With all the changes brought about by the pandemic, how to spend your holidays this year is yet another thing to consider--but Halloween isn’t off the table yet. Here’s a few recommendations for how to celebrate this October while staying socially distant.
Perhaps one of the most classic ways to celebrate Halloween is with scary movies. In addition to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, the Christopher Center library as well as many public libraries, have DVDs to rent. Grab some themed snacks and your roommates and set your homework aside for the evening. If scary movies aren’t your thing, don’t neglect the nostalgia of films like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” or “Hocus Pocus.”
Design contests have always been a staple of Halloween and they don’t need to go away now. Jack-o-lanterns can be lit outside where you can keep a bit of distance between yourself and others, but there are online alternatives to this classic. Have a costume or makeup contest instead, and share it with your friends over social media, video call or messaging apps. Discord even has bots that you can add to your server to vote with, such as Poll Bot. To save money, you might consider putting a theme to your competition, like costumes only done with things you already have.
Hang out online. It’s no secret that after weeks of online schooling most of us are a little sick of being at our computers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use technology to your advantage. Extensions like Netflix Party mean that you can watch shows with people you otherwise couldn’t, maybe because you’re distancing, or because you live far away. Discord calls are also a great way to hang out with your friends where people can come in and out as they see fit, and you can use music bots like Groovy to play Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as many times over as you want.
Horror games like Resident Evil or Amnesia aren’t for the faint of heart, but if that’s your thing, now is the time to spend an evening playing them. Humble Bundle has a “Thrills and Chills” bundle available where you can get multiple games by donating just $1, which helps support UNICEF and another charity of your choice. There’s also an early access co-op title on Steam called Phasmophobia, if you prefer to play with friends. Or just play Among Us. That’s good too.
Decorating cookies or cupcakes is another great way to celebrate any holiday. There’s just no going wrong. Even if it’s ugly, it’ll still taste good, probably. Frosting is a surprisingly easy thing to make, or you can purchase store-bought icings. Decorate with candy of your choice and enjoy.
Get outside. With the stress of the condensed semester, it can be hard to remember to get some fresh air, but it really does help. Even if you’re too old to trick-or-treat, you can still just take a break and go for a walk. Bring a trusted friend or family member, or if you’re off-campus, have a bon-fire with s’mores and apple cider.
Whatever you do this Halloween, stay safe. COVID-19 numbers are on the rise. It’s more important than ever to remember that while you can still have fun, take reasonable precaution. Also, don’t end up in the VUPD report.