How families plan to celebrate Halloween during a pandemic

VIDEO: How families plan to celebrate Halloween during a pandemic

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. — When Halloween falls on a Saturday people typically pull out all the stops but because of COVID-19, health officials are warning the public about the risks.

At the Hands On Children’s Museum’s annual Boo Bash event, extra precautions are being taken. There are temperature checks at the entrance and hand-washing stations inside the front door.

Families said they’re happy they can celebrate Halloween with their kids.

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“The kids have been really excited to wear their costumes,” said mother Danielle Meier.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Thurston County and across the state. Some parents said they’re comfortable with holiday traditions.

“[Saturday] we’re going to go trick-or-treating, so we’re getting in the spirit,” said Leann Reagan. “Trick-or-treating is one of my favorite childhood memories and my kid’s 3, so I want to enjoy that moment with him.”

Other families plan to adapt their celebration this year.

“We do have some trunk-or-treats, some drive-thru ones that we’re going to be doing,” said Jessica O’Hara.

“Instead of trick-or-treating door-to-door, we’re just going to make a scavenger hunt with candy,” said Danielle Meier.

Boo Bash is also different this year.

“We feel very excited to be able to offer this opportunity at a time when these kids need it so much,” said Patty Belmonte, Hands On Children’s Museum CEO.

Crowds are a lot smaller to keep people safe. Typically there are close to 4,000 people for the weekend event. This year, they spread it out over 10 days and limited the guest count.

“To keep everyone safe we’re going to need to keep these levels at just 30 to 35 families per session,” said Belmonte. “We feel very excited to be able to offer this opportunity at a time when these kids need it so much.”

Everyone 5 and older must wear a mask, and surfaces are sanitized between every session.

Families said they’re happy to see Halloween isn’t completely canceled this year because of COVID-19.

“After this, I want to make some pumpkin cookies at home,” said Reagan.

Boo Bash runs through Nov. 1. Limited tickets are still available. Guests interested are encouraged to call the Hands-On Children’s Museum for more information.

Following Boo Bash, Olympia’s Hands On Children’s Museum will be open seven days a week.