From pumpkin patches to trick-or-treating, metro families look for ways to safely celebrate Halloween

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Centers for Disease Control is encouraging parents to become creative as we find alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating.

“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC said.

“There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween,” the agency continued in a post on its website. “If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.”

But the signs of fall are strong at Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch in Liberty.

Alongside the pumpkins and donuts this year, though, a new detail dots the landscape. It’s impossible to overlook the masks. They aren’t required outside, but it’s a reminder that we’re in a pandemic, and as such, we’re trying to find the balance between tradition and safety.

“We just look for something different,” Carolyn Raasch said. “I think that kids are pretty adaptable, and if the parents just focus on it like we’re going to do this for Halloween, we’re going to do that this year, kids are fine with it.”

Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Halloween. There will be trick-or-treating at outdoor stations from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as age-based costume contests with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in each category.

Metro families can also check out the Louisburg Cider Mill corn maze and pumpkin patch, October Fest at KC Pumpkin Patch, Johnson Farms U-pick pumpkins and Faulkner’s Ranch pumpkin season for more outdoor fall fun this Halloween.

But some people are still hoping for trick-or-treaters, so they’ve made adjustments.

Kevin and Jill Gann set up a large, interactive display in their Gladstone front yard each year. They call it the Candy Corn Trail of Horrors. It’s all outside, and this year, they added a sign about entering at your own risk.

Also, instead of handing out candy, they’ll instead send it through a plastic pipe embedded into “Sparky,” one of the displays.

“We’ve got Sparky with a feeder tube in him, which you can give candy six feet away and be COVID compliant,” Kevin Gann said. “They just put their basket in front of the tube, and it spits out through his chest.”

“Before it was just the traditional way and so now, as long as you just chuck the candy down the tube, it’s totally compliant with COVID,” Jill Gann added.

KCPD will host its annual Trunk or Treat events around the metro. You can find more details here.

Here are a few more lists of Halloween events this year from KC Parent, Funtober and Kansas City on the Cheap.

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