Love it or hate it, Halloween is getting increasingly popular. Yes, I know some criticise Halloween as being an imported, commercialised celebration that’s overly fixated on junk food and begging from strangers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to celebrate this spooky holiday which actually has its origins in pagan harvest festivals without spending too much and without the major sugar highs.
Whether you host a Halloween party at your place or organise a trick or treating route visiting friends, family and favourite neighbours, there’s loads of fun to be had. And there’s also local Halloween events if you don’t feel like organising your own.
Local 2018 Halloween Events
There are some fun family Halloween events happening for 2018 around the Newcastle region. (More events will be added as they’re finalised).
Friday 26 October
Enjoy a Halloween disco at Megamania with a special visit from Mike from Monsters Inc. The disco runs from 5pm to 8pm with music, smoke, disco lights and games with prizes. Book online for your family or group or call Megamania on (02) 4923 8700 to book.
Chipmunks Playland & Cafe
Chipmunks in Maitland are holding a Spooktacular Party on Friday 26 October from 6pm – 8pm. $15 per child which includes music games, prizes for best dressed and play in the Haunted Playground. Limited tickets available so call on (02) 4032 0712 to book.
Saturday 27 October
Chameleon Play Cafe
Double the Halloween fun! Join Chameleon Play Cafe in Cessnock for a kids Halloween costume disco on two nights: Saturday 27 October 2018 from 5pm – 7.30pm or Saturday 3 November 2018 from 5pm – 7.30pm. This Halloween, dress up the kids, dress up yourself and head on in for an night of fun, delight and frights! There will be a kids spooky disco with music, lights, games, prizes and face painting. Chameleon Play Cafe will be open for purchase of food and drink so parents can sit back and relax while the kids can have a blast. Tickets $10 per child. Tickets are limited and must be prepurchased at Chameleon Play Cafe prior to the night. For more information, phone 02 4025 3747.
Springloaded Newcastle is hosting a Halloween Party from 5pm to 7:30pm- 2 1/2 hours of fun filled action with prizes, pizza, lollies, competitions and more.$15 for members / $20 for non-members. Call on 02 494 21584 to book.
Enjoy some fun Halloween workshops at Bunnings Maitland on Saturday 27 from 10am to 2pm. Bookings required. Click here to book.
Sunday 28 October
Enjoy some fun Halloween workshops at Bunnings Maitland on Saturday 27 from 10am to 2pm. Bookings required. Click here to book
Wednesday 31 October
Belmont Neighbourhood Centre
Belmont North Public School P&C Association, along with Belmont Neighbourhood Centre, are holding a Spooky Halloween Disco on Wednesday 31st October 2018. There will be 2 discos. The first from 4.30pm until 6pm and the second from 6.30pm until 8pm. All primary school aged children welcome. There will be hotdogs, sausage rolls & pies available to purchase on the night, along with lollies, chips, drinks & ice blocks. Harrington Entertainment will be attending with their delicious popcorn, fairy floss & snow cones for you to also purchase. Volunteers will be at the hall to supervise the children, though parents are welcome to stay. Tickets are $5 per child and available via Stickytickets.
Join Bunnings Maitland for a spooktacular night of safe and free trick or treating at Bunnings Maitland! Kids can dress up and collect treats from around the store as well as have their face painted, jump on the haunted jumping castle or join in on zombie craft! The event runs from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. RSVP Booking’s essential! Click here to book.
Newcastle City Library
Enjoy a free Halloween movie night! Newcastle Youth Council and Newcastle Region Library brings you a free movie screening for Halloween night at Newcastle Library. They have two screenings, Scooby Doo for younger kids and A Quiet Place (PG-13) for older ones. Both films start at 6pm (arrival at 5:45 pm). Snacks, drinks, popcorn, and Halloween treats will be provided! Bring your friends and wear your finest Halloween attire. Register now through Eventbrite to secure your spot before they run out!
Visit Event Cinemas at Glendale or Kotara for a special movie screening of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Rated PG, Halloween comes to life in a brand-new, family adventure comedy based on R.L. Stine’s 400-million-selling series of books.
Don’t rush out to spend loads of money on cheap, plastic costumes. With some imagination and some basics from home, play box or a dollar store or Book Week leftovers, it’s easy to make costumes.
Here are ten easy costumes to make for kids and parents.
- Pirate – A striped t-shirt, bandanna, and leggings. Make a black eye patch from some construction paper and an aluminum foil sword and you’re set.
- Cowboy – A denim shirt, cowboy hat and a gun.
- Witch – Black clothing, a witches hat and a cackling laugh.
- Doctor – A pair of scrubs or a white coat with a toy stethoscope or doctors bag.
- Princess – A fancy dress and a tiara.
