The fall season is a favorite for many people, both campers and non-campers! Cooler temps and seasonal treats like caramel apples and cider, and the comfort of soups and chili make this the perfect time of year. The calendar has turned its page to the month of October, and Halloween is on the minds of many of its fans. The decorating has begun and the costumes are being planned. But there is one question that’s on the minds of everyone this year: How do we celebrate fall and all of its fun during a pandemic? We hope to help answer this and provide 5 tips on how to make the best of the season in 2020! When life gives you pumpkins…make pumpkin pie!
- Keep Your Outings Outside – Pumpkin patches, apple orchards and corn mazes are all fun destinations for families, and the fact that they’re outdoors makes it a perfect activity this year. Call ahead or visit each destination’s website for updates on their guidelines related to COVID-19 to be sure you’re well-prepared and aware of what the expectations are. Many will likely limit groups to 10 or less, encourage distancing while outside, and require masks – should you need to enter their indoor facilities at any time. Instead, participate in haunted happenings that have relocated from inside, like the outdoor Haunted Trail and Pumpkin Patch at Jellystone Park™ . Knowing in advance, the policies in place to keep you safe, and planning accordingly, will make for an enjoyable family outing!
2. Keepin’ It Old School – Gone are the days of the old plastic and elastic character masks, but an updated twist on the concept can be a great way to be in disguise and stay safe this year. Trade in your clown make up this year for a mask instead. This could be store bought or you could even incorporate your every day fabric masks into your ensemble. Stores are even featuring Halloween themed versions of PPE, and offering coverings that look like animals, ghosts and vampires, just to name a few classics.
3. A Twist on Trick-or-Treating – Instead of approaching Trick-or-Treating and all of the Halloween festivities as being a challenge this year, just think outside the box (of Milk Duds) and approach it as an opportunity to be extra creative. Use a claw shaped scoop to hand out candy. Use pumpkins to indicate where each small group of trick or treaters should stand while they wait for their treats. Enlist a family member to dress as Frankenstein and greet visitors outside as they approach your door to help manage the flow of visitors and add to the ambiance. Still leery of trick or treating or unsure if your community is still allowing it to take place? Participate in a candy hunt event, where candy could be hidden throughout an outdoor space, waiting for the little boys and ghouls to discover it. Or check out the candy hunt hosted by the park rangers at Jellystone Park™, where they have candy located at various locations through the Camp-Resort.
4. Get Creative – This year, consider moving your celebrations outdoors. Want to have a costume party? Host it by a campfire with seating safely placed around it and with proper distancing in between. At Jellystone Park™, you can plant magic pumpkin seeds which miraculously grow into pumpkins only hours later! No bobbing for apples this year, but consider hosting a pumpkin decorating contest instead (find inspiration here!) or an outdoor movie night where all guests are invited to bring their own blanket, popcorn and candy for a viewing of a classic thriller.
5. Dance-a-thon – No celebration is complete without some dancing! Hop online and Zoom with friends while you learn the Thriller dance, or take it outside to partake in a distanced dance-off. (A hip-hopping zombie or break dancing witch would be quite Insta-worthy.).
Whatever you choose to do, plan ahead, refer to CDC guidelines, be respectful to your neighbors and to strangers, and most of all, be SAFE and HAVE FUN!