Have a hauntingly, happy Halloween!

Halloween photo collage with pumpkins, halloween cut-out cookies and a laptop with a halloween movie on it.

2020 has brought unanticipated changes to our everyday lives and the holidays we celebrate. 

When trying to plan how to celebrate holidays, especially in the cooler weather, the focus is on reducing interactions and avoiding being in close proximity to others, while still having a wicked-good time!

“With COVID-19 increasing in our community, it’s important to avoid indoor activities with those you don’t live with, this includes avoiding Halloween parties, haunted houses, giving out candy and anything that may lead you to closely interact with others,” said Oscar Gomez-Durante, MD, division chief of Infectious Diseases at UBMD Pediatrics.

But don’t be frightened! With our providers encouraging people celebrate to in socially distant and virtual ways, we want to help you do just that. We’ve created a list of recommendations to enjoy All Hallows' Eve with the same amount of fun (and candy), you’ve grown to expect from the holiday.


  • Host a virtual Halloween party! The party can include
    • A virtual costume contest
    • A virtual pumpkin decorating activity (or contest if you want to raise the stakes). Set a timer and have everyone show off their creations one by one.
    • Dress up your family pets and make them part of the party (or have a pet costume party!)
    • Incorporate candy and other treats into the virtual party so kids can still enjoy a hallmark of the holiday.
  • Have a virtual Halloween movie watch party! From family-fun movies to a fright-fest, many streaming services now offer virtual watch parties, so everyone can enjoy movies together apart. 

For your virtual get-together, check out these virtual backgrounds we’ve made!



AT-HOME (with those you live with)

Have a hauntingly good time at home with those you live with! Think about incorporating these ideas:

  • Make Halloween treats together! They don’t just need to be desserts, but themed appetizers, snacks and meals! (Check out these Spooktacular recipes from BBC or Fall favorites from local food blogger, Emily Bites.)
  • Have a bedroom door decorating contest! Bonus points if you use them later to take turns and go indoor trick or treating.
  • Dress up your pets! Who knows, they might love the costumes just as much as you!
  • Paint pumpkins together! Paint them and use them as decorations in the house.

For more creative ways to celebrate Halloween, check out these virtual and at-home ideas from New York State’s Department of Health!

With these ideas, you’re on your way to a safe and healthy Monster Mash!

While interactions with those you don’t live with and door-to-door trick-or-treating aren’t recommended by our providers and the Department of Health, these suggestions are ways to help keep you, your loved ones and your community safe.

  • Don your costumes and check out decorations in your neighborhood from a distance! Maybe even have a car parade to ensure you can keep your distance.
    • Pro tip: Have candy at your house afterwards to avoid contact normally involved in trick or treating.
  • Wear COVID-safe masks. Our providers don’t encourage people to wear Halloween costume masks over cloth masks, medical masks or face coverings as it may cause risk of suffocation. It’s recommended to choose an approved face covering and opt to use a costume mask for another year.
  • If giving out candy, it’s advised to keep it outside and to stand at least 6 feet away from others.
  • As outlined, it’s not recommended to have any interactions, but if you do, make sure you
    • Wear a COVID-safe mask.
    • Use hand sanitizer after any interaction – with someone else or an object not from your home.
    • For candy you did not purchase for your household, use an EPA-approved wipe to clean off all candy wrappers to kill the novel coronavirus and wait for the wrapper to dry completely before unwrapping and consuming the candy.
    • Stay 6 feet apart of other families and those who don’t live in your house-hold.
    • Stay within your existing social bubble.

For more information on risk levels of different Halloween activities, visit the CDC’s website.