Happy Halloween! Parents across the Northeast have begun reaching out to ask: How can my child enjoy this spooky holiday safely? From alternative party ideas to costume recommendations, we have ideas to work together and make this Halloween a safe and fun success.

Turn Your Mask into a Scary (or Charming!) Accessory

Remember when Halloween was the *only* day you’d find yourself in a mask?

This year may be different, but you can still bring all your costume creativity to the 31st. Think about those extra masks you’ve got around the house as perfect costume fodder. Encourage your kids to draw their own vampire teeth or cat whiskers on their masks, making them a part of a safe and special costume. For more unique costumes, it’s fun to try drawing (or stitching!) patterns, sketching bats and ghosts, and even writing Halloween quotes on masks to make them truly one-of-a-kind.

When it comes to turning a mask into an accessory, the options are virtually endless. A surgical mask and scrubs is a quick costume choice to dress up as a medical hero (wink wink). There are also a vast array of colored and patterned masks available, allowing you to match your mask to your costume–a white one for a mummy outfit, blue for a mermaid, black for a ninja and so on. Outlaw and cowboy costumes work perfectly with bandana masks.

Safe and Social Celebration Ideas:

This year is a great time to get creative with Halloween celebration ideas. There are plenty of fun, enjoyable ways to celebrate the holiday while staying socially distant, masked, and safe.

Consider a costume parade or a pumpkin carving contest, or hold a small, outdoor get-together with members of your quarantine social bubble. If you’ll be passing out candy, try individually bagging treats to avoid repeated reaching into bowls or ringing doorbells.

Newburyport residents Jillian MacLaughlin Tilley and Sara Willman-Laplante have organized a special, socially distant Halloween activity: a map of Newburyport’s most elaborately decorated homes! They’ve created a Facebook group to organize families’ drives or walks around town, checking out the makeshift skeletons, graveyards, pumpkins and more.

The group Nice People of Newburyport has also partnered with local businesses to host Halloween challenges, from a Family Costume Contest to a pumpkin-carving competition. Check out her Facebook group and consider having your family participate as a way to keep Halloween special. (Your family might win prizes like a vehicle pass to a “drive-in ghostbusters” experience.)

Trick or Treating

Halloween is a spooky holiday, but it’s also an important time to re-connect to our community and allow ourselves some much-needed fun. Trick-or-treating is a great option: it takes place outdoors in the fresh air, and incorporates lots of walking for an active night. The “small doses” of social interaction–stopping at individual houses or driveways, passing others in the street–is also safer, as opposed to longer, confined interactions where COVID might spread.

If you have any questions about Halloween safety, feel free to give us a call or email us–we’re here to meet any of your health-related needs.