Safe Thrills: Celebrating Halloween 2020 in Burien

While it may be harder to enjoy some of our usual Halloween traditions, like trick-or-treating, we can still find ways to celebrate the creepy crawly fun of Halloween!  

The Washington State Department of Health has issued some dos and don’ts for Halloween. These guidelines are meant to encourage safe and healthy fun, while we all continue to do our part fighting the spread of COVID-19.

Family carving a jack-o'-lantern outside on their back porch.

Tips for a Safer Halloween

Source: Washington State Department of Health

En Español: El Halloween y el COVID-19

Many of the traditional ways in which we celebrate Halloween involve contact with non-household members in large group settings. This year, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. The Department of Health is offering the following considerations to help protect individuals and communities.

General Considerations

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Wear a cloth face covering. Make sure the face covering fits snugly over your nose and mouth.
  2. Avoid confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities. If participating in an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to attend an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, and fully enclosed indoor spaces. Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather.
  3. Avoid close contact with people outside of your household. Stay at least 6 feet away from all other people who are not part of your own household.
  4. Wash or sanitize your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  5. Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, stay home and away from others.
  • Have a scavenger hunt at home. Dress up and hide candy or other treats throughout the house or around the yard.
  • Host an online costume or pumpkin carving contest.
  • Have a Halloween movie marathon with household members.
  • If you go trick-or-treating:
    • Stick with members of your household and keep at least 6 feet of distance from any non-household members.
    • Wear a cloth face covering or mask if older than age 2. Make sure the mask is snug around your nose and mouth and does not have holes. A plastic costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face covering.
    • Wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating.
    • Bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
  • If you give out treats:
    • Limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags. This reduces the number of people who would typically touch items in a communal bowl.
    • If possible, place treats on a table in your driveway or yard to avoid crowds at your front door. To see trick-or-treaters, sit in a chair in your driveway, garage, yard, or porch and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from the treat table.
    • Place a few mini pumpkins or other decorations 6 feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.


  • Halloween gatherings, events, or parties with non-household members that violate the gathering limitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan. Learn more about the gathering limits for each phase.
  • Traditional trick or treating (handing candy to kids who knock on your door) and large groups of trick-or-treaters.
  • Trunk-or-treat gatherings with multiple households that facilitate crowding around treats and violate the gathering limitations outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Plan.
  • Indoor haunted houses are not permitted. Haunted houses must be designed as a no-touch outdoor activity with a one-way path. See Governor Inslee’s Phase 2 and 3 agritourism requirements.
  • Indoor trick-or-treating activities, such as those organized in malls or similar venues.

Looking for a way to celebrate locally?

The City of Burien is a sponsor of Discover Burien’s series of safe Halloween activities. They’re transforming the popular Boo in Burien event into two weeks of Halloween happenings, including:

  • Spooky Movies at the Drive-In: October 9-31, purchase tickets online for $25.00 per car load.
  • Boo Boxes: Purchase online at $20.00 per handmade box for local pick up.
  • Adult, Kids, Pet (Costume) & Yard Decorating Contest: upload your photos to the Discover Burien Facebook Page using the hashtag #Boo2020. Winners will be announced by 5pm on Halloween and will be featured at the drive-in movie that night!
  • Free Community Scavenger Hunt:  October 17-31, map will be available soon for download on Discover Burien’s website.

King County Library System (KCLS) offers a variety of free Halloween events, activities, and materials:

Emily Inlow-Hood
Communications & Public Engagement Manager at | More posts
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