Tricks to celebrate Halloween safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
Even though trick-or-treating isn't advised in Ottawa this year, it has left some in a tricky spot. Some say passing out candy can be done safely, while others have chosen some door-to-door alternatives.
For those who dare to pass by Jennifer Guitard's hair raising horror scene set up on her front lawn, there's also candy to be had.
Guitard's house corners two streets, there are skeletons coming out from the ground and a ghostly cloud and figures in the tree. It is also completely cordoned off.
Illuminated pylons, six feet apart, stretch across the yard and hanging on a line, a bag of candy. Guitard says it is safe; people can walk up, take a look at the display, grab a bag of treats and head off. There is also a tent setup where she can monitor, and when trick or treaters leave she can re-load the bags. She says she will be using gloves and face masks.
"Halloween is all about the kids, they've been cooped up," says Guitard. "There's absolutely no contact with the kids or with family members so everyone can stay in their own bubble."
Unlike the ghoulish crime scene set up in her yard, handing out candy won't get you fined. The Ontario government and Ottawa Public Health have recommended against door-to-door candy collection, saying that during a pandemic it's just too risky.
Despite those warnings, Guitard believes it can be done safely, she is even following public health guidelines for physical distancing and says if everybody had a setup like hers, there wouldn't be much risk. Guitard has spoken to some neighbours and expects anywhere from 50 to 75 visitors, about half from years past.
For some heading out to collect the sweet stuff may seem too scary, so we have a proposition.
Canadian musician and family entertainer Chris McKhool will be performing a live-streaming kid's zoom party.
Hosted alongside his wife and nine-year-old daughter, the family trio will broadcast from their elaborate, fun-filled studio, which has a five-camera setup for the Zoom broadcast.
"Will do a dance contest too and have lots of prizes and all kinds of fun," says McKhool. "We can see everybody out there in the world and they can all see us and they can all see each other so it means a lot of fun interaction between all the kids."
It will also be a costume party. There will be sing-alongs, a puppet show and a science experiment to make slime. McKhool wanted to provide an exciting alternative to those who decided to stay in this year. It also give children a chance to connect in way that is no longer possible when maintaining your bubble.
The event is free but tickets are required to take part in the fun. The event starts at 6 p.m. on Halloween.
Whether it is a scavenger hunt, a family movie night or a parade down your street, there are many ways to be hallow-safe this season.