10 Things to Do on Halloween During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Although costume parties and haunted houses might be off-limits due to COVID-19, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the spookiest night of the year.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - Decorate your face mask for Halloween
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Decorate your face mask

Who says you can’t be spooky on your way to the grocery store? Since most places in Canada have mandated face masks or face coverings indoors, decorating your mask can be a great way to celebrate the day while still staying safe. Consider fabric paint, iron-on patches or bedazzling to give your PPE a hint of Halloween flair. Alternatively, you could make your own DIY face mask with a Halloween-themed fabric and the help of these step-by-step instructions:

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - Bride of Frankenstein on bluray
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Have a scary movie marathon

Snuggle up at home with a bowl of popcorn (and all of those mini-chocolate bars, obviously) for a good old-fashioned movie night. Queue up these scary movies on Netflix or a selection of creepy classics to get you into the Halloween spirit. For a more raucous movie night, put on The Rocky Horror Picture Show, dress up, and sing along with the “Time Warp.” Just because you can’t go to a midnight viewing doesn’t mean you can’t have your own shadow cast performance!

Too scared to watch those chillers on your own? Use an extension like Netflix Party (which syncs your device with anyone you invite to the “party”) to watch with people outside of your bubble.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - adult Halloween costumes
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Take your costume party online

Can’t go to your usual Halloween party? Make your costume at home and invite your friends and family to a virtual costume party. You could even get competitive and make it a costume contest. Start by picking out the right app: Zoom lets you set fun backgrounds but needs a paid plan for parties of more than two. Google Hangouts allows for parties up to 25, but all guests need a Google account. Houseparty has some built-in games to get the party going, but only supports seven at a time. Decision, decisions…

Pressed for time? Here are eight genius Halloween costumes you can pull together at the last minute.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - pumpkin spice latte
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Make pumpkin spice everything 

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin spice. If you’re a big fan of the flavour, look up some pumpkin spice recipes and make a big batch of cookies, muffins, lattes, or even just a classic pumpkin pie. Don’t want to spend the day in the kitchen? There are a ton of ready-made pumpkin spice goodies on the market to satisfy your craving, from Oreos to Kraft Dinner. (Yes, you read that right!)

For more comfort food, check out our best-ever slow-cooker recipes.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - carve jack-o'-lanterns
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Carve Jack-o’-lanterns

This pandemic-proof activity is an essential Halloween tradition. This year, try some creative pumpkin carving ideas to step up your Jack-o’-lantern game. Experiment with cutting just the skin, or using the stem as a nose to come up with some truly gruesome gourds. Not particularly handy? Print out a free pumpkin carving stencil for foolproof results. Don’t forget to save those pumpkin seeds for roasting! 

Here are 10 more tricks for your best Jack-o’-lantern ever.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - haunted house makeover
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Transform your home into a haunted house

Though public haunted houses are likely off-limits due to COVID-19 restrictions, that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own. The best part about giving your home a ghoulish makeover is that it’s completely customizable. Can’t decide between a mad scientist’s lab or a gothic Victorian mansion? Why not go with both! Decorate rooms in different themes and then take your family and friends on a virtual tour via video chat.

Take a few decor cues from the most haunted places in Canada.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - Halloween house decorations
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Go all-out on decorations

Now that the inside of your home is all decorated, get creative with the exterior too. The dollar store is a great place to get pre-fab decorations affordably, or you could make your own, taking inspiration from this genius dollar store Halloween hack

Find out why we celebrate Halloween in the first place.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - Halloween candy
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Plan a Halloween scavenger hunt 

If your trick-or-treating plans have been cancelled, play it safe and plan your own event at home. Take a page out of the Easter playbook and hide some candy around your backyard (or inside your house) and get your family involved in a scavenger hunt. If you’ve got hollow plastic eggs left over from Easter, give them a Jack-o’-lantern makeover with some orange paint and hide candy in them. (You’ll be glad you did if you’re playing outside and want to avoid wet treats!)

Don’t miss this ghoulish gallery of photos that perfectly capture Halloween in Canada.

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - ouija board
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Summon the spirits with a Ouija board

If you’re serious about having a truly creepy Halloween at home, try communicating with the spirit world with the help of a Ouija board. Turn all the lights out, fire up some candles and be prepared to star in a scary movie of your very own. The goosebump-inducing activity is best done with a small group (rule #1 of Ouija: never talk to spirits on your own!) so get your household involved. Don’t forget to leave a silver coin on the board to ward away any bad spirits.

These spooky Ouija board stories may make you think twice!

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What to do on Halloween during COVID-19 - Halloween cocktails
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Experiment with spooky cocktails

Whether you’re hosting a virtual costume party or hunkering down for a movie night, consider putting the “boo!” into booze with a Halloween-themed beverage. For a classic cocktail, conjure up a Dark & Stormy (dark rum, ginger beer and a squeeze of lime juice). Another spooky-sounding concoction, Death in the Afternoon, can be made with a little bit of absinthe and champagne. 

Now that you know what to do on Halloween during COVID-19, have a chuckle at these corny Halloween jokes.

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