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Halloween ideas for the COVID-19 era

Last Updated Oct 28, 2020 at 10:42 am PST

(iStock Photo)

Expert says parents should still try to get their kids celebrating for Halloween, even if it'll look different this year

COVID-19 has meant families have had to decide whether or not to take their kids door to door for candy this Halloween

Families planning to trick or treat amid the COVID-19 pandemic should take certain precautions, health experts say

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – We’ve been hearing from some parents who have decided to keep their kids at home instead of trick or treating this Halloween, but experts say it’s still important to celebrate, one way or another.

One parenting expert says moms and dads should still try to get their kids dressed up and and doing something, even if that something isn’t the traditional door-to-door candy haul.

“You can definitely have fun dressing up, because you can even trick or treat at home,” Elaine Tan Comeau says. “You can do something like a trick or treat hunt and trade, where you can hide little pumpkins around the house, and have your kids dress up, find those treats, or find those little pumpkins and they can trade it in for a bag of treats or a full-size chocolate bar, who doesn’t love that, right?”

She says your neighbours may still stop by, and it could be fun to get your kids to help with handing out socially distanced candy.

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Tan Comeau adds you can also still get your family outside, even if it’s not to knock on your neighbours doors.

“People are still decorating their houses and spending the time to make awesome jack-o’-lanterns,” she explains. “So, I would definitely recommend making a pot of hot chocolate and getting the kids to have some hot chocolate and go for a neighbourhood jack-o’-lantern scavenger hunt. A fun thing to do is write the word ‘family’ as an acronym and have your kids and your spouse go out … and find a pumpkin that is funny, a pumpkin that is angry, magical, impressive, lovable, and then, of course, the ‘y’ stands for your family’s favourite.”

When it comes to what Tam Comeau’s family will be doing come Saturday night, she says they’ll be putting up a “Garland of Goodies,” whereby she will hang a string of lights or just rope with clothespins on it holding up bags of treats so neighbours can help themselves to candy.

Take the right precautions if you’re going to trick or treat

Earlier this month, the BC Centre for Disease Control said kids can still trick or treat, but it’s best if they stay in small groups and stay local, avoiding stops to multiple neighbourhoods.

People are also urged to maintain a safe physical distance from others, and to wash their hands before eating any candy.

Households have been finding different ways to hand out candy to children amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While the BCCDC has recommended people use things like tongs to distribute treats and to stand outside while doing so, some people have opted to create chutes and other gadgets to creatively get candies to kids.

A house in Vancouver is equipped with a candy chute to safely hand out treats on Halloween amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Monika Gul, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Don’t forget to hand out individually wrapped candy. You’re also being asked to avoid decorations that could cause coughing, like fog machines.

Of course, anyone who is feeling unwell or showing signs of COVID-19 is reminded to stay home and to keep their porch light off to dissuade visitors.

Meanwhile, people looking to party this Halloween are being told to avoid big gatherings.

Earlier this week, B.C.’s provincial health officer announced a new order limiting the number of people allowed to gather in a private home in an effort to crack down on those not following the rules.

The order limits gatherings at private homes to the immediate household plus a “safe six.” Health authorities have said they will be monitoring what happens over the weekend to ensure British Columbians are following the rules.