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How you and your family can plan a fun, safe Halloween celebration

You'll want to check out 'St. Louis Holiday Light Hopping' and the Nextdoor app feature 'treat map'

ST. LOUIS — Health officials say the safest way to celebrate Halloween this weekend is to stay home as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

However, there are a few socially distant options in the St. Louis area that are safer than traditional Halloween activities.

'St. Louis Holiday Light Hopping' features decorated homes from St. Charles to Crestwood and Festus to Fenton as well as some in Illinois.

"Your travels will take you by creepy ghosts, skeletons, adorable inflatable creatures, pumpkins of all kinds! And the kids will love seeing giant spiders, zombies and tombstones all aglow, and marvel at the laser lights," according to its website.

Click here for addresses of those festive homes

On Friday, students at Buder Elementary held a socially distant parade to show off their costumes.

5 On Your Side's Tracy Hinson spoke with several doctors about how to trick-or-treat this year if you do head out. 

First off, even though it's an outdoor activity, it is still important to wear a cloth face mask while trick-or-treating. Most plastic Halloween masks will not work for preventing the spread of COVID-19.  And all the doctors said to have fun, but remember we are still in a pandemic. 

Another piece of advice is to skip out on knocking on doors and keep to the houses that have candy out and optimized for social distancing.

Try to find homes that are practicing social distancing with creative displays or tables out front. For help finding those homes, try the Nextdoor app, this year its Treat Map features COVID-19 friendly suggestions.

A recent nationwide Nextdoor poll found that 73% of neighbors say they’re looking for an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating this year. In compliance with the CDC’s guidelines to help protect communities from COVID-19, you can now add your home to the Treat Map to share which lower risk festivities you are participating in including haunted decor, pumpkin projects, or a costume wave parade.

"Be mindful, carry hand sanitizer. They have to either wear masks or be distanced if they are going with friends," Dr. Marya Strand, Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital said.

"Stick to admiring the Halloween decorations and enjoying the candy that is further out from the house," Dr. Delene Musielak, St. Luke's Pediatrician said.

"We don't want to do this in gatherings and I think that means the safest thing is you do it with your household," Dr. Jason Newland, WashU Pediatric Infectious Disease said.

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