Safe but spirited substitutes for Halloween’s usual festivities


Ella Fixsen, Editor in Chief

In the midst of a global pandemic, many holidays have changed for Americans in 2020. While most will not be spending Halloween at a traditional gathering, there are many other ways for students to celebrate the holiday in a safe manner. 

Make Spooky Snacks: 

Although Halloween treats can look unappetizing at times, most spooky snacks are delicious; it’s hard to go wrong with anything bite-sized. Due to the large amount of at-home time the coronavirus has created, many have picked up new hobbies like cooking and baking. Giving these hobbies a Halloween-themed twist is fairly simple, and many popular snacks can easily be molded to fit the spirit of the holiday. These treats will definitely add some fun to households in which families might be feeling a bit down about an abnormal holiday experience. 

Go on a Halloween Decor Hunt: 

Like many do during the winter holiday season, driving around and looking at outdoor-themed decor is a great way to get some Halloween fulfillment. Neighborhoods are great places to search for extravagant Halloween displays, as they are easily accessible and tend to lack traffic. This activity can be done from the comfort of one’s own vehicle, without worry about the spread of bacteria. 

Visit Pumpkin Patches or Apple Orchards: 

Pumpkin patches and apple orchards have always been large fall attractions. However, this year, these locations are more popular than ever. Although it is important to avoid areas with large crowds of people, most pumpkin patches and apple orchards are limiting their capacity. Some patches and orchards even have various Halloween-themed events throughout the month of October. These places are relatively safe, as they are outdoors and allow guests to easily socially distance. Despite this fact, it remains important to sanitize after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces, produce, and merchandise. 

Explore Haunted Trails and Corn Mazes:

While haunted houses tend to provide the ultimate thrill during the month of October, this year, it is best to avoid enclosed indoor spaces. However, outdoor events like one-way haunted trails and corn mazes can provide a major adrenaline rush, depending on their level of scare intensity. Most of these trails and mazes have one-way traffic flow, helping to prevent the spread of germs. Additionally, many of these attractions have capacity limitations and social distancing guidelines.

Watch Scary Movies:

A movie night can be inside with family, or projected under the night sky with friends and community members spaced six feet apart. The options are endless, with Disney classics like Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown, or thrilling films like Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street. As the weather becomes more chilly in upcoming months, guests could be encouraged to bring their own cozy blankets and warm beverages. Watching a movie under the stars is a great way to spend a breezy Halloween night. 

Have an Outdoor Costume Parade:

An outdoor, neighborhood costume parade is a great way to show off halloween spirit in the absence of trick or treating. Neighbors and friends can gather in their driveways while others ride bikes, pull trailers, or drive motorized vehicles through the streets, showing off their themed outfits and makeup. In order to keep an organized event like this safe, community costume parades should consist of small groups of people in an outdoor, open-air space, where staying socially distanced is absolutely possible.

If you are hosting a holiday gathering… 

If you are hosting a holiday gathering, you should try to take as many safety precautions as possible. It is best to remain in an outdoor setting with a limited number of attendees. Try only to host people from your local area, and provide masks, hand sanitizer, and any other personal protective equipment for your guests. Monitor the behavior of your guests before and during the gathering, and if you are providing food, it is ideal that the items are pre-packaged and individually separated. 

Local Events: 

Lenexa Fall-O-Ween Tour – This interactive map shows the location of several Halloween-themed yards that are available to visit and is active through Oct. 31. 

Louisburg Cider Mill Costume Weekend – During this event, guests who wear a Halloween costume to the cider mill will  receive $2 off admission from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.

Ghost Light: A Haunted Night of Songs and Stories from KC’s Cultural Crossroads by KC Repertory Theatre – This show features a group of local storytellers and musicians as they share frightening but fun tales from Kansas City’s cultural crossroads at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art through Oct. 31.