Halloween 2020 celebrations are a bit different than in the past due to the coronavirus pandemic. While traditional Halloween activities must be altered due to health restrictions and the way we interact in public, there are still a number of events in Rancho Mirage to put you into the Halloween spirit in a safe and fun way via social distancing.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens hosts five days of outdoor activities beginning Oct. 28 at 8:30 a.m. The annual observation of Día de Los Muertos features ofrendas (altars) that community groups have erected in the gardens. This year, local artists add their talents to the mix, decorating colorful nichos (shadow boxes) that will be placed amid the cactus, agaves, and aloes. Sunnylands is expanding operating hours, giving the public free access to the gardens from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p,m., Wednesday through Sunday. The cafe opens for outdoor seating on Nov. 4.
Kids who love Halloween can make a full day of it this year. Start early at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert (Oct. 31, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.) and take part in a ghostly drive-thru for children of all ages. Come in costume for this free event and get a Boo Bag and some craft activities to do at home as a family. Videos will be uploaded on the day of the event to the CDMOD Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages so families can follow along at home.
Keep the costumes on and drive over to The River at Rancho Mirage (Oct. 31, 4 – 7 p.m.). The River has teamed up with Marker Broadcasting for a fun and contactless trick or treating experience. This free event encourages kids to showcase their costumes during this drive-thru event. Enjoy some “spooktacular” setups from area businesses, including BMW, KESQ, Target, Ben and Jerry’s, Hats Unlimited, Renova Solar Energy, Hot Yoga Plus PS, and David’s Plumbing. Families must stay in the vehicle and candy will be placed in the car trunk by festive attendants. Enter on Bob Hope Drive and follow the signs along the route.
Virtual Halloween Spooktacular:
Before you and the kids take those costumes off, be sure to get some good pictures! Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory is holding a contest and awarding prizes for family-friendly costumes in the following categories: Best All-Around Costume, Group Costume, Scariest Costume, Most Creative Costume and Funniest Costume. Submit name, phone number, category entry and photo with permission to share to: firstname.lastname@example.org Entries must be received by Nov. 4. A panel of judges will vote for each category and contact winners. Plus, check out the library’s YouTube channel for Storytime readings of “Creepy Carrots” and “Ten Little Goblins.”
At home activities:
To protect yourself and your community, you should not go trick-or-treating or mix with others outside allowed private gatherings this Halloween season. A few suggestions on how you and your family can celebrate during the ongoing pandemic to make it a safe and healthy Halloween:
- Turn your home into a haunted house or candy scavenger hunt for your family.
- Have a scary movie night and Halloween-themed activities (make popcorn balls, pumpkin carving, face painting) at home.
- Host an online costume party or pumpkin carving contest.
- Decorate your home or yard with Halloween-themed decorations
Or if you want to get out of the house, enjoy one of the drive-thru events in Rancho Mirage like the Trunk or Treat at The River or the Boo!seum Trick-or-Treat at the Children’s Discovery Museum.