As with the rest of 2020, Halloween will look a bit different this year. But that doesn’t mean costumes and candy are canceled—just that your spooky fun should also be socially responsible. Here are some ways to keep unpleasant frights to a minimum and enjoy a safer Halloween.

1. Don’t get tricked—follow safety guidelines.

Some cities have announced do’s and don’ts for Halloween, such as recommending against door-to-door trick-or-treating. Check your local government websites for information. You can also take a look at the risk levels published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for certain Halloween activities.

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2. Plan creative ways to celebrate.

Here are a few ideas to keep your Halloween fun and on the right side of spooky.

Go door to door inside your home. This strategy is perfect for families with younger children. Challenge each family member to decorate a different room in your home with a theme and treats (or tricks, of course). Then dress in costume and go door to door—without leaving your home.

Coordinate a socially distanced neighborhood event. In this year of drive-by graduations and birthday parties, plan something similar for Halloween. Make it a contest: Dress your kids in costume, decorate your vehicle and then drive by “judges.” Or costumed kids can stay in their yards, and families can take turns driving through the neighborhood to see one another.

Go all out with Halloween decorations. You can make it a neighborhood contest for the spookiest and most creative outdoor scenes. Neighbors can drive by and cast their votes virtually.

Plan a Halloween movie night—indoors or out. Dial up the fright factor to your liking and make it a double or even triple feature—Halloween is on a Saturday, so no school the next morning!

Host a virtual party. Videoconferencing isn’t just for work or seeing Grandma. Plan a costume party, pumpkin-carving contest or something even spookier.

Distance your treats outside. Space out individually wrapped goody bags at the edge of your yard so neighborhood kids can responsibly get their candy. Or get a small group together outside and stay more than 6 feet apart—offer prepackaged food and drinks, wear a protective mask (it’s Halloween, right?), and keep hand sanitizer close by.

“Boo” your neighbors. It can be fun to get booed. Assemble a goody basket of Halloween treats for a neighbor to surprise them and include a note encouraging them to do the same for another neighbor.

Create a Halloween scavenger hunt. Give your kids a checklist of Halloween-themed things to spot while they walk around the neighborhood. (They can also see all the cool outdoor Halloween decorations at a distance.)

Add glow to the darkness. Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. Purchase glow-in-the-dark plastic eggs (or get glowing paint and use your old Easter eggs), fill them with treats and hide them in the yard for your little gremlins and goblins to find. (Outfit them with glow necklaces and glow sticks to up the fun.)

3. Include your mask in your costume.

No, that plastic Spider-Man mask isn’t CDC-recommended. But you can incorporate your COVID-19 protective mask into your costume. Yes, jack-o’-lantern face coverings are a thing. So, too, are cartoon noses and sports team logos on masks. Or simply make a DIY set and match the fabric of your mask with a bandana for your dog.

4. Research spooky places before you go.

If your area permits events like pumpkin picking and hayrides, research each place’s safety precautions before you go. Check their social media feeds and websites for updated information (some pumpkin patches are offering reservations, for example) to avoid surprises when you get there.

Get Spooky and Save

From candy and costumes to decor and more, you can earn AAA Dollars on online purchases at Target, Walmart and many other popular stores.

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