Little ghosts and goblins might not be walking door-to-door in your neighborhood this year, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently advised against traditional trick-or-treating while the U.S. continues to battle the spread of COVID-19.
Other Halloween traditions, like indoor parties and haunted houses, are also listed as risky activities, and taking hayrides or attending fall festivals in other communities should be avoided, according to CDC comments noted in a recent USA TODAY report.
The CDC also advises against:
- Attending events with potluck meals
- Wearing costume masks instead of proper face masks or face coverings
- Wearing costume masks over proper face masks and face coverings, as that can be dangerous and make it harder for you to breathe
While still listed as moderate risks, safer options to typical Halloween favorites this year include:
- One-way trick or treating in which individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab while still keeping social distance.
- Socially distant costume parties
- Outdoor parades
- Outdoor Halloween movie nights
- Visits to socially distant haunted forests or pumpkin patches
- Choosing outdoor events over ones hosted indoors
Sources: USA TODAY and the CDC
Check out the full story: CDC recommends avoiding trick-or-treating this Halloween
As of Thursday, Sept. 24, neither the Colorado health department nor Larimer County’s health department had released their own specific guidance around Halloween events and activities.
If you feel comfortable getting out for some socially distant, outdoor fall fun, try hitting up a Northern Colorado pumpkin patch.
Greeley’s Tigges Farm and Wellington’s Harvest Farm have decided to cancel their typical fall festivities due to COVID-19. While Harvest Farm is fully off for the season, Tigges Farm will still roast chiles and sell produce, jelly, jams and gifts on Thursdays through Sundays, through October. Masks are required, and hours specifically for at-risk populations are from 10 to 11 a.m. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Pumpkin patches open this season
The Bartels Farm
Where: 3424 E. Douglas Road, Fort Collins
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31
The Bartels Farm pumpkin patch offers fields to pick out your own pumpkin, with pumpkins starting at $1. Admission and parking are free. Bartels is not requiring masks for your visit to the farm, with all festivities happening outdoors, but asks that guests remain socially distanced.
Fritzler Farm Park
Where: 20861 County Road 33, LaSalle
When: Fall day offerings from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays, through October
Daytime fall fun at Fritzler Farm Park includes a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, pedal go-carts, barrel train and pumpkin cannons. Fritzler Farm Park is following state and local public health guidelines, and masks are required if you’re visiting the farm, according to the farm’s website. Employees will be subject to regular health checks, and common areas will be socially distanced. Hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations will be available to guests and employees.
Where: 1230 S. Boise Ave., Loveland
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily starting Saturday, Sept. 26 (weather and supply permitting)
Pumpkin season is returning to Loveland’s Osborn Farm, which dates back in the Big Thompson Valley to 1861. This year will look a bit different, with none of the farm’s usual vendors, hayrides or barrel trains. Instead, Osborn Farm will boast its full pumpkin field for picking, as well as Indian corn, corn stalks, straw bales and mums for purchase while supplies last. Coffee trucks will be on site during the weekends. Visitors are asked to bring a mask for the checkout process.
Something From the Farm
Where: 8020 S. Timberline Road, Fort Collins
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in October
Come for the views and leave with a pumpkin or two at Fort Collins’ Something From the Farm. The family-owned and operated farm will be open for this season, offering pick-your-own pumpkins sold by the pound and a hay bale maze. It will also have a corn cannon throughout the week and a pumpkin trebuchet to launch on the weekends. Its country store will sell winter squash, decorative gourds and other fall goodies. Visitors are asked to socially distance themselves while at the farm.
Other Halloween events
While most Northern Colorado Halloween events can’t happen this year — including downtown Fort Collins’ Tiny Tot Halloween and many usual indoor parties — here are some socially distant offerings to consider.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show” at The Holiday Twin
When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29
Where: The Holiday Twin Drive-In, 2206 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins
Go to Fort Collins’ local time machine to do the time warp. That’s right, the Holiday Twin Drive-In, one of Colorado’s last remaining drive-in movie theaters, is showing the cult classic. For more information and tickets, visit holidaytwin.com.
