to find and check off, or you can give out the clues, one-by-one, and look for them. 

Hosting a virtual costume contest where participants dress up in their costumes and people vote on different categories is an additional way to celebrate Halloween online. For example, the funniest costume, the best duo costume or the most creative costume could be some categories. You can play just for fun or play to receive a small gift such as a $10 gift card. Through apps like Skype, Zoom or FaceTime, it’s never been easier to connect with large groups of people, even if it’s not in-person.

“This Halloween, I was planning on just spending some time with my close friends,” Betancourt said. “Even though Halloween isn’t going to look the way it has in the past, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still have fun.”

There are a ton of ways to enjoy this upcoming fall holiday while still being responsible and following safety guidelines. Instead of going door-to-door to trick-or-treat, you can spend the night carving pumpkins outside, seeing close family or friends and baking classic sweet treats to drop off to others. 

Feature and Opinion Editor | + posts

Lily Singer is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who spends her time listening to music and hanging out with her friends and family. She enjoys taking pictures, watching movies and playing soccer.

One Comment

  1. Hello Everybody!!!

    It is Halloween again!! this should be a fun time of year but we have to be mindful of our surroundings. Here are some tips I wanted to share with you. Be safe and have FUN!!!!

    5 Alternatives to Trick or Treating This Halloween

    Although trick or treating is a fun activity for many children, as a parent you just might not be comfortable sending your child knocking on people’s doors asking for candy. That’s perfectly fine! And the good news is there are lots of other activities that’ll still make for a fun Halloween. Here are 5 ideas to get you going:

    1) Trunk or Treating

    Trunk or treating is a new Halloween trend invented to solve a number of problems with traditional trick or treating. Some people live in communities where the homes are just too far apart for trick or treating to work, where others don’t like the idea of their kids knocking on strangers’ doors.

    Trunk or treating involves a group of people getting together – which could be organized by friends or a group like a school or church – and offering out candy to kids from their trunks. Much easier for the kids to walk between, and much safer for any worried parents!

    2) Host a Halloween Party

    A Halloween party is always great fun, and you can invite a number of other children to hold your own trick or treat right inside the home. Younger children can definitely have fun visiting the adults in every separate room of the house, knocking on the door to receive their candy.

    If your kids are likely to get bored with this, simply plan a fun party with plenty of their friends, and hand out treat bags to everyone. Plan some other Halloween games to make up for the fact that they aren’t going out trick or treating.

    3) Family Night

    Some families forgo the parties and candy altogether and make other plans for Halloween. Depending on the age of your kids, you could plan a scary movie night. Another idea is to plan a Halloween feast – put together a fun menu full of spooky-sounding foods.

    4) Local Halloween Events
    You’ll often find that parks and other family-friendly businesses plan events around Halloween. These could be haunted theme parks, malls, or safe, planned Halloween events. They may or may not include trick or treating, but there will usually be enough other activities to keep kids more than happy on Halloween night!

    5) Candy Alternatives

    If it’s the candy specifically that concerns you on Halloween, have a think about alternatives that’ll still make your kids happy. These include giving money instead of food, providing fun novelty items, or creating more healthy snacks by cooking candy and sweets yourself.

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