Coronavirus: How to fill the treat-or-treating void in Winnipeg

One Winnipegger sets up Halloween decorations outside her house amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
One Winnipegger sets up Halloween decorations outside her house amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Global News

Halloween activities are under the microscope more than ever this year amid record-setting COVID-19 numbers in Manitoba.

This year’s “holiday” is slated to be more silent than spooky, with families being forced to find alternate ways of celebrating.

Read more: 4 COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba, 161 new cases Sunday, 77 hospitalized

“This is one of the biggest holidays that is actually potentially getting cancelled for people where they can’t do the traditions in the way they have before,” said Dr. Syras Derksen, a Winnipeg-based psychologist.

“We’ve had some holidays that have happened, but people have been able to do them in at least a smaller way.”

With most families understandably hesitant to participate in more traditional activities like trick-or-treating, the editor of “Macaroni Kid Winnipeg” said there is a way to still make the rounds in a safe and strategic way.

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“You could scale it back and maybe just pick two or three houses that are friends and go a little earlier. We’re lucky that it’s on Saturday,” said Carmen Kaethler, a Winnipeg mother who’s been blogging in the city for years.

Kaethler said lots of options remain for those opting out of activities.

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She suggested families get creative with treats, costumes and movies, even trying out a scary science experiment.

“I had a friend who told me she was going to go behind every closed door in their house and let their kids go knock on the doors, and give out candy so they can pretend like they’re trick-or-treating all through the house,” Kaethler said.

Read more: Winnipeg woman maps out decorated homes for Halloween

Dr. Derksen said when approaching the subject with your little ones, you should emphasize that Halloween is by no means cancelled.

“One of the things that I would suggest for families is that they don’t cancel Halloween, but instead that they try to find a new way to express the tradition.”

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He said the possibilities remain endless for the first Halloween scheduled to fall on a Saturday since 2015.

“These are the times that are most memorable for kids, the times where we have traditions that are new and different from every other year,” he added.

“These are the times when kids will often remember it and get really excited about those memories and want to do them again in the future.”

Click to play video 'Unique ways to celebrate Halloween in a pandemic' Unique ways to celebrate Halloween in a pandemic
Unique ways to celebrate Halloween in a pandemic – Oct 25, 2020