With Halloween just around the corner, more and more people are wondering how to celebrate this spooky event in the midst of a pandemic, especially in HOA communities. Here are some of the best Halloween COVID-19 ideas you can do this October.
Halloween COVID-19 Activities You Can Do
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Halloween in HOA communities used to consist of neighborhood-wide events. People would throw parties, go to haunted houses, and just generally have fun with friends and family. Most Halloween activities, though, involve close contact, which goes against the social distancing protocols required to stay safe.
But, that doesn’t mean you should just scrap Halloween altogether this year. While Halloween and COVID-19 don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, HOA residents can still enjoy the holiday while remaining safe. Here are some great Halloween ideas you can suggest in your HOA community:
Nothing gets people in the mood for Halloween more than decorations. Houses covered in fake cobwebs, pumpkins strategically placed by the front door, colorfully creepy lights — they all just scream Halloween. Families can drive through the neighborhood and see the variety of decorations in the community.
You don’t have to limit the decorations to the exterior of your house either. Decorating the inside of your house is also a great way to get into the Halloween spirit while simultaneously spending quality time with your family. Kids can draw and cut out pumpkins, ghosts, and spiders then stick them up on the wall. Some carefully placed mood lights can also set a spooky atmosphere indoors.
2. Make Spooky Snacks
Making Halloween-themed treats is another great way to celebrate the holiday. There are so many possible snacks you can make with your family. You can decorate homemade pizzas with toppings made to look like pumpkins. You can also bake sugar cookies and cut them in a wide variety of shapes. Kids can express their creativity with colorful icings, too!
There are also some other Halloween COVID-19 snack ideas that don’t need a lot of work. For instance, you can peel a banana and cut it in half. Then, take two chocolate chips and press them on to the curved end to make eyes. Now, you have a banana ghost.
Peeled tangerines are another healthy Halloween treat. All you need are some small tangerines and celery sticks. Peel the tangerines and cut up the celery sticks into tiny stem shapes. Then, stick the celery stems on top of the peeled tangerines. The result? A tangerine pumpkin that’s both nutritious and fun to eat!
Just make sure you keep safety in mind. Children under the age of 3 can choke on treats.
3. Scary Movie Night
What better time to watch a scary movie than on Halloween? Hold a “Scary Movie Night” at home or online with friends. HOAs can even hold a community-wide online movie night. Third-party services like Netflix Party allow you to easily watch movies and shows with friends online. Have a discussion about the movie afterward. Neighbors might just find something in common with each other and turn into lifelong friends. Up the ante by dressing up as your favorite characters in the movie.
If you’re watching with children, though, remember to pick your movie carefully. Perhaps go for a Halloween movie that’s more kid-friendly such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Hotel Transylvania,” or “Hocus Pocus.” Furthermore, make sure to schedule the movie night at the appropriate time so that it’s not too late for kids to stay up.
4. Pumpkin Carving
Pumpkin carving and decorating is a Halloween tradition. The best part is that it’s completely safe to do even during these trying times. Families can stay indoors or take the pumpkin-carving fun in the backyard. Parents should supervise their children at all times, though. It’s best to let your kids use markers to draw the faces on the pumpkins. You should then take over when it’s time to actually carve it out. Empty the insides and set the seeds aside — they make for a scrumptious snack when roasted!
Finally, complete the look with a battery-operated light inside the pumpkin. Open-flame candles are more traditional, but they are fire hazards. A battery-operated light is much safer and lasts longer.
5. Virtual Costume Parties
One of the best things about Halloween is getting to play dress-up and pretending to be someone else. With physical Halloween parties pretty much out of the question, though, you can take the party to a virtual platform instead. There are so many video conferencing services you can use to make Halloween during COVID-19 a memorable one.
Host a community-wide Halloween costume party or contest. You can even prepare a prize for first, second, third place winners. Alternatively, you can hold a costume parade in your neighborhood. Just make sure everyone stays at least 6 feet apart and wears masks at all times. A virtual costume party is also a fun and safe way to spend the holiday with friends or relatives.
6. Backyard Camping
Who says you can’t have fun in your own backyard? If the weather permits, you can spend some much-needed family time by pitching a tent right outside your home. You can have a barbecue, tell ghost stories, and even roast marshmallows. It’s best not to start an open campfire in your backyard, though. As an alternative, consider toasting your marshmallows in the oven or making smores in your microwave.
7. Distanced Trick-or-Treating
When it comes to Halloween activities, trick-or-treating is a time-honored tradition. Kids, in particular, love dressing up as their favorite characters and going door-to-door to ask for candy. If trick-or-treating is permitted in your locale, you must keep social distancing in mind. Encourage residents to practice the following Halloween COVID-19 trick-or-treat ideas:
- Leave a bowl of candy outside their door instead of handing the treats in-person.
- Place a hand sanitizer dispenser next to the bowl along with instructions to apply sanitizer before reaching into the bowl for candy.
- Use individual cups or gift bags filled with candy so that kids can take one instead of grabbing a handful from a bowl that others have also touched.
If there are a lot of confirmed COVID-19 cases in your community, though, it’s best to discourage trick-or-treating this year. Instead, you can encourage families to hold indoor scavenger hunts for candy.
8. Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities aren’t entirely impossible during the pandemic. Some local zoos, parks, and other outdoor venues might even have events for Halloween in COVID times. This can include haunted forests, corn mazes, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches. When picking which activity to do, though, it’s better to avoid crowds. Additionally, you must still practice proper social distancing, wear face masks, and sanitize your hands frequently.
A Safe Way to Enjoy Halloween
As you can see, there are plenty of fun Halloween COVID-19 activities you can do while still staying safe. It’s essential to consider the health and well-being of your HOA residents during times like this. But, that doesn’t necessarily involve completely banning Halloween in your community. Residents can still enjoy the spooky holiday within the confines of their home or in the neighborhood provided they follow social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.
Homeowners associations often need professional help when managing their communities. Cedar Management Group provides a wide range of services designed to make the lives of HOA board members easier. Give us a call today at (877) 252-3327 or contact us online to learn more.
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