Organized trick or treating and wild Halloween parties might be limited this year, but fortunately Waynesboro and the surrounding areas will offer some alternatives so you can still get your thrills and chills and treats. Read on for some ways to celebrate a safe, spooktacular Halloween.

How to Celebrate Safely

Consider elaborate decorations this year to get yourself in the festive mood. The medical community considers virtual costume contests, scavenger hunts and pumpkin carving with family as well as with neighbors and close friends – at a safe distance, of course – low-risk ways to celebrate. One-way trick or treating (where individual gift bags are left out), socially distanced costume parades, and socially distanced outdoor parties or movie nights are considered moderately risky, but not high risk.

Spooky Swannanoa

Any old, isolated mansion on top of a mountain must be haunted, right? People have wondered who haunts the marble-clad and Tiffany-windowed Swannanoa mansion for years, and now theres a chance to find out for sure! This adults-only fundraising evening at the 23,000 square-foot, 52-room palace invites you to join Lunar Paranormal Virginia as its medium seeks to communicate with spirits and coax Swannanoas century-old mysteries to light. Proceeds from this small-group paranormal investigation support Swannanoa, the Cat Action Team of Virginia, and Elkton cats. Limited tickets are available and must be purchased in advance. Swannanoa hasnt been open to the public much this season due to Covid-19, so this is your chance to see it. Saturday, October 31, 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Wayne Theatre

Theres a lot to do at the Wayne Theatre during Octobers scariest weekend. Students interested in getting involved in the theater, making their own films, or just terrifying their friends this Halloween should check out the scary makeup masterclass, Grossies Gories. 6th-12th graders can learn the craft of creating realistic scars, cuts, bruises, and much more. The workshop will take place from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30.

Edgar Allan Poe fans (and who isnt?) will love seeing some of their favorite poems and stories brought to the big stage at the Wayne in Deep into the Darkness. This original adaptation makes use of “unconventional, socially distant storytelling and includes works like “Annabelle Lee, “The Raven, “The Masque of the Red Death, and more and features work by songwriter Melissa B. Wheeler. And since its Halloween, ticket buyers who attend in non-view-blocking costumes will get to compete for awesome best costume prizes. While this show is good for families familiar with Poes works, some images might be scary for young audience members.

Stuff for Kids

Waynesboro Parks and Rec is hosting several activities for kids including a Halloween-themed storybook craft on Wednesday, October 28. Dress up your pets and parade with them on the Greenway between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 29. While this is not a trick or treating event, its a chance to check out all the cool costumes. On Halloween night, New Valley Church will put on a family-friendly community movie in Constitution Park from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The first 200 children under age 12 will get free bags of candy.

Adult Festivities

If you havent checked out Lightwell Survey yet, you need to! Visit on Halloween from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. for the vineyards “Hellawine” release party, only their second event ever in the Waynesboro space. This event will occur mostly outside and under tents with proper social distancing, and it celebrates the release of their 2018 vintage. Tickets include wine tastings, yummy food, chances to buy wine from the rarely opened “vault, and lots of surprises. Masks are required, costumes are welcomed! Purchase tickets ahead of time.

Theres nothing like a Halloween party to brighten up a long night in October. Heres a sampling of more nearby festivities.

Heritage on Main will feature music by Jimmy Overton on October 30, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Barren Ridge Vineyards 10th annual Vine to Wine 5K is a fun way to celebrate the holiday. Wear a costume and join the post-race party that will feature wine samplings, live music, and food for purchase from a food truck. Strollers and leashed dogs are welcome to join the fun. October 31, 9:00 a.m. – noon.
Brews and Boos with DJ Lance at Seven Arrows Brewing. Costumes encouraged. October 31, noon – 10:00 p.m.
Stable Craft Brewings Masked Halloween Party will feature DJ XTC spinning dance tunes for socially distanced dancing. You can also compete for prizes in costume contests. There are separate contests for kids and adults. October 31, all day.
Basic City Beer Co.s Halloween with WSJ will happen on October 31, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
EJs Deli Pub will host music by Alex Arbaugh on October 30, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Halloweekend at Bottles is two nights of fun. Dress up in your costume, play games, win prizes, and enjoy beer by the bucket. October 30-31.