Marin families forge new Halloween traditions amid COVID-19 pandemic


Alice Simenstad

Mckenzie (age 5) and Robin Hull (age 2) showing off their Halloween costumes on their deck.

Across the nation people celebrate Halloween by trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, and handing out candy. But due to COVID-19, families in Marin will not be able to take part in their traditional Halloween celebrations this year.

Robin Hull poses in her robot costume looking off-camera at her mom (Annika Kapur). (Alice Simenstad)

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase, doctors and health advisors recommend a change in the normal holiday activities. This forces families in Marin to make adjustments to their normal Halloween traditions. According to Fairfax mother of three Mollie Dudgeon, COVID-19 has a large impact on her usual Halloween celebrations.

“Traditionally, grandparents from the midwest … [visit] for Halloween and fall birthdays. Sadly, this will be the first Halloween in six years we won’t be together,” Dudgeon said.

Many Marin families are having a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit than in past years. COVID-19 has caused the normal Halloween festivities to be less lively.

“It’s just a little bit less enthusiastic…,” said Annika Kapur, a San Anselmo mother of two young children.

However, parents still continue to think of ways to make Halloween special for their young children. Many families planned new traditions and activities for their kids this year. According to Dudgeon, their family plans on doing a scavenger hunt instead of trick-or-treating. 

Mackenzie Hull beaming in her fairy costume a few days before Halloween. (Alice Simenstad)

This year, trick-or-treating is more difficult and less safe during COVID-19. The exchange of candy and crowds of children makes it harder to stay protected. Each family is taking their own precautions to keep their children safe. 

“I think … [trick-or-treating is] fairly safe if we’re all very cautious and wear masks and we’re kind of outside anyways,” Kapur said.

Even though the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating is not able to take place, many children are just happy to be able to dress up.

“For our family, trick-or-treating isn’t essential. The kids are thrilled to wear costumes and get candy, even if it looks different than in past years,” Dudgeon said.

Although Halloween will look different this year due to COVID-19, parents and children in Marin have found their own ways to celebrate the much beloved holiday.