Halloween: Local activities that don't involve trick-or-treating

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Looking for ways to celebrate Halloween that don't involve trick-or-treating? There are definitely some options around town.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially discouraged trick-or-treating in 2020, saying "many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses."

Those who DO trick-or-treat are urged to avoid crowds and give out candy as safely as possible. And no doubt, people have gotten creative.

If you live on Long Island and want even more social distance, try the the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, which has 209 acres. Or you have 16 acres of Spooky Fest trails at the Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre.

You can also go virtual for Barkfest and dress up your dog for votes.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is counting on residents to keep making wise choices.

"Our positivity rate is held pretty steady for the last several months," she said. "Even while we're seeing in Europe and other states the rates getting higher."

If tombstones are your thing, Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn has an open invitation.

"Greenwood is an active cemetery, not just burying, but celebrate those who are departed," said Harry Weil, director of Public Programs at Greenwood Cemetery.

And to celebrate Halloween and Day of the Dead, the cemetery hosts an annual art installation. This year, it's inside the historical chapel.

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Artist Scherezade Garcia is creating a large scale paper work, with references to the coronavirus and Lady Liberty.

"Everything you see on this altar is original painting on paper, it's taken me at least three weeks," Garcia said.

The public is welcome to light a candle and make an offering.

Masks are required, and only a few people will be allowed in at a time to allow for social distancing. If a cemetery is a little too spooky, they've expanded their programing because of the pandemic.

"We're offering hayrides daily, the pumpkin patch is open seven days a week, and we've made Fridays the new weekend," said Jennifer Walden, of the Queens County Farm Museum.

That means the three-acre corn maze is also open Fridays.

It might be scary to some, but exhilarating to others. And if your little ones love pumpkins, head to the New York Botanical Gardens.

The great pumpkin path is filled with gourdes -- no ghouls -- and the wide-open space offers a safer way to celebrate Halloween.
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Candy company Hershey is doing their best to make sure Halloween happens even during the pandemic, and they are using an interactive online map that assigns each county in the U.S. a code and suggestions for activities based on that code.

Hershey said they worked with public health experts and retailers to create the website to offer advice on how to trick or treat safely in different parts of the country based on the rates of COVID-19 cases in each area.

Depending on your county's COVID-19 infection rate, different social distancing-friendly Halloween events are recommended.

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