By Pam Dewey • October 15, 2020
The start of fall means temperatures have dropped, leaves are crunchy under your feet and bonfires and cozy drinks are on the agenda. Though this autumn might look different, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the season.
Here are a few ways to celebrate safely with family and friends.
Go full pumpkin (or scarecrow) on your decorating
Hang up your fall-themed wreaths, dust off your fake pumpkins and bust out the bittersweet. You could try creating a pumpkin installation on your front steps. Or paint a few pumpkins with your family. Add in natural elements like gourds, hay bales and cornhusks. Don’t forget to include your front yard so that the whole neighborhood can enjoy your efforts!
Amp up the autumn vibes by picking up fallen acorns or pinecones. Use these small items around a candle, in a basket or on a wreath. Best of all, these fall trinkets don’t cost anything.
Host an outside event
Autumn is a great time for a backyard get-together, and hosting an outdoor event provides the most safety for you and your guests. Just keep your guestlist small; the Minnesota Department of Health says outdoor gatherings shouldn’t exceed 25 people. Also make sure you have enough room to maintain 6 feet of space between everyone.
Plan to serve individually packaged snacks and drinks and have plenty of hand sanitizer available. Encourage your guests to wear masks when not drinking and eating. Fall is also a wonderful time for a bonfire, so include that in your plans if you have a fire pit.
Do socially distanced trick-or-treating
Autumn is also the time kids get excited to go trick-or-treating. But how can you hand out candy to the neighborhood kids while avoiding contact? You could create individually wrapped treat bags to prevent the “sticking-your-hand-in-the-candy-bowl” issue. Or, you can space your treat bags out on a blanket in the yard. If you’ve got a fence in the front, you can hang bags on that. You may also want to include some non-food treats for kids with food allergies. Using a teal pumpkin is a signal to families with food allergies that you’ve included safe treats for them.
Organize a treat hunt
You may also decide to skip collecting candy in the neighborhood and organize a treat hunt inside your own home. Your child could go door-to-door in your own house to collect candy. Or you could re-use eggs from an egg hunt or create a scavenger hunt. If you do hide candy, just do it in a way that it’s safe for pets.
Attend safe events
Many businesses and organizations are getting creative with their events. If you’re thinking about attending a fall event, check whether the organizers are taking precautions like offering hand sanitizer, requiring masks and providing ways to social distance. If the planners don’t mention safety measures, it could be wise to steer clear. You might also consider attending some virtual events. Many creative virtual events are popping up, like the Fraser Annual Benefit, presented by U.S. Bank, which is going “Through the Looking Glass” this year.
Host a virtual party
You can also host your own virtual party. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! You can plan a group scavenger hunt, a Zoom dance party, a virtual costume contest or a watch party where you screen a favorite scary movie. Netflix has launched Netflix Party, which allows you to watch movies or TV shows with friends online.
Though we all still need to be cautious, there are many fun ways to celebrate fall with your kids, friends and family.