While Halloween is not an official holiday, and is not regulated by the County, Arlington is asking everyone to continue to practice the behaviors we know slow the spread of COVID-19.
If you may have COVID-19, may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or are showing any COVID-19 symptoms, you should not participate in trick-or-treating or any other in-person Halloween or Día de los Muertos festivities.
Halloween typically represents a time of fun and excitement for children and adults alike, but this season will be different than prior years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, the more closely people interact with each other and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. This may mean choosing not to participate in Halloween activities during the pandemic.
To protect against COVID-19, everyone should avoid close contact with people who do not live in their household, wear a mask (cloth face covering), and practice social distancing and frequent and proper hand washing.
This Halloween season, events that involve large gatherings of individuals (e.g. large Halloween parties, haunted houses, etc.) can increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and are not recommended. Read the information below to make the best decision for your family about choosing how to participate this year.
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Safer Halloween Celebrations with Arlington County:
- Halloween-themed Skate! Join us for a Halloween-themed Outdoor Skate at the I-66 parking garage Sat., Oct. 31! Get your skate on while listening to spooky music. Participants must bring their own skates and wear a mask. Family-friendly: 2-3 p.m.; 3:15-4:15 p.m.; Tweens & Teens: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
- Halloween-themed Rec on Wheels: You and your family are invited to make spooky luminaries and enter our Fun House obstacle course (if you dare) for a scary fun scavenger hunt. All ages welcome but geared toward ages 2-10. Free outdoor fun with exciting arts and crafts projects and some active movement. Offered at multiple times and locations, Oct. 26-29 — visit Parks & Rec for more info.
- Monsters of the Natural World (Virtual; Ages 16+): Explore real-life zombies, vampires, and other “monsters” of the natural world in celebration of Halloween.
- Focus the Fox Explores the Courthouse Neighborhood: In the short, self-guided story walk, early elementary-age children and an adult can join Focus the Fox and his cousin Clara as they explore the Courthouse neighborhood in Arlington on Halloween. It is perfect for early elementary-age children to do with a grown up, and feature places of interest in the Courthouse neighborhood that are fun and welcoming for a child.
- ACPD’s Frightfully Fun Parade of Costumed Cruisers: Head outside Saturday afternoon between 3 and 5 p.m. to see ACPD’s frightfully fun parade of costumed cruisers make its way through the streets of Arlington as part of our physical-distancing friendly Halloween celebration! Parade route, times and details.
If You Choose to Trick or Treat
Trick-or-treating involves increased risk for transmitting COVID-19, due to the potential for close proximity to many people and the difficulty for children trick-or-treaters to follow mask use and social distancing recommendations. If you do choose to trick-or-treat, it is important to protect yourself using the following recommendations, compiled from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
- Make trick-or-treating safer
- Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
- Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
- Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take, like a folding table or chairs.
- Space out the placement of treats so that multiple people do not have to reach into the same bowl or find contactless ways to deliver treats, like a candy chute that is more than six feet long.
- For trunk-or-treating, create distance between cars by parking in every other space.
- Wash hands before handling treats.
- Wear a mask.
- Wear a mask
- Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
- A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
- Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
- Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
- Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.
- Wash your hands
- Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past ten days, or have been in contact with someone with COVID in the past 14 days, follow VDH guidance to stay home and away from others. If you are self-isolating or self-quarantining, do not participate in trick-or-treating this year, and look for other virtual options to celebrate.
- VDH Interim Guidance for Participating in Halloween Events | Orientación provisional de VDH para participar en Eventos de Halloween
- CDC’s Halloween guidance information
- CDC: Trick or Treating and Other Halloween Activities