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Halloween Fun: A collective list of how various community rec centers across the U.S. are creating Halloween fun for their communities this year.

October is a time for all things pumpkin-flavored and spooky. Community rec centers across the U.S. have come up with fun yet safe ways to engage their communities in some Halloween fun. See what creative ideas they came up with below:

Bangor Parks and Recreation

Bangor, Maine

The Bangor Parks and Rec is modifying their annual Halloween party to keep kids in their community safe while still allowing them to have fun. On Thursday, October 29, the recreation team is hosting “Don’t Touch a Truck N Treat.” This event is free, but participants must have a ticket to participate.

The event is being divided into different time slots, with limited tickets per time to limit the number of people. There are other precautions and procedures in place to keep community members safe:

  • Participants must maintain a distance of six feet between groups at all times and adhere to the spacing markers.
  • Participants, and adults who accompany them, must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Participants must adhere to the directional arrows and may not backtrack to previous trucks or booths, as it will disrupt the flow of the line and could cross-contaminate between groups.
  • Participants may not enter or touch the vehicle at any time.

Bangor Parks and Recreation is also holding a Pumpkin Decorating and Carving Day on October 17th. All supplies are provided for a fee of $10 for Bangor residents and $15 for non-residents. Pre-registration is required.

You can find more information here.

Branson Parks and Recreation

Branson, Missouri

The Branson Parks and Recreation Department added new ways to celebrate Halloween at the Branson RecPlex for 2020. From October 27 to October 30, families can enjoy fall fun through the Halloween Hayride or Haunted Barn.

The Halloween Hayride is geared toward families and kids 12 and under. The hayride through the woods will be followed by crafts and/or fall-themed games. The hayride is limited to 16 participants per hayride. The Haunted Barn is geared to those 12 and over, looking for a scare.

Tickets must be purchased online in advance to reserve spots for both events. Additionally, all attendees will receive a free s’more.

Learn more here.

East Boston YMCA

Boston, Massachusetts

Each year runners would put on their best Halloween costume to tackle the “East BOOston 5K” road race and fundraiser, and get into the spooky spirit. However, due to COVID-19 the East Boston Y is pausing the annual event and encouraging members to participate in a virtual 5K.

From October 10 to 18 the Y is inviting everyone to run their Together We Run 5K Run/Walk. This is an all ages event that can be completed on the participants’ own time during the nine days. The race is designed to help members nurture their mind, body and spirit, raise awareness for the Y’s impact and inspire others to reconnect.

The race is $30 for adults, $20 for teens ages 13 to 17, and $15 for those 12 and under.

You can learn more about the logistics here.

Virtual run

Habersham Branch YMCA

Savanah, Georgia

The Habersham Branch YMCA is taking their annual Trunk or Treat touchless. The event taking place on October 22 will be a drive-thru experience. Participants will receive free treat bags, school supplies, family food boxes and other donated goodies. At the end of “Trunk or Treat Alley” families are encouraged to hop out of the car and snap a photo at the fall-themed photo booth.

Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes and participate in the Y’s Facebook photo contest.

You can learn more about the drive-thru Trunk or Treat here.

Phantom Lake YMCA Camp

Mukwonago, Wisconsin

The Phantom Lake YMCA Camp put on The Hallow, a jack-o’-lantern wonderland the first two weekends of October, to give families a scare-free way to celebrate. The Hallow features over 1,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins.

Safety measures were put in place with limited tickets this year for the outdoor walk, with set time slots for social distancing, waivers and masks, etc. Tickets were $15 and all proceeds are going to the Phantom Lake YMCA Camp Scholarship fund.

You can learn more here.


Raleigh County Parks and Recreation Authority

Surveyor, West Virginia

The Raleigh County Parks and Recreation Authority team wanted to ensure every child in their community could have a Halloween costume. The parks and rec team knew COVID-19 created many financial hardships and didn’t want that to be a reason a child couldn’t experience Halloween fun.

The parks and rec team ran a costume donation vault where anyone could donate old costumes and those in need of one could come pick one out. Each child could get up two costumes. While the drive ended on October 8, the parks and rec authority will continue to accept donations for as long as people donate them.

Learn more here.

South River Recreation

South River, New Jersey

The South River Department of Parks Recreation is hosting a Halloween house decorating contest on October 31. According to an article in Central Jersey, Lakisha Thomas, the director of parks and recreation, said social distancing is key in today’s environment so the decorating contest was a great way to have fun, while still staying safe.

Judging will take place at 3 p.m. and all participants outside of their home must wear masks to protect the community from COVID-19. The winner of the contest will receive a $75 gift card, second place will receive a $50 gift card and third place will receive a $25 gift card.

All participants must be South River residents and must pre-register for the event.

You can learn more here.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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