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How to Enjoy Halloween in 2020

Spooky Halloween pumpkins

Halloween, like most other things, is a little different this year. With the pandemic still affecting our daily lives, things like the Village Halloween Parade in New York have been cancelled. Although traditional activities like trick or treating and costume parties are not forbidden, there are now many rules about what you can and can’t do. However, you can still celebrate with your friends using a little creativity and some measures to keep you safe!

This blog will look at different ways you can celebrate Halloween in 2020 either at home, or at attractions that have already reopened. By the end of this article you will be ready to plan for a fun, action-packed and safe Halloween!

Interested in the history of Halloween? Check out last year’s blog to learn about how this tradition started.

Halloween at Home

We know that for Zoni’s New York students the Village Halloween parade is one of the highlights of their year. Sadly, the Covid-19 situation makes large scale parades impossible. So, what fun things can you do instead?

Decorate!
Nothing creates a real Halloween feeling like decorations! Why not decorate your space? Decorations can be bought practically everywhere and do not need to cost a lot to look really cool! If you are crafty, you could even make decorations yourself. Do you have a window facing the street? You can help bring some Halloween cheer to your neighborhood by decorating your window too!

Have a scary movie night
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a scary movie or two! Netflix, Amazon and so on, have tons of horror films to choose from. You could check out some Halloween classics like Friday the 13th or Poltergeist or, binge watch a series like the Haunting of Bly Manor. Make some
popcorn, grab some candy and enjoy your night!

Host a spooky Zoom party
We know that many of you are tired of Zoom and really want to get back to real life. But we also want you to be safe. So, if you aren’t able to meet up with your friends in-person, why not have a Zoom party? Get creative and set a Zoom Halloween background, grab some snacks and hang out together, but apart.

Carve a pumpkin
Did you know that originally people didn’t actually carve pumpkins? The first jack-o-lanterns (the name for carved pumpkins) were actually made from turnips! People would put burning coals in carved turnips and carry them on sticks! It wasn’t until much later that this changed to pumpkins! You can buy a carving pumpkin at most supermarkets. If you are feeling very adventurous, you could even head to a pumpkin farm! The closest real pumpkin farm to Zoni is in Ridgeway, NJ. Here is the link to the Ward’s Farm Pumpkin Patch

A student using a laptop with Halloween decorations for a Zoom party

Enjoy the Virtual Day of the Dead
This year the Newark Museum of Art is hosting a virtual Day of the Dead, on Sunday Nov 01. The program includes story readings, cooking demonstrations, dance performances, as well as a number of other cultural activities. The Virtual Day of the Dead will be hosted on Zoom and also on Facebook Live and is free! Visit the museum’s website for more details.

Traditional Day of the Dead / Dia de los Muertos skulls in bright colours

Halloween things that you can do at places that have reopened!

If you absolutely cannot bear staying at home on Halloween, there are some pretty cool (and spooky) activities that have reopened.

NEW YORK

In New York many of the city’s museums have reopened. For most, you have to pre-book tickets for a particular time slot. If you want to visit a specific museum, check out their websites first to find out when you can visit and what restrictions are in place. If you are looking for a something with a spooky feel for Halloween, why not check out these places:

American Museum of Natural History
Visit the museum to see their spooky collection of bones and other artefacts. Think “Night at the Museum” and keep an eye out for exhibits that come to life!

The Cloisters
Why not dress up a little and visit the Cloisters? The ruins and gardens make for wonderfully eerie Instagrammable moments!

New York Museum of Illusions
Speaking of Instagram, the New York Museum of Illusions is full of crazy illusions worthy of your feed! A floating head? A hole in the wall? At this museum you will be amazed and a little creeped out!

The Museum of Natural History in New York

NEW JERSEY

There are also a number of museums and attractions that have reopened in New Jersey. We also recommend checking the attraction’s website before leaving home, to make sure there are still tickets available and for any special restriction or regulations you should be aware of.

Learn about Pandemics at the METC
The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison has reopened for visitors with a very educational and creepily interesting exhibition: From Cholera to Covid-19. This exhibition looks at epidemics, pandemics and diseases throughout history. Tickets must be pre-booked and are limited.

Join a Spooky tour at Cape May
Many museums and cultural centres in Cape May are offering themed tours this Halloween. Join the Magic & Mystery tour at the Emlen Physick Estate (please check the website for which times and days are running – some are cancelled) and learn about Houdini, Jack the Ripper and many other infamous people from history. Another tour perfect for Halloween is the Ghosts, Graveyard and Mansion tour. The tour begins and ends at the Physick Estate and includes a trolley ride, a graveyard tour and recording of actual supernatural activity!

Spooky story time at Turtleback Zoo
This activity is aimed at children so do not expect stories that will chill you to the bone, but if you have kids or want to listen to ghost stories in easily understandable English, this event is for you! Costumes are also encouraged!! Tickets cost $10 on top of the entrance fee.

Children dressed as monkeys for Halloween at the Zoo

MIAMI

Many Miami museums have reopened to the public. Some have pretty strict rules on the time you may enter and how long you can stay. Even the free galleries are asking people to book tickets in advance (don’t worry they are still free). So, again please check the website of the gallery or attraction you want to attend for their special rules.

Visit the Frost Art Museum at FIU
Although the Frost Art Museum doesn’t have a particular Halloween exhibition, the museum is full or interesting and sometimes macabre art! Why not challenge yourself to find the creepiest thing on display? As always, the Frost Museum is free of charge.

Check out contemporary art at ICA
Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art is another free gallery that has recently reopened. Filled with quirky art pieces, much of the art on display deals with important social topics like racism, immigration and culture.

Have you ever been to a Drive in?
There are literally tons of drive-ins in Miami and many also offer an option for people without a car! Most drive ins have special Halloween screenings planned, so check the website of the drive in most convenient for you. If you do not have a car, the Hard Rock Café Outdoor Theater at Fountain Plaza is a great option. They have comfortable sofas, hygiene stations and food trucks. On the 30th they will show “The Addams Family”. Tickets must be bought in advance. If you do have a car, The Fair has a full program of Halloween films planned. From kids’ movies to horrors and even a mix of English and Spanish language films. Bookings must be made in advance and you must be in a car to attend.

A drive in movie screening

Halloween at Zoni

With Covid-19, there are no parties planned this year at Zoni. However, that does not stop you from dressing up in costume! Students should feel free to come to class on Friday or Saturday dressed for Halloween! Many of the teachers and staff will also be in costume! So why not dress up and create your own spooky Halloween fun?! One thing to note, you will still be required to wear an appropriate mask. Unfortunately a Jason-style ski mask or a stormtrooper helmet are not a replacement for your face mask.

Halloween is a bit different this year, but that does not make it less fun! There are so many things you can still do either alone or with friends. We wish you all a spooktacular yet safe Halloween and are looking forward to seeing your costumes around campus!

Zoni Language Centers students celebrate Halloween in costume before the Covid-19 pandemic

If you have any questions about studying at Zoni please contact us at info@zoni.edu