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Halloween 2021: Trick-or-Treating

Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 -- The City of Highland Park encourages families to celebrate Halloween safely this year in light of ongoing health concerns due to COVID-19. With the proper precautions, everyone can enjoy a safe and spooky celebration.

Children may trick-or-treat on Sunday, October 31, 2021, between the hours of 3:00 – 7:00 PM. Please review the following guidelines to help promote a safe experience for all who choose to participate:

  • Do not participate in trick-or-treating if you are feeling unwell, if someone in your house is unwell, if you are awaiting COVID-19 test results, or if you know that you have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Turn on your porch lamp or outdoor lights to show that your home is welcoming trick-or-treaters. 
  • Consider using a motion-activated noise maker to notify you when trick-or-treaters are at the door, such as a motion-activated Halloween decoration, rather than having trick-or-treaters ring the doorbell, which can be a high touch-point. Add a sign to your door to indicate that kids should not ring the doorbell.
  • Face coverings are encouraged as a courtesy to others, especially when trick-or-treating at the homes of seniors who are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you would prefer to answer the door to greet children individually, pass out candy instead of inviting children to take a treat from a communal bowl. Ask children to tell you their choice of a treat, rather than taking it themselves. 
  • If you would prefer not to pass out candy, consider leaving individually-packaged bags on your porch for children to take, rather than a communal bowl of candy. If preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.
  • Individuals should use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the trick or treat hours.
  • Consider distributing treats other than candy, which parents can sanitize before giving to kids: stickers in cellophane packaging, pencils, mini pumpkins, erasers, etc.
  • Please refrain from distributing coins or cash.
  • Please do not distribute homemade treats or fresh fruits.

As in 2020, not all families will feel comfortable participating in trick-or-treating this year; teach children not to ring the doorbell if a light is not on or if a no trick-or-treating sign is posted. All trick-or-treaters - young and the young at heart! - are encouraged to be respectful of their neighbors' decisions to participate in trick-or-treating or not.