The leaves are starting to change, the nights are getting foggy, and the air is just crisp enough to make you want to cuddle up in a cardigan. It’s officially fall! The season is going to look a little different this year, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate getting scared and giving thanks. Check out these ideas for how to have a socially-distanced spooky season.
- Fruit Picking
Here’s an old favorite that's still safe to enjoy! Many farms and orchards are ticketing and/or limiting the amount of people allowed to go picking at one time. You may have to reserve your spot ahead of time, but you can still pluck apples right from the tree and collect berries from their bushes, all in a safe and distanced manner. For those in the Towson area, check out Weber’s Cider Mill Farm to sign up for a time slot!
- Pumpkin Patchin'
Like fruit picking, pumpkin patches are also limiting guests by ticketing, which ensures that you won’t have to face any crowds. Weber’s Cider Mill Farm is my favorite local patch, offering fresh-pressed apple cider, an in-house bakery, flour sack slides, live music, hayrides, a corn maze, farm animals, and pumpkins of every shape and size. If you’re just looking to pick up a pumpkin to carve, they also offer curbside pickup. Pumpkin patches are a fall staple, so check out your local farm’s website to see how you can get your hands on some autumn fun and produce!
- Scary Watch Party
Feel a little unsafe about having a big group over for a movie night? Missing your friends or family without your fall break? One positive thing that's come out of this pandemic are the new platforms for watching movies and tv shows together online. Both Amazon and Hulu offer their own watch party services, and Netflix Party is a great addition to your Google Chrome browser. It syncs up your film and opens a live chat room on Netflix. I’ve also used Watch2Gether to sync up YouTube videos for an SNL Halloween marathon. It’s about that time when your favorite streaming services will be uploading lots of spooky, scary films, so get your group together and start watching!
- Fall Baking
You’ve got your fresh-picked apples and baking pumpkins… now what? Nothing beats harvest season baking, so get your apron on and get your whisk in hand! ‘Tis the season for apple pies, cinnamon pies, pumpkin french toast, s’mores, caramel apples, homemade pretzels, apple dumplings, and pumpkin rolls. Make yourself a snack for your watch party, and fill the whole house up with the smell of pumpkin spice.
- Online Oracle
It’s time to embrace all things strange and mystical. What better than to have a tarot reading or your fortune told? Many psychics are offering their insight over the phone and video calls, making them a great option for a haunted roomies' night. You can find deals for several specialists in the spiritual arts on Groupon or by calling a shop local to you. Don’t let COVID get in the way of a few pieces of otherworldly wisdom for the rest of the year.
- Drive-In Movie
It may not be safe to return to the movie theatre yet, but the drive-in is still a great option! Locations like Bengies Drive-In in Middle River, MD and The Family Drive-In in Stephens City, VA let you watch old classics and new releases from the comfort of your own vehicle. For those of you worried about your car battery, never fear! You can bring your own radio or rent one from either venue. The drive-in is an inexpensive way to have a memorable night out, and both theatres have found smart new ways to allow guests to safely park and receive concessions. Get your agendas out, because Bengies is showing Shortcut and The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a double feature this Wednesday, September 30th. Check out their websites for upcoming events and tickets information!
- Drive-Thru Haunted House
Looking for some Halloween thrills? Get spooked from the comfort of your own car by visiting a drive-thru haunted house! Legends of the Fog in Hartford County, MD opens on October 2nd and offers its guests a touchless experience. Buy your tickets online and remain in your vehicle for an “interactive and immersive” experience. You’ll need a smart phone and a way to connect your phone audio to your car speakers to listen to the haunted house’s spooky soundtrack while you drive. For those who are comfortable getting out of the car, Bennett’s Curse in Baltimore, MD is a family-owned haunted house using extreme precautions to give your group a safe experience. There is a virtual line allowing you to wait your turn inside your car, required mask-wearing, marked floors to ensure your group stays at least six feet away from others, temperature checks, reduced capacity, and increased sanitation to ensure that you have a safe time getting scared.
- Craft Something Festive
If you’re looking to stay in this season, why not get a little crafty? Pumpkin carving is a classic, but there are plenty of other ways to get the creative juices flowing this fall. Instead of getting the counter a mess, decorate your pumpkins with acrylic paint to make them last longer. Michaels’s website always has great ideas for wreath-making, and you can find endless festive cross stitching and embroidery patterns to download from Etsy. If you’re looking for craft kits, your local dollar store is already stocked and ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
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