It’s safe to say that this Halloween is going to be different than in years past. For the most part, traditional trick-or-treating has not been banned at federal, state, or local levels. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has deemed it a “higher risk activity” in hopes of limiting the number of kids and parents that will go door to door on Oct. 31.
The Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) guidelines for Halloween celebrations make no mention of avoiding traditional trick-or-treating, though they do provide several alternative activities that the department views as being safer. All this to say that if you and/or your children want to trick-or-treat this year, you can. But it’s essential to take any necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect your family and neighbors.
Along with trick-or-treating, many other activities can help make your Halloween the best yet. And if your evening involves any kind of party or get-together (even if it’s just your family), Tent Guys has the rental equipment you need. Below, we’ve provided some ideas for cautious-but-fun activities to consider, as well as advice for staying safe and warm throughout the night:
Let’s start with some Halloween activities that you can do inside your home with your immediate family, friends, and/or neighbors:
Haunted Egg Hunt
Do your kids like Easter egg hunting? Well, why not use the same logic and do a “Haunted” egg hunt? You can purchase plastic Halloween-themed eggs online or paint eggs that you already have. Fill the eggs with candy, hide them throughout your home, put on some spooky music, and let your kids go wild! If you want to make the experience a little more bone-chilling, use glow-in-the-dark eggs and turn the lights off.
No matter what age your kids are, there are tons of scary (or suspenseful) movies to choose from for Halloween. Select a few movies, and make a marathon of it from the afternoon through the evening. You can even dress up in your favorite costumes and prepare Halloween-themed snacks to enjoy.
No, this doesn’t involve everyone standing around and blowing bubbles (well, technically it could). If you want to throw a party in your home this Halloween, go for it! Though it’s probably best to limit the guests to those in your household or quarantine bubble, why not have a great party complete with costumes, music, dancing, food, drinks, and more? Tent Guys has every kind of rental you will need for your party, including tables, chairs, linens, and dance floors!
Virtual Costume Party/Contest
If you’re not comfortable with throwing a Halloween party in your home, or you simply don’t feel like making the preparations, then you could host (or attend) a virtual costume party. Video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype make it possible to have a delightful time without exposing yourself to any dangers! Dress up, put on an unearthly playlist, and party it up!
This is an easy game that is easy to prepare. Cut out paper strips, and write “Treat’ on half of the strips. Then, write various tricks such as “Dance like a zombie” or “Screech like a witch” on the remaining strips. For instance, if you have 30 strips, 15 will serve as tickets for a treat, and 15 will require you to do a trick. Put all the strips in a hat, hide candy throughout the room, and let your kids start drawing paper strips from the hat to discover their fate!
No matter how you celebrate this Halloween, decorating your home’s interior can be a great way to create a festive atmosphere for your family (and anyone who visits). Paper bats, jack-o-lanterns, and window silhouettes are only the beginning of the haunting decoration ideas you can find on the web. Turn to Tent Guys for renting globe or twinkle lights, a power source for your animated Halloween props, or anything else you might need!
Also known as “reverse trick-or-treating,” you could do a Halloween door drop this year in place of traditional trick-or-treating. All you have to do is prepare goodie bags or treat baskets and leave them on people’s doorsteps. No contact necessary!
Doll in the Hall
If your family has ever done “Elf on the Shelf” for Christmas, then why not put a Halloween twist on it? For the days leading up to Halloween, place a creepy doll (or maybe a not-so-creepy doll if it’s for younger children) in various spots throughout the home, moving it each night. On Halloween morning, you can even have the doll “bring” treats to your kiddos!
Don’t worry, there are also plenty of things you can do outdoors that don’t have to do with traditional trick-or-treating:
This one can be done safely, whether it’s just for your kids or others in the neighborhood as well. Hide various items and clues around your lawn or throughout the neighborhood, and provide parents and kids with a list of the items. Every time someone finds an item, they get a treat!
Outdoor Movie Night
If you want to add a little eerieness to your movie experience, do it outdoors! By setting up a projection screen in your backyard, you can stream your favorite Halloween-themed movie amid the darkness of night. If you need any power sources, heaters, or folding chairs for your outdoor movie night, Tent Guys has what you’re looking for!
