Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that trick-or-treating would not be banned in New York this year, to the relief of sugar-addicted children everywhere, noting at the time that more guidance would be released soon. And today, Mayor Bill de Blasio went over NYC's new guidelines for coronaween trick-or-treating and what will be the hottest/most mandatory costume of the season: anything that involves multiple layers of masks.
"It is one of the most joyous nights of the year, and this year it's going to be different, but it's going to happen," de Blasio said during a press conference on Wednesday. "As with everything we've experienced this year, we understand it's not business as usual, but it can go on, and it can be fun, and it can be exciting for our youngest New Yorkers, and they deserve it after everything they've been through."
So what are the new rules and guidelines? A lot of them are what de Blasio referred to as "common sense things," such as maintaining social distancing, doing things in small groups, and not attending indoor Halloween parties. He recommended that people give candy out in a bowl, rather than hand a piece to a child directly.
Then there are the two most notable guidelines: the city is recommending that trick-or-treater stick to the outdoors, and avoid the inside of apartment buildings. They are instead encouraging outdoor activities — while bobbing for apples is probably canceled forever, open-air scavenger hunts are encouraged.
And in what will likely be the toughest guideline to maintain, they are asking people to wear a mask on top of whatever costume they are wearing, regardless of whether they're already wearing a mask as part of their costume.
You can get more information about the city's guidelines here. There was no discussion of any fines or penalties for adults or children caught out on Halloween without proper double-masking.
Last month, Cuomo gave the green light to seasonal staples like corn mazes, haunted houses and hayrides, with restrictions in place including reduced capacity, social distancing requirements and mandatory face masks.
If you're looking for other things to do around Halloween, there are plenty of houses around the city which have been decorated for the occasion, including one of our favorite in Prospect Park South. There are also the ghost tours of Greenwich Village, Halloween-themed activities at the Bronx Zoo and Staten Island Zoo, a pumpkin patch at Queens Botanical Garden, a haunted Broadway pop-up event, a paranormal tour at Morris-Jumel mansion in Washington Heights, and the Dia de Los Muertos event at Green-Wood Cemetery.