By Shelly Khushal
The pandemic has changed the way we think about many things, including Halloween. This year Halloween will look and feel different. Here are some tips to help ensure a healthy, fun and safe experience for the little trick-or-treators.
Five Halloween Safety Tips
Costume Safety – Children should wear properly fitted costumes so they don’t trip. Avoid oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses and long capes. Consider face painting this year because masking remains an effective way to reduce the spread of infection for kids age two and older. Parents can get creative about making a face mask part of a child’s costume. Or, kids can wear a face mask under their costume mask.
Travel in Groups – If parents are not accompanying their older children, ensure they travel in a group. Know the route they will be taking, and give them a curfew for their return. Give them a flashlight or glow sticks for increased visibility. Remind them not to visit houses that are not well lit and never go inside a stranger’s house.
Be aware of your surroundings – Although safety tip number two advocates for group outings, at the same time, groups can be distracting. Kids sometimes forget to pay attention to cars and the road. It is important to remind them about walking on sidewalks, where possible, and continue to look both ways before crossing the road.
Consider leaving phones at home – there are two primary reasons for this: (1) when kids are on their phone, they are distracted, which ties back to safety tip # 2, and (2) privacy. Kids tend to post videos and photos to social platforms, and while that is fun and for the most part harmless, it is not acceptable to post other people’s homes or faces without their consent. So, it is important to be mindful of respecting other’s privacy.
Do not eat treats before the parents inspect them – this advice has been around for decades, and still remains relevant. It is important for all Halloween candy to be inspected before being consumed. Remember, gum and hard candy can pose a choking risk for younger children.
Whatever you decided to do, in the end, safety is of utmost importance. With an added layer of the pandemic, it is even more important to be extra diligent.
Here are some family friendly Halloween Events in York Region:
Dates: Oct. 15, 5:00 p.m. – Oct. 30, 8:00 p.m.
Brooks Farms, 122 Ashworth Rd, Mount Albert, ON
The event runs 5pm-8pm, with time slot ticketing to ensure all health & safety protocols are in place.
Day out with Thomas
Dates: Oct. 22, 12:00 a.m. – Oct. 31, 5:00 p.m.
York-Durham Heritage Railway, 19 Railway St, Uxbridge, ON
Once again this fall, Thomas the Tank engine is rolling into the York Durham Heritage Railway. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, IT’S A SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN PARTY! If you are looking for a fun family day.
Date: Oct. 23 – Oct 30, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Kortright Centre for Conservation, 9550 Pine Valley Dr, Woodbridge, ON
Celebrate the Halloween spirit with spooky and scary activities at Kortright! Discover a haunted house, take a frightening forest walk, and more
Aurora’s Haunted Greenhouse – Presented by Healthy Planet
Dates: October 23, 27, 28, 29 & 30
Town of Aurora Joint Operations Centre, 229 Industrial Pkwy N, Aurora, ON L4G 4C4
Join the fun at Aurora’s Haunted Greenhouse, presented by Healthy Planet. Pre-registration is required.
Date: Sat., Oct. 30, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum & Community Centre, 14732 Woodbine Ave, Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON
Visit the Museum in your Halloween costume for this family favoruite event! Ghouls and goblins alike will safely explore the Museum’s historic buildings in search of tricks and treats!
Kid’s Cuckoos Nest
Date: Sun., Oct. 31, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Kid’s Cuckoos Nest, Aurora’s Indoor Playground, 155 Industrial Pkwy S, Aurora, ON
Spooktacular Halloween costume party at Kids Cuckoos Nest. Come dressed for the occasion, Dance party contest and lots of prizes and don’t forget to join our colouring contest
Family Fright Fiesta
Dates: Fri., Oct. 29, 5:00 p.m. – Sat., Oct. 30, 8:00 p.m.
Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives, 26557 Civic Centre Rd, Keswick, ON
Join us as we bring the Pioneer Village to life in the spirit of the Halloween season. There are plenty of frightful family activities.
Pumpkin Patch Crafts
Date: Sat., Oct. 30, 3:00 p.m.
Central Library (Richmond Hill Public Library), 1 Atkinson St, Richmond Hill, ON
Free craft kits will be available for pickup one week before the program at Central Library to those who register. This program will be presented Live through Facebook.
Halloween Nights of Lights
Date: Sun., Oct. 31, 6:30 – 11:00 p.m.
Richmond Hill GO Station, 6 Newkirk Rd, Richmond Hill, ON
An immersive experience like none other, featuring more than 1.5 million LED lights animated and synchronized to your favourite Halloween tunes. Nights of Lights is the original must-see drive-through event of the Fall season for all ages. Turn up the volume and roll down the windows because this dazzling light display only happens once a year.
Richmond Hill’s Shelly Khushal is the mother of two children and spends every weekend exploring local attractions and events. From farmers markets, to concerts in the park to an abundance of other happenings in York Region, Shelly and her family need not wander too far – York Region has it all.