October 15, 2020

Family Resource Newsletter – October 2020

Dear CDA Families,

It is hard to believe that we have just entered into the fall season and are approaching some of our most favorite year-end holidays.

With Halloween just a few weeks away, I recall some of my most memorable times with friends and family during this holiday. We would dress up by creating our own costumes, have gatherings to play games and maybe do a little dancing, and go out trick-or-treating throughout the neighborhood to collect as much candy as possible.

The candy would last us for weeks and sometimes months. Since then, I don’t think much has changed in the past years, but with everything going on in the world, we know that this year will be different.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risks involved with Halloween activities, finding ways to keep some of our holiday traditions can help us and our children maintain a sense of normality. Parents can still create fun memories for their children and here are some ideas to do that.

Halloween Ideas for 2020

1. Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat with your household members in or around your home. Another way to consider a scavenger hunt is by creating a list of Halloween-theme items to look for while walking through the neighborhood.

2. Neighborhood Walk

Take your child for a walk around your neighborhood and admire the spooky decorations from a safe distance.

3. One-way Trick-or-Treating

Consider participating in one-way trick-or-treating in which treats are pre-wrapped in goodie bags and placed at the end of the yard or driveway for children to grab and go. This option allows families to maintain social distancing while sharing in the fun of Halloween.

4. Halloween Movie Night

Have a movie night indoors or outdoors with the people you live with and don’t forget to enjoy all the special treats.

5. Virtual Costume Event

One of the safest ways to celebrate is to participate with friends and family from different households in a virtual Halloween party. You can do this by using one of the many options available for video chat, such as Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or Facebook Messenger.

While you are at it don’t forget to have a costume contest and/or dance party and see who has the best “Monster Mash” moves.

6. Pumpkin Carving

Carving and decorating pumpkins is always fun! Share your carved pumpkin creation by displaying it on your front porch or window for family, friends, and neighbors.

7. Costume Parade

Consider a small group costume parade that is outdoors in the open-air and where people can admire the costumes from a safe distance.

8. Creative Masks

Consider creating and wearing your own Halloween-themed protective cloth mask.

Image provided by CDC.

As you plan for Halloween please avoid activities considered High-risk by the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Avoid wearing a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous and difficult to breathe.
  • Avoid traditional trick-or-treating where children are given treats house to house.
  • Avoid trunk-or-treat where children are given treats from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
  • Avoid attending crowded events that are held indoors.

As we continue to face uncertainty, one thing is for certain. We as a community are extremely resilient and capable of finding the good in the midst of adversity. Uncertainty and adversity have caused us to become creative and to find new family traditions. As the holidays quickly approach, we are grateful for family, health, and community and for new opportunities to grow together. Stay safe and have a Happy Halloween!

Events and Online Resources

CDC: COVID-19 Holiday Celebrations

Boo! COVID Scare Puts Damper on 2020 Halloween Festivities

October Kids FREE – San Diego Zoo
Children 11 years and younger receive free admission throughout October. HaGLOWeen – is happening three weekends in October filled with glowing fun, giggles, and grins.

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

Town and Country: 10 Ideas for a Spooky Quarantine Halloween

Whimsyroo: Halloween Activities to do at Home with Kids

Good Housekeeping
Is It Safe to Trick-or-Treat During the COVID-19 Pandemic? Experts Share Halloween Health Safety Tips.

Global News
Tips for having a safe Halloween amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Real Simple
Creative ways to celebrate Halloween.

Pumpking Patches!

Looking to pick out the perfect pumpkin? Here are the best pumpkin patches sprouting up all over the count with pumpkins aplenty and tons of safe, festive activities.

Bates Nut Farm

Mission Valley Pumpkin Station
Bonita Pumpkin Farm

Oma’s Family Farm

Julian Farm and Orchard

Mountain Valley Ranch

Peltzer Farms

Pumpkin-Feta Salad

The best thing about October is that it officially kicks off Pumpkin Season! Pumpkins are a very versatile squash and not just for carving.

Pumpkin can be used in both sweet and savory ways– you can roast the seeds, make a pumpkin curry, or maybe some pumpkin spice muffins, and of course, there’s always room for pumpkin pie!

Aside from being such a versatile vegetable, pumpkin is packed with nutrients. In a 1/2 cup serving of cooked pumpkin, you get 122% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A, which helps you maintain good eyesight and healthy skin, and 10% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties to help boost your immune system. Pumpkin is also a good source of fiber. A one-cup serving has 3 grams of fiber, which is good for your digestive system and can help you feel fuller for longer.

Try this recipe for a delicious way to add a little pumpkin to your life!


  • 3 pounds peeled, seeded, diced sugar pie pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
  • ¼ – ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp oil

Toss diced pumpkin with salt and oil, place on baking sheet, and roast in a 450° oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until browned and tender, stirring every 15 minutes. While the pumpkin is cooking, you can make the dressing. Just put the honey, apple cider vinegar, and oil in a small bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside. When the pumpkin is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then put it in a large bowl and add the feta, sunflower seeds, and cilantro. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Enjoy warm or chilled!

Keturah Swenson