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How to have a COVID-19-safe Halloween

Cute skeleton

Earlier last month, there were concerns about Los Angeles cancelling trick-or-treating on Halloween. The county quickly reversed the decision, though Beverly Hills’ ban remains. Whether you’re celebrating Halloween or Dia de Los Muertos, the California Department of Public Health strongly recommends choosing safe alternative methods of commemoration.

If you are outside of Los Angeles, or even California, it is important to check in with your local government’s protocol for a safe Halloween because COVID-19 rates vary by community. It is absolutely crucial we find moments of joy during this especially troubling year, but also that we act in a way respectful of the over 200,000 lives lost in the United States. 

The CDPH and CDC recommends the following safer alternatives:


  • In-home haunted house or candy scavenger hunt 
  • Scary or Halloween-themed movie night with activities like pumpkin carving and face painting 
  • Drive-thru Halloween experiences 
  • Admire decorated homes from a distance
  • Virtual Halloween party 
  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters (California recommends to abstain from trick-or-treating entirely)
  • Costume masks cannot substitute cloth masks: make your mask part of your costume!
  • Hand wash or use hand sanitizer after touching objects or other people
  • Visit a pumpkin patch, orchard, or one-way, walk-through haunted forest or corn maze
  • Hold an outdoor costume parade or virtual costume contest
  • Los Angeles: A self-guided tour of witch houses around the city, Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Haunt’oween drive-thru adventure, Nights of the Jack Drive-thru, Halloween at Descanso Gardens

Dia de Los Muertos

  • Put an altar in your front window or outside so others can view from a safe distance
  • Create a virtual altar to share with family and friends 
  • Visit the cemetery with household members and wear masks and maintain social distancing
  • Virtual celebration
  • Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors and deliver so you do not have direct contact

To share with your community about how to stay safe, download the shareable post above.

Haley Bosselman
Haley Bosselman is the editor-in-chief of Culturas. She grew up in Orange County and moved to Los Angeles after earning her bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University. In May 2020, Haley completed the Master of Science in journalism program at the University of Southern California. She's written a lot about music, but is geared toward any culture-related storytelling.
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