Is Halloween Canceled This Year?

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Editor’s Note: Check our 2020 Fall Guide for a consolidation of the very best in Fall- and Halloween-related content, recipes, activities, arts & crafts, and many more! 


Want to hear something scary?

Halloween is this month.

I sit here in disbelief that it’s already October, but that doesn’t change the fact that one of the biggest events on the calendar for kids is fast approaching. There’s a lot of uncertainty about Halloween this year. Trick-or-treating is not advised and parties are absolutely off the agenda, but that doesn’t mean the occasion is canceled. 

There are plenty of things to do at home. Pumpkin carving is still very much on the table, or a Halloween movie night could be just the ticket. Pinterest is full of fantastic ideas about how to celebrate the occasion without heading outdoors.

Just a few of my favorites are:

Creating a Halloween Pinata 

A fun way to include the candy that kids won’t be getting from trick-or-treating.

Movie Night

Cosy up and consider wearing themed jammies to watch some spooky movies. Good Housekeeping’s list of 40 Kid’s Halloween Movies is a good place to start. 

Arts and Crafts

If you can possibly stomach it (and let’s be honest, we’ve done this to death in lockdown), there is still some mileage in arts and crafts. Decorating Halloween themed masks could be turned into a competition, or simply putting up a few decorations around the house can really help everyone to get into the spirit. 

Take-out Halloween Specials 

See if any local restaurants are doing Halloween themed take-out. This is a good one for teenagers and parents alike!

To Trick-or-Treat, or not to Trick-or-Treat?

Check advice from your public health department. Although San Francisco has not gone so far as to ban trick-or-treating, they do say that it’s “not advised”. Staying indoors is most likely the best option to keep your family safe this year. If you do decide to go out, the following things are worth bearing in mind: 

Incorporating PPE into the costume

Before committing to a costume, think about how a mask will add (or not work) with it. Pre-order or make those masks now – they’re going to sell fast! Etsy currently has 171,533 items for sale under ‘Halloween Mask’. Bonus points for the use of gloves and visors in Halloween costumes this year! 

Check hyper-local forums

There is currently a heated debate going on in my Nextdoor neighborhood group. Some think Trick-or-Treating should go ahead (with precautions) and others are strongly against it. Whatever’s happening in your neighborhood, local groups and resources should be able to give you the low down. 

Avoid hotspots

When Rebecca wrote this fantastic guide to Halloween Hot Spots last Halloween, who could have predicted that this year we’d be suggesting to avoid these places? Flip this guide on its head and try to avoid busy areas: https://sanfrancisco.momcollective.com/things-to-do/guides/where-to-trick-or-treat-san-francisco/

Whatever you decide to do for Halloween this year, it will of course look different to previous years. But Halloween is a time for surprises, messes, eating too much candy, and storytelling. Pandemic or no pandemic, it’s a nice distraction to have this big holiday approaching and I’m going to try my best to celebrate it. 

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