Halloween 2020

Jack o Lantern
What are your plans for Halloween? Whatever you’re planning, this guide suggests how to do it safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. | Image provided

Philadelphia has again ranked as a top American city to be in for Halloween. Now is time to start getting ready for the 2020 festivities. Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, so it’s an opportunity for just about everybody to join in the freaky fun all weekend long.

Check with Your City Government

Like just about everything else during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween won’t be quite the same, but there will be plenty of fun and scary activities for kids and adults. City Hall has yet to set trick-or- treating hours in Philadelphia, but local news reports are suggesting Saturday the 31st from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Different municipalities will be allowing the candy-grabbing little monsters at different times, so it’s best to contact your local government about your city’s hours. 

Trick-or-Treating Safety

According to a recent article on Patch, 53% of parents plan on taking their kids trick-or-treating this year. That same article says some people will be distributing candy while wearing a mask and sanitizing their hands and others likely aren’t taking social distancing seriously.

If you are visiting others in pursuit of the sweet treats, here are some tips for you to stay safe:

  • Avoid trick-or-treating in large groups. It is best to just go with your household.
  • Keep some space between you and other trick-or-treat groups so that you aren’t bunched up on a doorstep.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently. Lots of germy hands are going to be touching the same doorbell that night.
  • Design your costume to incorporate a mask. Draw some fangs or a crooked smile onto your mask to add some spooky style.

If you are accepting trick-or-treaters this year, you will want to take some precautions to ensure your family stays healthy and goblins visiting your property are safe from injury.

  • When decorating your house, keep walkways clear so that visitors do not trip and fall.
  • Wear a mask when distributing candy. There are several Halloween costumes where you can easily incorporate a mask into the ghoulish design.
  • Administer the candy directly into the trick-or-treat candy bag to avoid sticky fingers touching more than one piece of candy.

You can also check out the CDC’s safety guidelines here

Trick-or Treating Alternatives

If trick-or-treating isn’t for you, but you still want to celebrate, here are some fun and safe alternative events:

  • Halloween in Manayunk: This is a fun and safe place for kids to have Halloween fun right on Main Street. Bring your pet in a costume too.
  • The Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Street: There will be select dates between September 26, 2020 to November 1, 2020 when Sesame Street will be open. Kids and parents can attend shows with special themes, decorate pumpkins and see participants’ favorite pets. There’s even a parade around the park.
  • The Great Pumpkin Carve in Chadds Ford: This annual three-day event takes place about 30 minutes outside of Philly. It features 60 local pumpkin carving artists. The event will be socially distanced on a drive through trail this year. There also is also a haunted trail and more.

Haunted Houses

Be part of the haunting. Horrific hellos greet visitors at Philadelphia’s haunted houses. The sets, props, actors, electronics and animation fright go right under participants’ skin. Visits to Eastern State Penitentiary and Boston Haunted Manor have been suspended because of COVID-19. Here are a few haunted sites that will be open in the Philadelphia area. 

  • Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride: Located in Glen Mills, this popular haunted attraction has been operating for more than 30 years. They’re open most nights in October. Take a look at their Facebook page.
  • Fright Factory: The “scariest place in Philly” is open on Friday, Saturday and just about all Sunday nights from late September until November. The 25,000 square foot haunted house with frightening actors is located in South Philly at 2200 S. Swanson Street.
  • Kim’s Krypt Haunted Mill: Just 30 minutes outside of Philly in Spring Grove, Kim’s Krypt features haunted houses, haunted trails, ghost tours and other ghostly and horrifying activities. Kim’s Krypt is rated as very scary. Given CDC guidelines, plan your nightmare ahead.
  • Night Tours at the Penitentiary – Explore the cellblocks of Eastern State Peneitentiary, see Al Capone’s cell. Face masks and social distancing are required.  

Halloween Pub Crawls

For those revelers who are over 21, Philly is full of Halloween night pub crawls. Thousands of creepy crawlers participated last year. They’ll be moving from location to location throughout Halloween night. A pub crawl wrist band means no cover charges at the participating places with special wicked brews. Here are a few popular events:

Whatever you decide to do, don’t let Halloween 2020 go to waste! Not only is it on a Saturday, but it is also a full moon and the end of Daylight Savings Time. This means that you will get an extra hour or extra creepy fun plus a full Sunday to recover. Enjoy responsibly and see other scary attractions here on VisitPhilly and PhillyFamily

  • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

    A.D. Amorosi is an award-winning journalist who, along with working for the Philadelphia Weekly, writes regularly for Variety, Jazz Times, Flood and Wax Poetics, and hosts and co-produces his own SoundCloud-charting radio show, Theater in the Round for Pacifica National Public Radio station WPPM 106.5 FM and WPPM.org.

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