Children can still celebrate a COVID-19-friendly Halloween


Joe Shlabotnik | Flickr

Angelica Tejada, Opinions Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic may have cancelled most holidays this year, but Halloween can still be enjoyed even while following social distancing guidelines and safety precautions.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has imposed guidelines for New Yorkers to follow on Oct. 31 in order to keep the beloved trick-o-treating tradition alive this year.

“Halloween is happening in New York City and Halloween will be safe in New York City,” de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing on Oct. 21. “As with everything we’ve experienced this year, we understand it’s not business as usual, but it can go on and it can be fun and it can be exciting for our youngest New Yorkers.”

The first instruction de Blasio gave was to keep trick-o-treating completely outdoors and not enter apartment buildings or houses to collect treats.

Second, de Blasio clarified that costumes with face coverings are not the same as a face mask used to protect from COVID-19 and advised children to wear a face mask over the face covering of the costume.

De Blasio urged people to keep socially distancing when trick-o-treating and to do all Halloween-related activities in small groups.

“Maintain social distancing,” de Blasio said. “When folks are laying out the treats in the bowl for kids, stand back, give them some space. And it’s much better than any candy be, of course, in a bowl, not handed individually.”

It is not guaranteed that all New Yorkers will follow the guidelines that de Blasio laid out for everyone’s safety. However, if these instructions are not followed, there will be more COVID-19 cases, and let’s face it, the pandemic has already lasted too long.

Parents may want to skip Halloween this year to ensure their child’s safety, but the holiday can still be celebrated without compromising the safety of children.

In-person activities are happening on Halloween and the ones below all have a face mask and social-distancing requirement.

The Great Jack-Lantern Blaze” at the Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, New York is an outdoor event that displays more than 7,000 illuminated pumpkins. Tickets start at $24 and children two-years-old and younger do not need a ticket.

At the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, the “Great Pumpkin Path” displays “some of the largest pumpkins in the world,” according to the New York Botanical Garden. Tickets to enter for New York City residents are $15, for children from two to 12-years-old are $4 and children one year old and younger enter for free.

At home, parents can create Halloween activities like baking, carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes, watching movies and television shows with their children.

Zoom Halloween parties can be scheduled for children to show off their costumes to their friends and have dance-offs.

Disney Plus recently added the GroupWatch feature that allows users to watch any title with other users virtually through the app. This feature is a great option for watching Halloween-themed children’s movies like Coco, Frankenweenie and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Halloween is not cancelled. Children can still enjoy candy and participate in spooky traditions. Parents can join in on the Halloween fun as well.

Most importantly, everyone should stay safe and follow de Blasio’s guidelines so that next time Halloween comes by, people fear ghosts and not the coronavirus.

Happy Halloween!