Celebrate Safely This Halloween!

Wilmette thinks Halloween is a spooktacular time for families and neighborhoods. To keep things fun and safe this year, we encourage you to be smart and do your part!

Note: The CDC does not recommend trick-or-treating. If you choose to trick-or-treat, please follow recommended COVID-19 guidelines (including wearing a mask) and respect residents who have decided not to participate (this is indicated by either the porch light not on or a sign on the front door).

Use this sign to indicate whether you’re handing out treats this year. In addition, turn on your porch lamp or outdoor lights to show that your home is welcoming trick-or-treaters. 

General Trick-or-Treating Guidelines:

  • Trick-or-Treating is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Do not participate in trick-or-treating if you are feeling unwell, if someone in your house is unwell, if you are awaiting COVID-19 test results, if you have recently returned from travel to a hotspot state, or if you know that you have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Plan a costume that has a fun mask, face coverings should be worn by all participants over the age of two, including individuals passing out treats.
  • Individuals should use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the trick or treat hours.
  • Do not trick-or-treat in groups with others; trick-or-treat as a household.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other trick-or-treating groups, and do not approach a house until the previous group has left.
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
  • Drivers should slow down and be especially alert; children are excited and may move in unpredictable ways.

Treat Distribution Guidelines and Creative Ideas:

  • Consider using a motion-activated noise maker to notify you when trick-or-treaters are at the door, such as a motion activated Halloween decoration, rather than having trick-or-treaters ring the doorbell, which can be a high touch-point.
  • If you would prefer to answer the door to greet children individually, pass out candy instead of inviting children to take a treat from a communal bowl. Ask children to tell you their choice of a treat, rather than taking it themselves.
  • Consider distributing treats other than candy, which parents can then sanitize before giving to kids: stickers in cellophane packaging, pencils, mini pumpkins, erasers, etc.
  • Please refrain from distributing coins or cash.
  • Please do not distribute homemade treats or fresh fruits.
  • If you would like to avoid trick-or-treaters coming to your door, but would still like to participate, consider passing out treats using the following socially-distanced ideas:
    • Leave a bowl of treats (and a bottle of hand sanitizer) at the end of your front sidewalk and sit on your porch to wave at the kids walking the neighborhood. This allows kids to safely walk the neighborhood while maintaining physical distance.
    • Create a grab-bag candy walk on your lawn: place candy inside recyclable paper lunch bags so each child can simply pick up a bag of treats.
    • Hang treats from a clothesline at children’s height.
    • Mark a safe distance from your door using chalk and ask children to stand behind the line before you open the door to pass out candy.

Click here for state of Illinois guidance regarding trick-or-treating, alternatives to traditional trick-o-treating, other Halloween activities, and Día De Los Muertos.


This post was updated on 10/2/20.

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