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Alternative Halloween for those in Normal

Written by on October 29, 2020

Photo courtesy OSF Healthcare

NORMAL, Ill.- As Halloween approaches many people are stuck on ideas for the spooky holiday.

Resident alternatives

Ten-year Normal resident Hailey Thomas decided to mix up her traditional plans of trick-or-treating with her five-year-old son, Sam this year. Thomas and her close friend plan to take a getaway from COVID as whole and have a Halloween dinner celebration.

The two families plan to rent a house that follows COVID-19 sanitation guidelines. Their hope is to spend time together as their children get a day full of Halloween adventures. While the kids take part in festivities, they will be able to wear their costumes all day. Thomas packed their day with a variety of activities including indoor swimming.

Thomas and her family practice a safe Halloween.

“The other mom and I have decided we’re going to put together a scavenger hunt sheet for our kids and it’ll be things like I don’t know ‘get a funny shaped rock and find an orange leaf.’ Just things like that so we can go outside and will probably try to make them Halloween themed items.”

Another aspect of the night is a Halloween themed dinner. The main entrée will be “bat wings” which are chicken wings coated in sweet and sour sauce. Thomas says that they will have many spooky treats—graveyard cupcakes which are chocolate cupcakes with a broken Snicker’s on top. Throughout the entirety of planning, Thomas says that her son helped her come up with the plan.

“I just was not feeling comfortable with doing trick-or-treating and so I felt guilty trying to. It felt almost like I was taking away a tradition that my son treasured but I focused on a making him a part of the planning which was me giving him ownership of the scenario and then me getting excited about it myself.”

Thomas is excited to spend time with her husband and son despite the circumstances.

College-student alternatives

For college students Halloween isn’t so much trick-or-treating, but rather attending parties.

In the new guidelines set by the CDC, activities such as crowded indoor parties and trick-or-treating are considered higher risk. But for you Halloween lovers eager to show off their costumes, there are ways to do so safely.

“What we can do is have a virtual Halloween party or a virtual costume party. Now that we have all these avenues such as Zoom to record and transmit video, a virtual Halloween or costume party can be done quite easily,” said OSF Healthcare Chief Medical officer Bill Walsh.

In addition to virtual celebrations, other at-home activities can offer fun roommate-bonding time while also keeping you and your loved ones safe. If you want to participate in pumpkin carving but prefer to avoid going to the pumpkin patch altogether, a standard grocery store is a safe alternative.

“Buying a pumpkin at a grocery store is the same risk as going to the grocery store for other essential items. If you’re going to have a pumpkin carving session at your house, you should do it with those you live with only. It’s not a good idea to have a party where you are carving pumpkins indoors – that will be a high risk activity,” said Walsh.




Camberyn Kelley and Alyssa Helm contributed to this story