- Construction worker – Jeans, t-shirt or singlet, a tool belt and a hard hat.
- Fairy – Leotard or leggings, and a tutu and a pair of fairy wings.
- Egyptian Mummy – White clothes underneath and strips of old white sheets to wrap around body and head.
- Bunny Rabbit – White clothes, cotton wool tail, paper ears and some drawn on whiskers.
- Superhero – Leggings, long sleeve t-shirts and a cape.
And of course there’s loads more ideas on Pinterest.
Trick or Treat Safety Tips
As the popularity of Halloween increases, there are more kids participating in trick or treating. Here’s some tips for safe trick or treating
- Plan your route in advance to ensure its safe and not too long especially with young kids.
- Recommend that a parent or adult accompany kids younger than 13 years.
- Only visit neighbours that you know or houses which indicate they are participating in Halloween. Last year, homes near us displayed orange balloons or plastic pumpkins at the front door to indicate they had treats available for trick or treaters.
- Make sure kids know not to eat treats until its inspected.
- Make sure kids know to watch for cars and cross roads safely.
- Reiterate rules regarding strangers to your kids and ensure that they know not to enter people’s homes and trick or treat with groups.
Yes, there can be lots of sugary treats available around Halloween but encourage kids to enjoy a few sweets and then switch to some healthy options. Here’s some food options for Halloween.
Banana Yoghurt Ghosts – so easy to make. Just take a banana, dip in yoghurt and stick on some chocolate eyes.
Jack-O’Lantern Oranges – Don’t waste your time or money trying to carve a large pumpkin. Using oranges are so much easier. Buy a whole bag of oranges and try carving different expressions into their faces. For younger kids, let them use foam stickies or googly eyes to make fun faces. When you’re finished playing, just cut up the oranges to eat!
If you feel like something a bit more sweeter, make and decorate Halloween cookies.
Halloween Craft & Games
If you prefer to organise a Halloween party at home, jump onto Pinterest for loads of ideas for crafts and games. There’s lots of ideas including bobbing for apples, donut eating race, Halloween bingo and skeleton puzzles.
Spend some spooky family time watching Halloween movies together.
- The Addams Family
- Bettlejuice (PG)
- ET (PG)
- Ghostbusters (PG)
- The Goonies (PG)
- Gremlins (PG)
- Hocus Pocus
- Monsters Inc (G)
- Room on the Broom (G)
- Scooby Doo (PG)
For a spooky read on Halloween, here are some page turners.
Florentine and Pig and the Spooky Forest Adventure by Eva Katzler
There’s a monster on the loose, and Florentine and Pig are determined to catch it! And what will they need for their monster-catching expedition? Binoculars? Torch? Super-scrummy supper? CHECK!
Sounds Spooky by Christopher Cheng and illustrated by Sarah Davis
Filled with onomatopoeia this book with a delightfully spooky twist will have young readers listening for those spooky sounds and chanting, ‘What’s that noise that I can hear? I’m not scared!’
The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey
Life is cursed for the townsfolk of Twee. The ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon haunts their every waking hour and they’ve had enough! But then one day, the brave and practical young Herbert Kettle has the most extraordinary idea . . .
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. They are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog, and each animal asks for a ride on the broom. They climb on, one after the next, until the broom is so heavy that it snaps in two! What will happen next as they tumble into a bog and meet a greedy dragon?
What’s in the Witch’s Kitchen by Nick Sharratt
The witch has hidden a trick and a treat in her magical kitchen cupboards! Which one you find depends on how you open the doors. Whether it’s frogspawn or popcorn, lollipops or rabbit plops, there are hilarious rhymes to discover inside in this innovative new novelty book from Nick Sharratt. Age 0+
Mr Tickle and the Scary Halloween by Roger Hargreaves
Ever since Little Miss Scary moved to town, Halloween had become really scary. Scare your pants off scary! But Mr. Tickle has a plan to make this year different – a ticklishly, tricky plan! Watch out little Miss Scary, there’s someone behind you!
Halloween in Christmas Hills by Karen Tayleur and illustrated by Heath McKenzie
This is a very Aussie Halloween book.When Miles Cameron was allowed to go trick or treating for the first time, everyone warned him to stay away from Stingy Jacks house. If only he had listened. Halloween is here to stay! And this book taps into the growing interest Aussie kids have in this holiday. ‘Halloween in Christmas Hills’ reminds people that this holiday is actually Celtic in origin not American. Age 5+
Cats on the Run by Ged Gilmore
Although not strictly a Halloween book, it does contain magic and foul-smelling witches who have abducted the two feline heroes of this story, Will Tuck and Ginger. This chapter book is a funny read for kids aged 8 to 12 or any adults who want a good laugh.