A Loveland scarecrow scavenger hunt
When: Ongoing, Oct. 5-31
Where: Locations throughout Loveland (here’s the full map)
There’s something lurking around Loveland. More than 30 scarecrows designed by local artists and businesses are on display across Loveland. To participate in the scarecrow scavenger hunt, grab a camera, use the event’s online map to find them and take some scarecrow selfies. Submit your photos to the event’s social media contest (more details to come) for the chance at winning a year’s worth of Chick-fil-A, a winter staycation and other Loveland-centric gifts. For more information, head to visitlovelandco.org.
THINGS TO DO IN FORT COLLINS: Stay outdoors with these 12 fall events
A drive-thru trick-or-treat experience
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 31
Where: The Ranch Events Complex, 5280 Arena Circle, Loveland
This drive-thru trick-or-treating event allows for some socially distanced Halloween fun billed as a “reverse parade.” This free event allows kids to trick-or-treat from car windows as families slowly drive through a series of Halloween scenes decorated by local businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations. Guests are asked to register for the event online to allow for traffic control. Candy monitors will wear face masks and gloves when handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Donations will be accepted and benefit Thompson Education Foundation. For more information, visit thompsontef.org. Full COVID-19 safety measures for the event are detailed here.
When: 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 28-31 and 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 30
Where: The Farm at Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St., Fort Collins
In its 30 years, this will be a Treatsyvlania like none other. Like Loveland’s event, this annual family-friendly Fort Collins event has been modified by the city to be pandemic-friendly as well. Children up to 10 years old are welcomed to the Farm at Lee Martinez Park for a photo in the not-so-spooky barn, a Halloween-themed maze and (albeit different) trick-or-treating. Due to COVID-19, children will be given pre-stuffed treat bags that were filled by staff wearing masks and gloves. Admission to the event will be spread out to help keep groups socially distanced. Tickets must be purchased online ahead of time starting Oct. 1. They can only be made for those in your own household, and adult attendance is limited to one adult per child attendee. For more information, visit fcgov.com/recreation.
Downtown Pumpkin Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 24
Where: The Foundry Plaza, Loveland
Because the CDC discourages attending fall festivals in other communities, this is a great one for all you Lovelanders. Peruse local farmers market pumpkins and get your pumpkin decorated by a local artist at this downtown Loveland event. To take part in the festival, you must sign up and choose a time slot for your visit. When you arrive, you’ll receive a pumpkin and will be able to meet up with a local artist to decorate your pumpkin. All vendors, attendees and decorating stations will be socially distanced, and attendees are encouraged to wear face masks. Tickets are forthcoming and will be available at downtownloveland.org.
14th Annual Centerra Halloween Hullabaloo
When: 1, 5 and 8 p.m. Oct. 30; 10 a.m., 1, 5 and 8 p.m. Oct. 31
Where: The Marketplace at Centerra, 5704 McWhinney Boulevard, Loveland
This free ticketed drive-in movie night features open-air movie showings of family-friendly Halloween favorites like “Hotel Transylvania” and “The Addams Family” as well as another to-be-announced movie in the Marketplace at Centerra parking lot. Tickets will be available online until sold out. Drive-in movie goers are encouraged to dress up in Halloween spirit and bring blankets or pop-up chairs while safely socially distancing from one another if you choose to watch the movie outside your vehicle.
Pumpkins on Parade
When: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 23-25
Where: The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave.
Pumpkins on Parade will transform the Gardens on Spring Creek later this month as hundreds of pumpkins and gourds are arranged across The Gardens on Spring Creek in artistic displays. Pumpkins on Parade will also feature a community-wide pumpkin carving contest, a 700-pound pumpkin named Fancy, a food truck on site and beer and wine available for purchase. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and children 12 and older and $5 for children 5-11. Tickets for children 4 years old and under are free. Tickets must be purchased in advance and the event is expected to sell out, according to the Gardens on Spring Creek. For more information, visit fcgov.com/gardens/pumpkins.
USA TODAY reporter Hannah Yasharoff contributed to this report.
Erin Udell reports on news, culture, history and more for the Coloradoan. Contact her at [email protected] The only way she can keep doing what she does is with your support. If you subscribe, thank you. If not, sign up for a subscription to the Coloradoan today.
This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Your guide to a more socially distant Halloween season in Northern Colorado