Midlo neighborhoods prepare for a socially-distant Halloween

2020 Halloween: A safe twist on a cherished holiday


Photo by: Ann Moore

Grove resident Ann Moore plans to celebrate Halloween by distributing individually-wrapped parcels of candy to trick-or-treaters.

As the Halloween season approaches, parents and kids alike begin to wonder how trick-or-treating will function this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physically visiting every house, which includes touching doorbells, hand-picking candy, and traveling in groups, cannot occur in the traditional way. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted guidelines for celebrating the holiday, advising communities to “plan alternate ways to participate in Halloween.” With precautions in place, families and children can continue to spread Halloween cheer while being physically distant and socially excellent.

To practice safe trick-or-treating, residents of Midlo communities plan to equip themselves with the mechanisms needed to hand out candy without coming into direct contact with others. This includes donning masks and gloves and incorporating them into creative costume ideas. Candy distributors look to innovative ideas, including the use of a PVC pipe to safely send candy down to eager trick-or-treaters and utilizing cooking tongs for contactless interaction. 

The Grove, a community located in the heart of Midlothian, houses numerous families with young children. With Halloween approaching, the residents of the Grove hope to provide safe fun for the children in the neighborhood. Recently, the neighborhood posted creative socially distanced Halloween activities, which will take place on October 30. These festivities include: a Spook-tacular Unscramble, where children search for letters around the Grove Pond and compete to decode the message for a prize, a Fang-tastic Halloween Character Hunt, and a Jack O’Lantern Carving Contest and display. Regarding the practice of trick-or-treating, residents assert that it is a personal choice, where each family can decide if they want to send their kids out. Residents plan to turn on their lights if they plan to hand out candy. Many strategies include laying out candy on a table at the end of driveways and sanitizing every so often. Plus, residents plan to watch from down their driveways and wave as the children pick out candy in their costumes.

Ann Moore, who celebrates her first Halloween in the Grove, plans to put candy in festive bags on a garden flag stand. She shares, “I also have special items for those with food allergies that those children can take using a provided monster glove that they can keep.” While many residents feel excited to adapt Halloween to this new norm, some express their choice to refrain from trick-or-treating, stating they choose not to participate due safety concerns. Residents skeptical of the safety of trick-or-treating look to buy candy and let kids dress up with friends and celebrate within their own home. Fifth grade student Ella Gasiorowski shares her thoughts on the modified Halloween, stating, “I think it will be different as some houses might not do it, because they might be scared of Covid. But, I’m still so excited for Halloween.” 

Furthermore, Hallsley, located on Old Hundred Road near Westchester Commons, is home to over 1000 families that typically include elementary-aged children. To accommodate for CDC guidelines while trick-or-treating, Louie Correa, a Hallsey neighbor and founder of The Birthday Brigade, a nationally-recognized, weekly pandemic birthday celebration, also plans to host the Candy Caravan. In the Candy Caravan, neighbors will place tables at the end of their driveways with individually-bagged candy for children to gather while a caravan of cars travel to each home; this will allow for socially-distant trick-or-treating festivities in a positive, neighborly atmosphere. Neighbor Lexi Hanrahan explains that through the Candy Caravan, “the kids still get to trick-or-treat, while risk is greatly mitigated by mask-wearing” and that social distancing will easily occur “given the fact there won’t be “bottlenecks” going up and down the steps to front porches.” In addition, certain sections of Hallsley plan to set up bonfires and refreshments in their respective areas; these gatherings will house pumpkins filled with candy and enforce social-distancing guidelines without taking away from the spooky spirit. 

Whether celebrating in the Grove, Hallsley, or another Midlothian neighborhood, families have the opportunity to continue Halloween traditions while practicing CDC guidelines. With a small amount of creativity, the options for trick-or-treating pandemic-style are endless.

Happy Halloween from the Midlo Scoop Staff!

For more information on CDC Halloween guidelines, visit the CDC website.