Governor Murphy has said that “Halloween is on,” but in several New Jersey towns, trick or treating and other traditional festivities have been canceled. Glen Ridge, Plainfield and Bound Brook have all banned trick or treating and some are also saying no-go to trunk or treating.

In Plainfield, Mayor Adrian O. Mapp issued an Executive Order that effectively cancels Halloween.


“Halloween activities traditionally consist of ‘trick-or-treating,’ ‘trunk-or-treating,’ and gathering for parties, carnivals, or festivals with large crowds. These activities do not allow individuals to follow the six-foot social distancing guidelines, which help prevent the virus’s spread,” read a press release from the City of Plainfield.

In Bound Brook, Halloween events are all canceled including trick or treating and trunk or treating. Even haunted houses corn mazes and hayrides are off limits.

In Glen Ridge, where Halloween is a big deal for residents, trick or treating has been banned from October 29-November 1, which pretty much calls off the holiday.

“On Halloween the residents of Glen Ridge welcome trick or treaters from all over the region,” read a notice on the website. “It is common for a homeowner to give out more than 1,000 treats, and several streets in the borough to experience large gatherings of people.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has determined that it is a high-risk activity to participate in traditional Halloween trick-or-treating where treats are handed to, and received by, children who go door to door.  With input from the Glen Ridge Board of Health, the Mayor and Council acknowledges the determination of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and wishes to take action in a manner which safeguards the health of not only its residents but also the trick or treaters.”

“My concern about this is now more kids are just going to walk over into Montclair or Bloomfield making it more crowded and harder for them to social distance,” one person commented on the Borough of Glen Ridge’s Facebook post. “The NJ regulations asked people stay local. Now Glen Ridge kids that decided they want to go trick or treating can’t really do that.”

“Good luck with the enforcement,” wrote another person.

“How is handing out candy any different than handing a bag of take out food through the McDonald’s window tell me that how is it any different,” commented another poster.

Other towns have taken a more moderate approach to the festivities. In Absecon, trick or treating is permitted but goodies should be arranged so only the person receiving the treat touches it. In Linwood, the city has set designated hours for trick or treating. And in Collingswood, trick or treating will be allowed in residential areas but not in the business district.

Check out the CDC’s guidelines for safer trick or treating and other Halloween activities.