Tips (and Tricks) for a COVID-Free Halloween

looking to celebrate Halloween safely? look no further than these spooky tips

V1 Staff

JACK O' LANTERNS OF FUN. Though this Halloween looks a little different than most years, that doesn't mean you can't have some spooky fun!
JACK O' LANTERNS OF FUN. Though this Halloween looks a little different than most years, that doesn't mean you can't have some spooky fun! Submitted photo. 

As with everything else in 2020, COVID-19 will make Halloween a little (actually, a lot) different this year. Bobbing for apples is definitely a no-no, as are big gatherings with lots of spooky strangers. On the other hand, masks have never been more fashionable. Here are some suggestions from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for keeping you and your family safe on All Hallows’ Eve.  


  • Large outdoor gatherings, such as parties, festivals, and parades. Even though being outside decreases the risk, being in close contact with people you don’t live with increases the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. 

  • In-person indoor parties and celebrations. In-person costume contests and parties are not recommended, no matter where they might be held.

  • Happy hours or socializing at bars. We’ve learned that going out to the bars helps the virus spread quickly.

  • Traditional trick-or-treating from neighbor to neighbor. Going house-to-house and having in-person contact is not recommended.


  • Hold virtual costume contests and parties. Dress up. Get online with friends and other families to celebrate and rate each other’s costumes.
  • Increase what you do at home to celebrate. Decorate where you live. Get the kids involved in making decorations. Bake Halloween-themed treats. Watch scary movies with your family, household, or as a group online.
  • If your community hosts trick-or-treating this year, do it more safely. Leave individual grab bags (or paper cups) filled with goodies outside your door for children to take. If you can, watch and wave to trick-or-treaters through a window. Or, leave Halloween treats outside the door where friends and loved ones live for a contact-free way of celebrating.
  • Say “boo!” more safely. Instead of the usual close contact in a confined space, visit (or create!) a drive-through haunted house experience.  


  • Stay local. Avoid the urge to attend events in another town – it can lead to greater spread of the virus.
  • Think before you go. Use the DHS individual decision tool ( to assess what’s best for you and your family when it comes to celebrating this year. 
  • Get vaccinated against the flu. Consider getting the flu vaccine before Halloween to keep you healthier overall. COVID-19 and flu viruses both cause respiratory illnesses that spread easily from person-to-person. While the flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, it can minimize your risk of getting sick or being hospitalized from the flu.  

Learn more about mitigating your risk of spreading the coronavirus in all sorts of settings – from bike paths to yard sales – from the DHS at