Pandemic Trick-or-Treating 101: How to safely enjoy Halloween this year

The villages of Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods are taking a cautious but optimistic approach to Halloween 2020: Trick-or-treating in both villages will proceed on Oct. 31, but with additional guidelines.

Lake Zurich trick-or-treating will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Hawthorn Woods from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Residents who would like to participate are asked to turn on an outdoor light as a welcome signal.

All Illinois municipalities are required to follow the Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidelines, including limiting groups to under 50 individuals. Additionally, Lake County has issued additional guidelines for celebrating this year.

Lake Zurich Mayor Tom Poynton said, “I am hoping the public pays attention to the guidelines and we have an incident free, infection free, good afternoon. If people don’t feel comfortable trick-or-treating, they shouldn’t. If they feel sick, they shouldn’t. It’s up to people depending on how safe they feel. I can tell you my wife and I feel safe. We usually get quite a few trick-or-treaters, and we’re going to be passing out candy wearing masks and gloves properly.”

If you don’t want to participate

  • If your household does not participate, keep outdoor lights off as a signal to walkers.
  • Households are urged not to participate in trick-or-treating if any member of the household is not feeling well, has recently returned from a COVID-19 hotspot state (including Wisconsin and Indiana), are awaiting COVID-19 test results or have been exposed to the virus.

If you want to participate

  • Mark walkways with a chalk line to show six feet and ask children to stand behind it.
  • As trick-or-treaters or family chaperones of trick-or-treaters, respect households that keep their outdoor light off, and tell children not to stop there or ring the bell.
  • Wear masks or face coverings and gloves, whether you are a trick-or-treater, chaperone, or a household passing out candy.
  • Use hand sanitizer and sanitize doorbells if you are a household passing out candy.
  • Trick-or-treat as a household and avoid groups of others as much as possible.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between groups and keep them under 50 persons.
  • Consider using motion-activated lights or decorations to announce trick-or-treaters.
  • Consider handing out individually wrapped treat bags instead of a communal bowl.
  • Consider using a lawn area or driveway to set out treat bags in a contactless way.
  • Do not distribute homemade treats or fresh fruits.

Assistant to the Village Manager Kyle Kordell reminded citizens today “The Lake Zurich police department is always available 24 hours [a day]. This will remain true on Halloween 2020. There is always a focus on residential patrols during trick-or-treating.”

Village Manager Ray Keller said, “The village has done its best to ensure everything is as safe as possible. Some families and groups are doing some form of [contactless] candy drops and making bags of candy available. Some schools are talking about doing a trick-or-treating outdoor event. People are using ingenuity to experience Halloween as safely and best as they can.”

Hawthorn Woods Halloween Events

In addition to regular trick-or-treating, Hawthorn Woods is offering two additional socially-distant in-person events and one virtual Halloween event.

Hawthorn Woods Halloween Candy Grab Oct. 24

The Halloween Candy Grab is for children ages two to 10 at Hawthorn Woods Community Park, 5 Park View Lane, from 2 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Reserve a slot for the Halloween Candy Grab Oct. 24.

Children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes with proper face coverings. Masks that are part of costumes do not count.

Children may “grab” their own specially-prepared goodie bag full of Halloween treats. The event will include games and a costume contest.

The fee is $5 per child.  Two adults may attend per registered child, free of charge. Attendees must reserve a 20-minute timeslot, between 2 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. The event is open to Hawthorn Woods residents only, and social distancing must be practiced.

Click here for complete details, including COVID-19 precautions.

Drive-in Movie Night Oct. 30

See the 2019 Addams Family movie at Community Park on Oct. 30.

Hawthorn Woods residents are invited for a special “drive-in” style viewing of the 2019 movie “The Addams Family” on a large outdoor movie screen, 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at Community Park, 5 Park View Ln, Hawthorn Woods.

Residents may arrive as early at 6:30 p.m. to prepare for the 7 p.m. viewing of the film from the safety of their cars. Masks are required if attendees choose to leave their parking space.

The fee is $15 per car with a maximum of four persons per car.

To pre-register click here.

For all Halloween-themed events in Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods this year, including trick-or-treating on Oct. 31, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers guidelines for safety and COVID-19 exposure prevention, viewable by clicking here.

By Daniel J. Cameron

Daniel Cameron is a professional freelance writer/editor/proofreader originally from Detroit. He has written news, marketing/advertising, and general business writing, and SEO for 15 years since college, where he majored in professional writing. He is happy to write for the Local Newsreader and can be contacted at

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