Tips to Safely Enjoy Santa Monica’s Fall Festivities
October 13, 2020 3:45 PM
by Miranda Iglesias
October is usually filled with pumpkins, spookiness, and cooler temperatures, but just like spring and summer this year, we must follow safety requirements to safely enjoy Halloween, Día de los Muertos, or other fall festivities during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued guidelines for Halloween and Día de los Muertos following the Health Officer Order that does not allow gatherings and events with non-household members.
Halloween Activities - Not Allowed
- Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed.
Large gatherings, parties or public events remain prohibited under LA County’s public health order, and the City’s 24th Supplement which holds individuals strictly liable for holding or allowing large gatherings of over 20 persons.
Halloween Activities - Not Recommended
- Door to door trick or treating is not recommended because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure that everyone answering or coming to the door is appropriately masked to prevent disease spread and because sharing food is risky.
- “Trunk or treating” where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats is also no recommended, particularly when part of Halloween events since it is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food
Día de los Muertos Activities - Permitted and Recommended
- Create a virtual space to honor lost loved ones. Share with family and friends via email or social media.
- If you visit the cemetery, only visit with those you live with, wear masks, and maintain appropriate social distancing. Limit time spent to minimum necessary.
While many traditional ways to celebrate Halloween and other fall festivities are no longer safe this season, there are a number of other activities and ways to get into the spooky spirit in Santa Monica.
- Organize and/or participate in a drive-by car parade or event to check out Halloween decorations from the safety or your car. Make sure to review public health guidance for vehicle-based parades before participating.
- During the Halloween season, participate in our Spooky Scavenger Hunt with your household members, don’t forget to tag us @CityofSantaMonica to show us how you safely celebrated.
- Dive in if you dare on the Library's list of creepy, scary, and spooky tales.
- Participate in Buy Local Santa Monica’s Scavenger Hunt, now extended through October 26! Come in costume and share with us on Instagram and tag the business and @buylocalsantamonica in lieu of a stamp. For more information about how to participate, visit Buy Local’s Facebook event.
- Participate in Montana Avenue’s Scare Crow Competition, Children’s Art Show, or Hay Stack Al Fresco Photo Booths. More information about these fun opportunities can be found, here.
- Shop for new or seasonal favorites at one of our four Santa Monica Farmers Markets. Show off your new cooking fete by tagging @SMFMS @CityofSantaMonica.
- Dress up for a video call with your family and friends and maybe even host an online pumpkin carving competition.
- Decorate your home and yard with Halloween themed decorations.
Local programs celebrating Día de los Muertos:
- Saturday, October 31, 2020 – Monday, November 2, 2020 | Día de los Muertos Public Art Installation | Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade
- As part of Art of Recovery, and in celebration of Día de Los Muertos, Santa Monica Pier and Downtown Santa Monica will feature larger than life sculptures of La Catrina, the grand dame and iconic holiday figure, by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero.
- Sunday, November 1, 2020, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Virtual Día de los Muertos 2020 | Register>
- This family-friendly hour will include an overview of this celebration of life and death, live Day of the Dead inspired music, presentations of altars by local community members, and a workshop on how to make a paper flower for your own altar.
However you choose to celebrate Halloween, Día de los Muertos and other fall activities this season, it is important to keep the following in health and safety tips in mind:
- If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.
- Keep outdoor gatherings small and limited to three households
- Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household
- Avoid confined spaces - Actively stay away from indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least six feet between you and others
- Avoid close contact – Stay at least 6 feet away (3 or more adult steps) from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking, and singing.
- Wash or sanitize your hands often.
- Clean frequently touched items regularly.