It’s a tough pill to swallow for many of us, but Halloween is going to be a little different this year. With COVID-19 still a pressing threat, we’re all trying to find creative ways to enjoy our lives without putting our health and the risk of those we love at risk.
The good news is that there are a lot of ways to accomplish just that. We may be social distancing, staying home, and wearing masks, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun! Halloween is a time to tap into our creativity, our sweet tooths, and our love for our family and friends. And those are things that even a pandemic can’t take from us!
Here are 5 sweet ways to still have a good time this October 31st.
1. Go all-out on your costume
If you’re anything like me, you’re normally too busy racing around to dedicate much time to a Halloween costume. But this year, why not go all out? Even if you’re wearing it at home, to work with your mask on, or at a small gathering of friends or family, it’s still worth it! Plus, you can still take a ton of photos and enjoy it as all the compliments on your fun, creative idea roll in.
2. Indulge in lower-sugar treats
Many of us are trying to take extra-good care of our bodies these days, and that means an all-out binge on processed candy isn’t on our bucket list for this year. But here’s a secret: There are plenty of ways to enjoy a sweet treat without overdosing on refined sugar, artificial flavors, and food dyes. Instead, try healthy-ish candy options. May I suggest Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups instead of Reese’s? Or the UnReal Dark Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat Bars, which has 40% less sugar than a Snickers bar? They aren’t foods we should be eating all day every day, but they’re certainly better for our bodies than what we usually find on Halloween.
3. Throw a social-distanced ghost story party
If you have a backyard, a socially-distanced ghost story party is one creative way to socialize without increasing your risk for contracting COVID. It’s easy. Just invite 10-ish people, have them bring their own lounge chairs or pillows and blankets and set up at a safe distance outside. Each household or person should come prepared with drinks, snacks, and a ghost great story to tell the group. If you’re not into the interactive entertainment idea, try setting up the TV outside and watch Hocus Pocus or something scarier, like Us or a Quiet Place.
4. Cook a grand Halloween feast
Feasts are usually reserved for other holidays, but what’s stopping you from taking Halloween and turning it into a holiday that’s all about food? This is the perfect time to pull all your cookbooks off the shelf, go through them, and find a bunch of recipes you’d like to try out. While you’re at it, why not work on an extravagant table setting complete with fake cobwebs, spooky skeletons or spiders, and a gorgeous centerpiece made out of tiny pumpkins or squash. Since we won’t be going to any concerts, big parties, or gatherings this year, it’s the perfect time to explore your creativity and reconnect with your love of food. Don’t forget to use fall-favorite ingredients like butternut squash and zucchini.
5. Carve pumpkins
Let me be clear: You are never — I repeat, NEVER! — too old to carve pumpkins. This is an awesome way to make the day special if you have kids, but even if you don’t, pumpkin carving is a fun way to celebrate the holiday. Plus, it can easily be done outside with a couple of friends over some hot toddies, pumpkin ale, or another seasonal drink.
Ready for a sixth, very important bonus idea? Skip it. If you’re not in the celebrating mood this year, or you’re incredibly relieved not to have to force yourself to go to a Halloween party for the first time, then sit back, stay in, and give yourself a total pass this year to forget Halloween is even a thing. We’ve all dealt with a lot of loss and trauma this year, it makes sense if you’re not feeling like taking anything else on. Instead, spend the evening in the bath, journaling, or watching TV with your loved ones. You can pick up the Halloween festivities again next year!