halloween casa loma

Five safe ways to celebrate Halloween in the city this weekend

It would be an understatement to say the pandemic has put a damper on 2020 and all its festivities. Many of us have had to cancel or change plans for holidays such as Thanksgiving, and Halloween will be no different.

This year, the province has advised against trick-or-treating for kids in Toronto and other regions that were placed in a modified Stage 2. Instead, health officials are encouraging families to celebrate at home with virtual parties or Halloween-themed arts and crafts such as carving pumpkins.

However, necessity is the mother of invention, and people are adapting quickly to come up with creative variations on familiar traditions. There’s no reason why Torontonians can’t celebrate Halloween in a safe and socially distant manner this year to add a little spine-chilling fun to their lives.

Here are five pandemic-friendly ways to celebrate Halloween this weekend:


Casa Loma’s Spooky Walking Tour


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Although Casa Loma had to cancel its Legends of Horror event this year, you can still visit the castle at 1 Austin Terrace to walk around the grounds and check out the over-the-top Halloween sets scattered throughout the gardens and tunnels. Hang out with skeletons and gargoyles amongst eerie graveyards, cobwebs and more for a thrilling good time. The sets are open until 10 p.m. on October 31, and the event is open to all ages. Buy tickets at CasaLoma.ca.


Toronto Horror Hallways


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With strict COVID-19 protocols in place including mandatory mask wearing, extra sanitizing and temperature checks at the door, Horror Hallways is a great way to get spooked this Halloween without putting yourself at risk. Visit the dark, twisted maze at 37 Stoffel Dr. with up to five friends but beware — these haunted halls are filled with ghouls, demons and skeletons unlike any you’ve seen before. Buy tickets at TorontoHorrorHallways.com.


Haunted Drive-Thru


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Engage in a spooky immersive experience featuring a graveyard, a giant kraken and a haunted pumpkin patch without leaving the comfort of your car at Toronto’s Haunted Drive-Thru at 176 Cherry St. Complete with plenty of props, animatronics and ghoulish lighting, the event is the perfect way to experience all the terrors of Halloween minus the COVID-19 anxiety. Buy tickets at TorontoShines.ca.


Drive-Thru BOOmobile at the Toronto Zoo


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Looking for a safe, family friendly way to celebrate Halloween this year that won’t scare the pants off your little ones? Look no further than the Drive Thru BOOmobile at the Toronto Zoo: an educational experience featuring a beautiful Hay-lloween town exhibit complete with hay bale art made by the zoo’s staff and insightful commentary about how the animal kingdom ties into our favourite Halloween traditions. Buy tickets at Tickets.TorontoZoo.com.


Ontario Place Drive-In


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Miss going to the movies? Head to Ontario Place at 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W. for the next best thing: a good old-fashioned drive-in movie experience. Pack your car with blankets and pillows, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show for a fun and COVID-friendly way to spend Halloween night. Although The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Descent are sold out for Oct. 31, you can still purchase tickets for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World on Saturday or The Nightmare Before Christmas on Nov. 1 at OntarioPlace.com.

And if none of these activities appeal to you, there are always plenty of fun and festive Halloween activities you can do from home, quarantine-style. Dress up, carve pumpkins, bake some Halloween treats or have a scary movie Netflix binge session — the options are endless!

Article exclusive to TRNTO