Halloween in Lockdown - What to Doby Erin Edgar
Let’s face it -- 2020 has been different. For a lot of people, it has been full of hurt and mixed in with some joyful occasions here and there. Now we are entering the final quarter of the year -- and one this is certain -- the rest of 2020 is most likely going to be full of the same disappointment we have felt since the beginning of the year.
Our family has made the best of everything that has been thrown our way. Unfortunately, making the best of things or sticking to what we want is harder than caving under the pressures of society. Most of the time we tend to feel like we are pulled in different directions -- and the peer pressure from other parents can sometimes just be too much to handle. If you are anything like me, that is when I lock myself back up in isolation and just wait for everything to pass.
But, now we are getting to Halloween and my husband and I LOVE this time of the year. Our hope is to celebrate this season as a family -- while also keeping true to the social distancing practices we have been doing all year long. Last year, our son was just home from the NICU -- and he was too small to do anything with. This year, it is much different -- but, we still want to make is memorable -- but, with everything closed, what all can we do?
I have picked-out five fun activities that your family can do during the month of October -- there are so many other options that I didn’t put on this list -- but, I wanted to narrow it down to things that you can not only enjoy with your family and friends -- but, also make beautiful memories with -- and maybe even some new family traditions.
Plan a neighborhood Trick 'r Treat Block Party
We live in a wonderful neighborhood that has about 70 houses altogether -- and is full of a lot of young children. About a month ago, we started talking on an app our neighborhood uses called Nextdoor. As a neighborhood, we wanted to prepare if Halloween does get cancelled. So, we started planning our own little neighborhood Trick ‘r Treat and block party for Halloween -- socially distancing, of course. We want all of the kids to enjoy Halloween -- but, we also want the adults to be able to enjoy, as well. One of our neighbors plays in a local band and is willing to be the entertainment for the block party & we trust one another because we are such a close-knit community.
Involve family that is close-by -- or friends you consider family
We are lucky because we have our son’s grandparents close-by. Because our son is still just a little too young for Trick ‘r Treat -- but, he is old enough to visit a few places -- we are getting the help of the grandparents. They are making our son little buckets for Trick ‘r Treat that will be filled with toys, books, and snacks that he enjoys. We are also going to get with a couple of our close neighbors and have him go Trick ‘r Treat for the first time.
Enjoy the great outdoors and introduce your child to some new animals
Yes, I am talking about the zoo. Now, we have gone to two different zoos since social-distancing became a thing. Both are small road trips. At one of the zoos, we were extremely uncomfortable, even though you must purchase tickets beforehand and they limit ticket sales every day. It was just packed and people were not following the rules set by the park. We ended up cutting that trip very short because of this. BUT -- we did recently go to another zoo -- and we loved the experience. We were able to enjoy everything the zoo had to offer -- and we even felt comfortable enough to go into the indoor exhibits. People followed the rules and wore their masks (properly, at that) -- and everyone was following social distancing. At this particular zoo, they are doing a driving type Halloween zoo experience on certain dates. Admission is limited to these types of events, so look into them at your local zoos -- and find an event that might fit what you are looking for.
Local Pumpkin Patch
Unless our family has our own hayride to take into the pumpkin patch, we will most likely not go to any of the larger ones this year -- but, there are plenty of local places that set up smaller pumpkin patches that you can walk around and pick out your favorite fall treats. That is more our family's style right now. If your family is comfortable taking that hayride with other people -- go for it! These farmers and farms work hard to prepare for this season and it is one of their most profitable times of the year. These small businesses appreciate your support -- and we appreciate their hard work!
Share the love with children in the children’s hospitals
One thing our family is very fond of is the NICU -- mainly because our son was in during the first three months of his life. The donations the NICU receives are mainly from past families that went through the same battle we did, or charitable organizations that were also set-up by past NICU families. Even though the babies are the tiniest of babies and won’t really celebrate Halloween -- it was comforting to know there was some normalcy in our lives, and it was something that felt like "home". Also, whenever we did receive something small -- whether it be a gift card to the cafeteria, or a gas card to help with expenses -- the gratitude helped ease a little of the stress that is on us. But, we are talking about the children, too -- and there are a lot of kids in Children’s hospitals across the country that won’t get to celebrate Halloween -- or even dress-up. Call a hospital that has a pediatrics ward and ask them what they are accepting or if you can donate to help the kids celebrate. You may not be able to go inside due to restrictions, but involving your kids in the process and letting them know that kindness goes a long way is a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season -- and may be one of the most fulfilling things you can do as a family.
There are many different things that we can do and still socially distance and feel safe, but whatever you do during this time of the year -- be safe, have fun, and always be kind to what other people are doing to help keep their own families safe.