All Tricks, No Treats; Making the Most of Halloween 2020


Although 2020 itself feels like a never-ending nightmare, Halloween is fast approaching, and the beloved holiday will look a bit different in this roller coaster of a year. 

Ah, Halloween. King-sized bags of candy at Costco, pumpkins on your neighbors’ porches, and watching The Nightmare Before Christmas on repeat. Halloween 2020 was set to be one to remember. It falls on a Saturday, when the night sky will be illuminated by a blue moon, which is a full moon that occurs for the second time in a single month, a quite rare event, but even rarer is the fact that a full moon will be happening on a Halloween night, an event that only occurs once every 19 years [TimesNews]. But of course, the year is 2020, so the Coronavirus will force us to rethink how we will spend the spookiest night of the year.

According to Halloween2020, Loudoun County is currently at an orange risk level, meaning activities like the classic trick-or-treating are not appropriate for the level of COVID cases in the area. The website is a collaboration between The Halloween and Costume Association and The Hershey Company. Infectious Disease Expert at Harvard, Dr. Ingrid Katz, said of the site; Through our interactive COVID risk level map, we hope to provide parents a reliable source to help them celebrate the Halloween holiday in the most safe, fun way possible according to the risk level in their community”.

Suggested activities are all in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Holiday Celebration Guidelines, which should also be checked regularly for updates before carrying out any further plans.

With those restrictions in mind, here are some of the best ideas for making the most out of Halloween 2020.

Trick-or-treat in reverse. 

Instead of having kids go around the neighborhood knocking on doors and collecting candy, letting the candy come to you is a safer alternative; sit outside and have a bucket that people can put candy or other goodies in. If you want to visit friends or family, drive by their house and deliver treats, just make sure to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Halloween scavenger hunt.

Bring a little bit of Easter in autumn and hide candy for the little ones to find, either in your own house or empty park, get creative with the hiding places! 

Carve and decorate pumpkins.

This beloved tradition can still be done safely, so why not elevate it to a pumpkin competition? Show off your creations to friends and family on Zoom, or just carve them together and get ideas from each other.

Visit pumpkin pumpkin and haunted houses. 

If there are any that are open, visiting pumpkin patches and haunted houses that only let one party in at a time are a great option as long as safety guidelines are followed. Just try not to get lost in a corn maze!

Have a horror movie night virtually.

There are an abundance of great Halloween-themed or horror movies out there, so having a marathon virtually is a great stay-at-home activity. There are browser extensions like Netflix Party or other apps like Rave that allow you to watch movies, TV shows, or even YouTube synchronously with others so that you never have to watch alone.

Get creative and make your own costumes.

You can still dress up and get creative with your costumes, but why not try making them instead? Challenge your friends to see who can come up with the best costume just from clothes or items around the house and show them off virtually, or even pull out the sewing machine from the closet and try your hand at sewing.

With the state of the world at the moment, it can be hard to even enjoy a holiday like Halloween, but we could all use the fun distraction. So go on, indulge in the leftover candy and scare yourself with The Exorcist (or, maybe It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown if you have had enough terror this year).