“COVID-friendly” activities to do for Halloween

“COVID-friendly” activities to do for Halloween

Story |Olivia Deloian

Olivia’s younger brother Patrick during a fall outing. Photo provided by Olivia.

A chilly autumn breeze passes you by as you go on a long afternoon walk, and you tighten your sweater around your neck for warmth. You look up to see the leaves are changing colors, and a yellowish glow is peaking through from the sun. The leaves that have already fallen crunch below your feet. You walk into your apartment and smell the remnants of the pumpkin candle you were burning the night before. It’s finally fall, ya’ll.

There’s nothing quite like autumn, and that means it’s time to get into the spooky spirit! Although your Halloween plans might look a little bit different this year, there are still so many fun things to do! Here are some “COVID-Friendly” activities to keep your spooky season fun and frightening.

Horror Movie Night

Get together with whoever you’re quarantined with: your boo, family, or roommates, and have a scary movie night! Pop some popcorn, turn out the lights, grab some blankets, and choose your favorite horror movies to watch for the evening. Might I suggest the original Halloween?


If you don’t have any Halloween decorations, run to Target’s dollar section and you will not be disappointed with their selection. They have so many cost-friendly decorations to choose from, and decorating your place will certainly get you in the spirit, and make you feel festive.

Go to a pumpkin patch

A fall staple – the pumpkin patch. And they’re still open! There are so many Chicagoland options: Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, Crosswind Farms, Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up, you name it. As long as you wear a mask, keep your distance from others, you can still enjoy picking out a pumpkin or two.


Whether it’s apple pie, pumpkin pie, or those favorite Halloween cookies from Pillsbury, it’s time to enjoy baking again. So preheat your oven and start making some yummy treats!

Carving Pumpkins.

But, of course–carving pumpkins! This tradition is of course a seasonal favorite, and thankfully one you can still enjoy. Whether you decide to go for a traditional Jack-O-Lantern, or a more creative route, you’ll have fun carving.

Go to a drive-in movie

So many places in Chicagoland are showing your favorite Halloween classics and safely! Chi-Town Movies is collaborating with Music Box Theater for “Music Box of Horrors” this month, Hocus Pocus is being screened in Oak Forest, and Maleficent is showing in Bridgeview! You can still enjoy a night at the movies, and how fun are drive-ins?

Make a scare-crow/dummy

There’s nothing funnier than watching neighbors walk by and be startled by a scare-crow. Grab some old jeans and a flannel, overalls, or whatever you have lying around. Stuff it with either some hay or fallen leaves, and put a mask on it! And voila, another spooky decoration that you get to say you crafted yourself. 

Have a virtual costume contest.

All you have to do is invite your friends to all post a picture in their costumes on Instagram by a date of your choosing. Then, by Halloween night, you all vote on who had the best costume! It’s an excuse to dress up, and be safe while doing so. Do it for the ‘gram.

Go to a cemetery

Olivia has created a list of fun things to do this October to get in the spooky mood despite coronavirus restrictions.

Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum is a Chicago-favorite, and there are so many local ones to  explore in your own hometown! It’s always so intriguing to get a glimpse of history through gravesites and what a better time to visit than October? If you do go to Graceland, be sure to check out the statue and gravesite titled, “Eternal Silence.”

Make homemade apple cider

This recipe by delish makes homemade and delicious apple cider easy! Ingredients call for:  

10 large apples, quartered; 1/2 orange, halved; 4 cinnamon sticks; 1 tsp. Cloves; 1 tsp. whole allspice; 1 whole nutmeg; 1/2 c. packed brown sugar. Add the apples, oranges, spices and sugar in a large pot on medium heat. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for two hours,Then remove the orange halves, and mash the apples with a spoon. Return to simmer for an hour. After, strain the rest. Then your cider is ready!

Go for a drive to watch the leaves change

It sounds simple, but there’s really nothing like watching the leaves change in autumn! Simply driving or walking around and enjoying the autumnal views is a must. Put on your favorite fall playlist while you’re sight-seeing too. 

“Boo” someone

This was always a favorite tradition of mine as a kid! Someone would ring our doorbell, you’d answer to find no one there but a ghost taped to the door with a sign that reads, “You’ve been booed!” Below, a bag of treats and Halloween goodies are filled to the top, and you have to pass it along to someone else. Plus it’s fun to guess who booed you! 

Have a Halloween zoom party on Halloween night

Who says you can’t have a Halloween party this year? Turn on your Halloween playlist, put your costume on, grab your apple cider and add vodka, and turn on zoom! You can still have fun, drink, dance and be in the company of your friends, even if it’s virtually. Happy haunting!

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