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How to Celebrate Halloween at Home This Year

From horror movie marathons to Halloween-themed drive-in features to virtual pumpkin carving parties, here's how to celebrate Halloween safely this year.

With cases on the rise in certain regions of Ontario and Quebec and a second lockdown in place, Halloween is going to look very different this year. And for those parts of the country fortunate to not be dealing with stricter Covid restrictions, it’s still a challenge—indoor parties are out of the question and trick-or-treating seems like a risk not worth taking. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still dress up and have some fun. Here are some ideas to help you celebrate Halloween safely at home.

Do a horror movie marathon
There are plenty of scary movies and television series on streaming platforms to scratch your Halloween itch this month. If you’re looking for a binge, look to shows like viral hit The Haunting of Bly Manor or German export Dark on Netflix, Stephen King’s The Outsider or the recently-concluded supernatural rollercoaster Lovecraft Country on Crave, or the new “Indigenous gothic horror” series Trickster on CBC Gem. For a one-night fright fest, pick from films like Evil Eye on Amazon Prime, Canadian films Blood Quantum or Disappearance at Clifton Hill on CBC Gem, or Toni Collette-starrer Hereditary on Netflix. And if you need a bit of a palate-cleanser after all that, may we suggest making your way through all the Halloween Heist episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

Add some creepy at-home decor
If you’re not looking to go all-out with spooky decorations but still want to bring a dose of the Halloween spirit into your home, look for subtle fall-themed items like pumpkin-shaped mugs or ghost-shaped stoneware from Pottery Barn, a handpainted skull-shaped tequila decanter from CB2, or some creepy accoutrements from Etsy.

Offer a nod to Halloween via your nail art
Give your daily look a spooky update with a Halloween manicure. From spider webs to ghosts, black cats, witchy details and blood stains, there’s no shortage of creepy nail designs to try. For a more subtle look, opt for the colours of your favourite Halloween candy or go the pumpkin spice route with shades of orange. For 22 Halloween mani ideas, click here.

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Look for local outdoor events in your city
At-home get-togethers and Halloween parties at bars or clubs are out of the question, but do a quick Google search to scout out safe outdoor events going on in your city. In Toronto, Casa Loma is offering a self-guided walking tour through its famed Halloween sets from October 23 to 31. In Prince Edward County, the Mustang Drive-In is screening a triple feature of Halloween movies—such as The Shining, Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice—on October 30 and 31. And over in Peterborough, Ont., Escape Maze has put together a series of outdoor Adventure Games such as The Stalking Dead, Apothecary Crisis and Electric City Sabotage.

Plan some Halloween-themed virtual events
If you’d prefer to stay indoors this year, plan ahead and set up some spooky evenings with a group of friends over Zoom. Host an online pumpkin carving party, dim the lights and do a storytelling hour with each person contributing a different horror story, plan a virtual costume competition, or do a round of tarot readings with this book of custom Tarot cards designed by Salvador Dali. And if you’ve got kids to entertain at home, check out Craftoween: Once in a Virtual Blue Moon. In partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children, this interactive digital event on October 31 features edible crafts, a creative costume competition and a spooky hunt, all from the safety of your home.

And if you’re looking for easy costume ideas, check out our roundup of TV-inspired costumes you can put together with pieces from your own closet.

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