This pandemic-related DIY solution benefits the kids in your neighborhood who are trick-or-treating. Plus, it can be fun for your kids to take turns sending candy down the chute. All you have to do is decorate a piece of PVC pipe or cardboard tube and fasten it to the handrail on your front porch. Then, each time children approach your home, you can provide them candy through the chute while helping them (and you) maintain social distancing.
Along with decorating the inside of your home, why not go big and deck out your lawn with decorations? From hanging ghosts to sitting ghouls, there are tons of decorations you can DIY. And if you want to budget for it, you can get plenty of unsightly decorative items and props at retail stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
If you want to truly deck out your lawn, put in a candy graveyard. Fence off an area of your lawn, and set up fake tombstones throughout the area. Pile up various types of candy and other treats by each tombstone, and have kids enter the graveyard one at a time to claim their treats.
Invite the neighbors over for outdoor pumpkin carving. Have everyone bring a pumpkin and carving tools and practice social distancing. You can even include long-distant family members and friends by using video chat, and if you want to make it into a contest, you can share photos of the pumpkins on social media and ask people to vote!
This one requires a little planning, but it can be well worth it for the whole neighborhood! Arrange a costume parade with your neighbors, designating a route in the neighborhood for all the kids to march down while staying socially distanced. The parents can cheer on the kids and play music.
Make sure you get any power generators or cords necessary for your sound system and/or special decorations from Tent Guys. And if you want to set up a station in your yard for the kids to celebrate after the parade (while keeping six feet apart, of course), we have plenty of tents to choose from!
HOW TO STAY SAFE
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the flu, basic social distancing guidelines should be taken by anyone celebrating Halloween this year. This includes keeping six feet of distance from anyone who is not a part of your household (indoors or outdoors) and washing your hands with soap and water—before and after eating treats and between activities.
Also, each person should have hand sanitizer available to them, and each person should wear a mask that has two layers of breathable cloth. Most Halloween costume masks are not an adequate substitute for a cloth mask, and you should not wear a costume mask over your cloth mask, as this can cause breathing difficulties. You can find a variety of Halloween-themed cloth masks online.
If you and your kids decide to trick-or-treat the traditional way, be sure not to enter people’s homes or make contact of any form when receiving treats. And don’t let any kids who are trick-or-treating enter your home, either. Instead, designate a station outside with individually-bagged treats, or use the candy chute idea mentioned above.
If you decide to visit a corn maze or haunted forest, be sure to keep your distance from others. Most farms and businesses are making this easy by designating one-way paths; just make sure you follow the rules. And when visiting pumpkin patches and orchards, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, particularly when you have touched pumpkins, apples, and high-touch surfaces.
HOW TO STAY WARM
Being cold can quickly ruin your Halloween. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to ensure that you and your kids stay warm and comfortable throughout the evening:
Bringing Hand Warmers
Keeping your hands warm can help your whole body stay warm. After all, hypothermia typically begins in the hands and feet. Keep hand warmers nearby or put them in your gloves, and wear insulated socks. If you get warmers with adhesive tape, you can apply them to your stomach, neck, or back.
Choosing a Warm Costume
Your costume should also help keep you warm. Otherwise, you may end up having to add a coat, scarf, or other articles of clothing that take away from your costume. If possible, go with a full-body costume, such as a zombie, dinosaur, clown, or furry animal. Costumes with hoods can also work well because they protect your ears and face when it’s windy. And try to purchase a costume that is one size bigger than you would normally wear so that you can add layers if necessary.
If you live in a cold area and are not wearing a full-body costume, you might consider adding some layers. You can do this without ruining the charm of your costume. For instance, skin-colored unitards can do wonders for keeping you warm, and they’re not very noticeable unless you are up close. Or you could get a unitard in a color that goes along with your costume theme. Moreover, if your costume is large enough, you may be able to add layers like pants, gloves, or a turtle neck.
Whether or not you choose to trick-or-treat this year, your family can make this a Halloween to remember. Consider the activities mentioned here, and take all of the necessary precautions to stay safe and warm. And of course, give Tent Guys a call at (980) 228-6999 for any rental equipment you may need to make your hair-raising ideas a reality!