With trick-or-treating advised against, NEJC cities plan COVID-19-safe Halloween events

Although the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is advising against traditional trick-or-treating, there are several events happening throughout northeast Johnson County for families to enjoy. File photo.

Kids wanting to go door to door in traditional trick-or-treat fashion may be out of luck this Halloween. With COVID-19 looming overhead, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment does not recommend trick-or-treating, and also warns against large gatherings, haunted house attractions, trunk-or-treating and other parties.

KDHE does offer alternative ways to celebrate the spooky season in a safe manner including online parties, car parades, and Halloween drive-in movie nights.

While KDHE does not recommend trick-or-treating or other celebrations, it is offering guidance for those who still plan to participate:

  • Those who trick-or-treat and trunk-or-treat should correctly wear a cloth face covering, carry and frequently use 60% alcohol or more hand sanitizer, accept only commercially packaged, non-perishable items and maintain physical distancing.
  • Those accepting trick-or-treaters should also correctly wear a cloth face covering, wash hands regularly, clean and sanitize frequently touched items like door bells, avoid candy grab bowls and consider making individual goodie bags for trick-or-treaters to pick up as they walk by.
  • Those who attend or host parties should avoid activities that require guests to be in close contact or share items, wear cloth face coverings, maintain physical distancing and practice routine hand hygiene.

Halloween events in Northeast Johnson County

Some northeast Johnson County cities are hosting COVID- friendly Halloween events. Below are city-sponsored events, including links to more information when available:

Fairway

  • Clue — city of Fairway edition, Oct. 1 to Oct. 18: The city is hosting a Fairway-themed Clue game for the public to participate in. Clues will be hidden around the city in former Fairway photo contest locations, and the clues will be displayed for participants to figure out the crime details. Participants will direct message Fairway answers, and answers will enter them into a drawing for a Fairway Creamery gift card. Additional information will be released in the coming weeks.
  • Costume contests: Children and pets can be entered into a costume contest during October, and winners of a Fairway business gift certificate will be announced Nov. 2. Residents can enter by posting the photo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, tagging the city and using #fairwaycostumecontest in the comments. Categories include babies under two, kindergarten to second grade, third to fifth grades, sixth to 12th grades and pets.
  • Driveway Trick-or-Treat, Oct. 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Fairway will drive through neighborhoods and deliver Halloween goodie bags at the end of driveways, and kids wearing Halloween costumes will get an extra surprise. Information on pricing and pre-registration can be found here.

Lenexa

  • Fall-O-Ween yard tour, Oct. 21 to Oct. 31: The city is hosting a Halloween-themed yard tour, in which residents and businesses decorate yards and others can view an interactive map for a self-guided tour. Residents and businesses can register for the Fall-O-Ween yard tour by Friday, Oct. 16, and submit a photo of decorations by Oct. 19. More information can be found here.

Merriam

  • DIY Holiday Decor and Wine class, Oct. 15 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Participants will create a reversible fall and Christmas decoration. Masks are required and all supplies are included for the $45 class fee. More information can be found here.

Mission

  • Fall into Mission, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m: The Mission Parks and Recreation Department will be giving away goodie bags with coupons, activities, candy and prizes in a reusable Mission bag. It is a drive-thru event located in the north lot of the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center.
  • Spooky Walk, Oct. 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: A spooky, but not too spooky, walk through Streamway Park filled with candy stations, activities, cider and popcorn upon exiting. No registration required. Begins at Streamway Park on Foxridge Drive by the Silverwood Apartments.
  • Howl-O-Ween, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Dress up a furry friend for a costume contest and best trick competition at Andersen Park, 5930 W. 61st Street. It is $5 per dog, with bobbing for treats, a fall photo booth and musical hoops on the activity list. Furry winners will receive “fun and delicious prizes”

Overland Park

  • Virtual Trunk-or-Treat: The annual event is going virtual by encouraging participants to submit decorated trunk photos online. Details on how the event will work will be available online soon at www.opkansas.org/trunkortreat.
  • Night at the Arboretum, Oct. 30 from 7 p.m. to 9p.m.: While the night-time Arboretum experience isn’t intentionally spooky, it falls on Halloween Eve. Entrance fees are required.
  • Farmers’ Market, Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.: While it’s a running event, vendors typically dress up and have holiday-themed items for purchase. No entertainment or activities are planned due to the pandemic.

Shawnee

  • Apple-licious Treats, Oct. 2 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.: For $25, get step-by-step instructions on how to make apple crisp and caramel apples. Participants will take home six serving pans of crisp and four caramel apples. Register online here or via phone at (913) 631-5200.
  • Family Date Night — Fun in the Park, Oct. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.: Activities and snacks provided for $15 per family. Register online or at (913) 631-5200.
  • Movie in the Park, Oct. 16 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.: A double-feature showing “The Little Shop of Horrors” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” All attendees must pre-register online here or at (913) 631-5200. Cost is $10 per person, and guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets for social distancing.
  • Virtual Holiday Treasures Craft Festival, Oct, 23 to Oct. 27: The annual vendor event is moving online. It’s free to participate, though purchases from vendors can be made online at www.cityofshawnee.org for the entirety of the event.
  • Spookfest, Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.: A Treats on the Trail event at Pflumm-Bichelmeyer Park for children ages 5 and under. Children must pre-register for a time slot to allow for social distancing, and it is $5 per person. Those over the age of 5 must wear a mask. Register online here or at (913) 631-5200.