As the end of the year approaches, so do many holidays including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and New Year’s. COVID-19 remains a major concern throughout much of the country, leaving people to grapple with how they will or will not celebrate these occasions.
Large gatherings and close contact are still discouraged, and that is forcing communities to re-envision what a safe Halloween could look like. First and foremost, follow the recommendations of your local and state health department and government. They are keeping close tabs on what is happening within your area and how cases are trending. With these guidelines in mind, the HOA can begin thinking about how to celebrate Halloween.
Here are just a few ideas for safer festivities and social distancing:
- Decorating contest: Encourage homeowners to decorate their porches and yards for Halloween and carve pumpkins. This way they can be enjoyed by families passing by at a safe distance and still get your community in the spirit of the holiday. Let members vote on their favorites.
- Costume parade: Kids love dressing up and showing off their costumes, so let them do so in a parade around the neighborhood. They can stay at least six feet apart from one another and neighbors can sit in their driveways or on the sidewalk and watch them go by. The HOA could also post pictures (with parent permission) on the website in an area that can only be accessed by members.
- Pre-packaged candy: Since door-to-door trick-or-treating is considered higher risk, encourage members to set up at the end of their driveway where there is more space and air circulation. They can put candy in disposable cups or small bags that kids can grab and go so there is no congregating to pick through a communal bowl of candy. Or, homeowners can dish out candy rather than letting kids pick their own so there are not multiple hands touching it. Trunk-or-treat is another option where cars are spaced out so kids aren’t all together in one place at a time, and it’s outdoors.
- “Ghost” neighbors: Homeowners can put together little bags or baskets of candy and Halloween treats and surprise others in their neighborhood by leaving them on their doorstep. No contact required, and it’s a fun way to get everyone involved. Members could post a little ghost or something on their door if they’ve already been visited so others get a turn.
- Candy hunt: Use plastic eggs, put candy inside, and let kids hunt for them. Parents can do this around their own yard for their kids, or homeowners can use it as another socially distanced way to hand out treats.
- Movie night: Set up a big screen in the clubhouse parking lot or a large grassy area and invite families to come together (while staying apart) to watch a Halloween-themed movie. Kids can dress up in their costumes to watch so others can see what they picked.
Halloween doesn’t have to be cancelled because of coronavirus. There are plenty of ways families can celebrate on their own and get in the spirit, and ways neighborhoods can celebrate together while following safety guidelines. The HOA and homeowners can work together to figure out what works best for their community. For help with planning and communicating events and recommendations, partner with your management company. Contact Kuester today to learn more about how we can support your association during these challenging times and moving forward.