How to celebrate Halloween safely

      Halloween is a holiday that children, teens, adults and essentially people of all ages enjoy and it’s right around the corner. Jack-o-lanterns, costumes, pumpkin spice, candy corn, scary decorations and many other Halloween traditions have people thrilled like Michael Jackson in “Thriller.” However, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people are asking the same question: How do we celebrate Halloween safely? Although events have not been normal due to the pandemic, Halloween might be the standard Halloween everyone knows because it’s typically outside and masks have been a part of Halloween since it first started.       

      Get your hands a little dirty for an eventful night of pumpkin carving or decorating pumpkins with members in your household or in an outdoor setting with friends and family at a safe distance. After carving the pumpkins the seeds can even be made into a delicious snack like spicy pumpkin seeds. This activity is low-risk for spreading viruses and a super fun alternative for traditional trick-or-treating. 

        While trick-or-treating is fun, and not to mention a great workout with all the walking, passing out candy can be just as fun with individual pre-wrapped goodie bags placed out for families to grab from a distance (like from the end of a driveway or six feet away from the front door). If you plan on making goodie bags, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing the goodie bags.

     Another alternative activity is having a “Halloween Night” with friends and family in an outdoor setting that will allow enough space for appropriate social distancing. You can do multiple activities like watch a movie on a projector outside with snacks and candy or even set up game stations for people to visit and collect candy. 

      A super spooky safe activity that can be a great alternative is a one way open-air haunted forest that is spacious enough to keep distance with appropriate mask use enforced.

       Give your Instagram feed a little pumpkin spice and head on over to StoryBook Ranch in McKinney for pumpkins, hay mazes, pony and horse rides, petting zoos and a ride through the Western town with a mini pumpkin all for only $15 for children ages two and up. Adults are $5 each, which includes access to the petting zoo and wagon ride. A variety of pumpkins will be available for purchase. StoryBook Ranch even has a designated area for pictures. Head on over any day of the week from 10 a.m. until dark for memories that will be unforgettable.   

       If an adrenaline rush excites you more than a pumpkin patch, have a thrill-filled day with chills running through your body by night at the Six Flags Over Texas Halloween Fest. Six Flags will have lots of rides, food, trick-or-treat, seasonal decor and carved pumpkins for the perfect Instagram post during the day. Once night hits, get ready for eerie fog, creepy lighting and jumpscares in Halloween zones around the park. Although the scares are free, one day tickets for admission to the park are $30 each and season pass tickets are $60. Halloween costumes for all ages are allowed as long as they accommodate masks that cover the mouth and nose. To best help stop the spread of viruses while attending Halloween Fest at Six Flags, wear appropriate masks to cover your mouth and nose, sanitize your hands after every ride, and socially distance yourself from other people in the park to stay as safe as possible while celebrating.

     Whether your Halloween night is filled with carving pumpkins, passing out candy, going to pumpkin patches, or being scared in the eerie atmosphere and thrilling rides of Six Flags, you can have a safe, enjoyable and quite normal Halloween experience this year, in the midst of a pandemic