JACKSON COUNTY, MI — Health experts say Halloween should look different this year, but that’s not a reason to say, “boo.”
Jackson County Health Department officials are promoting a dozen coronavirus pandemic-friendly Halloween and fall celebrations, from neighborhood costume parades and “goblin scavenger hunts” to apple orchard visits and creative candy distribution strategies like passing candy out through a chute.
“We are approaching another holiday that may look and feel different than in years past,” Jackson County Health Officer Rashmi Travis said in a statement. “There’s a way we can continue to celebrate this holiday in a way that keeps children and other residents in our community safe.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends staying home and not passing out candy if you are sick. Trick-or-treaters should avoid congregating around houses, wear a face mask and use one-way trick-or-treating strategies to practice social distancing. Homeowners can pass candy out on a disinfected table, mark six-foot lines in front of the house for children to line up at and more.
Michigan health department issues coronavirus guidelines for trick-or-treating, other Halloween events
Experts also recommend refraining from in-person Halloween parties, according to the health department. If there is a party, it should be limited to no more than 10 people and party favors should be set out individually to avoid cross-contamination.
Here are some health department-approved Halloween and fall-themed activities for families to participate in with limited risk:
- Organize a Quarantine Goblin Scavenger Hunt, an event where households, businesses or other organizations are invited to participate in while practicing social distancing. People participate by hosting goblins and writing large clues on cardboard and posting them around designated sites. Clues can be as simple or elaborate as they would like to make them and placing them in windows. Then, families can go for walks in their neighborhoods and tally how many goblins ghouls they see along the way.
- Families can use chalk to decorate their driveways with Halloween drawings or paint their windows.
- Organize a Halloween candy hunt around the house.
- Organize a neighborhood costume parade while maintaining social distancing. Use door signs in the neighborhood to promote dressing up children or pets.
- Come up with creative ways of distributing candy to children and maintaining distance by using chutes, slides or catapults.
- Have a bonfire with your family and roast hot dogs, make s’mores and tell scary tales or stories of special Halloween times from past years.
- Make a haunted walk around your backyard or in your basement.
- Host an online virtual Halloween trick-or-treat or game with family members. For example, hide candy and let others guess where it was hidden.
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