Trick or treating?

Probably fine. But both the Center for Disease Control and the Washington Department of Health have caveats (see links for their full lists of recommendations). Kids should wear masks, and since they’ll be grabbing candy, gloves would be great. Make sure they wash their hands before eating any candy. Avoid houses where residents are giving out candy by hand. Don’t feel comfortable? Hide some treats for your kids around your yard or home, and make it like an evil Easter egg hunt.

If you’re handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, consider switching up your system and avoid large grab bowls or bags. You can prepackage candy in individual baggies (and set a few out on a table at a time, so some kid doesn’t wipe out the whole supply). Or—for style points—fashion a six-foot long chute by cutting in half and taping together all the takeout deli containers you’ve accumulated over the past seven months and sliding Snickers down it like a sugary luge.

Pumpkin picking?

Yes, just be aware the CDC ranks this as a moderate risk activity. The Jubilee Farm Pumpkin Patch and Carpinito Brothers Pumpkin Patch are both open this year, with some Covid precautions. If you just want to look, Woodland Park Zoo has a pumpkin loop (with animals) to meet all your gourd-peeping needs.

Haunted houses?

The CDC and DOH both recommend against these, and Washington isn’t allowing them indoors. But Stalker Farms in Snohomish is hosting a Haunted Attractions drive-thru ($120 per 5-person car).  

Horror movie night?

Sure, if you take it virtual or limit it to your household.  

Tour a cemetery?

Hillside Cemetery in Issaquah has a guided tour on October 24—but is this really the year for that? 

House party?

Nope. Unless your idea of a party is limited to the five-person bubble you’ve already seen too much lately. Or you want to only hangout outside, in masks, six feet apart, in autumnal Seattle.

How about a bar?

Technically, it’s allowed within current limitations. But we and the CDC would rather you didn’t.

So my latex Freddy Krueger mask counts as a face covering, right?

No. Anyone who goes out should wear a proper mask. You could work it into the costume as a sexy doctor, but maybe the way to honor health-care professionals this year isn’t fetishizing them? Maybe it’s laying low, doing something safe that appeases the kids, and coming back next year to party like it’s the end of the world—because given how this year's gone, maybe it will be. 

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