Trick or Treat! A COVID-Safe Halloween

By Emily S. RSS Fri, October 22, 2021

Jack-o'-lanterns are grinning from the stoops, and a chill wind rustles through the leaves. An orange October moon slips from behind swift-moving clouds, and children are possessed by an unquenchable thirst for pocket-sized portions of candy. The spooky season is upon us once again!

Last year, Halloween was a little different due to COVID-19. What do this year’s Halloween celebrations look like for Philadelphia families? Read on to find out... if you dare : )


Can we trick-or-treat?
Yes! According to both Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, trick-or-treating is a reasonably safe activity for kids and families, provided that it is done outdoors and with enough social distance. They continue to recommend mask-wearing for all indoor events where non-household members are present.


Is the candy safe?
A recent study suggests that there is a very low risk of Coronavirus transmission from candy handled by an infected person. To reduce the risk of exposure to nearly zero, wash the wrapped candy in dishwashing detergent, and wash your hands for 20 seconds before you enjoy your treat.


What about Halloween parties?
The CDC recommends mask-wearing at all indoor events with non-household members. They also discourage people from gathering in large crowds, particularly indoors. So indoor parties with only people who live with you can be unmasked, but if you have other party guests, keep your masks on! Philadelphia’s mask mandate requires mask-wearing in all public spaces where proof of vaccination is not required.


Will younger children be vaccinated soon?
It is possible that a COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 could be approved by the FDA in the coming weeks, perhaps in time for Halloween.


Are Halloween-themed events happening this year?
If you’re looking for a spooktacular event for the whole family, you’ll have many options to choose from throughout Philadelphia. Be sure to check our events calendar regularly for family-friendly Halloween-themed happenings at neighborhood libraries. Explore suggestions from Philadelphia Family and Visit Philly. From family-friendly creature-filled classics like Boo at the Zoo! to the new and frightening Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary, and from pet costume contests to turnip-carving, there is something for everyone.


What if my family prefers Halloween at home?
Try these simple Halloween Crafts for Kids to decorate your haunted mansion. If you’re looking for some spooky reads to enjoy with the family, check out these catalog lists: Halloween Children’s Stories, Chilling Children’s Books, or Halloween ebooks for Kids and Teens. Try Sequential Philly’s Spooky Season Starter for a harrowing selection of comics or Ghastly Graphic Novels if graphic ghouls are more your taste. For adults, delve into Halloween History to unravel the origins of this hallowed holiday. Don’t forget to search our catalog for your favorite scary movies to watch on Halloween!


Wishing you a safe and hair-raising Halloween season from the Free Library!

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