Trick or treating may not be on the cards this year, but you can still celebrate Halloween in spooktacular style with the whole household and make this year as special – if not more so – than any other. Here, we outline a few ideas for making the most of All Hallows Eve…

In the weeks leading up to Level 5, many folks around the nation were wondering if children would be allowed to trick or treat this Halloween. Many said they wouldn’t answer their doors, even going so far as to post a sign to say “no trick or treating”, while others were sure they could hand out treats safely, practising social distancing, wearing their scariest masks, and hand sanitising for Ireland. However, sometimes it’s just easiest when someone else makes the firm decision on behalf of the whole of society, so when the announcement was finally made that we were entering Level 5 for a period of six weeks, people countrywide started making new plans for October 31st, coming up with creative ways to celebrate Halloween and show their kids they don’t need to ring doorbells to have fun. If you’re not yet sure what to do this coming Saturday, we have some fresh ideas to share with you…

1. Get your mad rags on and dance

Staying home on Halloween night offers the perfect opportunity to dress up and join others far and wide virtually for an at-home dance party.  Take part in Unislim’s first-ever #TRICKORBEAT dance-off where Jane Shortall (choreographer to the stars) will show you some great moves, (keep a close eye on Unislim’s Insta and Facebook page).  All you have to do is dress up, grab whoever is at home and rock it out.  Post your vids on social media and please tag #unislimrocks #trickorbeat @unislimclubs.  The best shakers and movers will win €250, all entries to be posted before midnight on Halloween night.   You can crank up the sounds and tune in to Halloween FM (HalloweenFM.ie), get the gang together via Zoom, FaceTime or whatever platform you prefer. Dracula’s Disco 2020, via Zoom on Sunday, the 1st of November from 2.30pm-3.30pm for children aged five and up. DJ Will Softly will be spinning the decks. The event is free but ticketed and advance booking is essential. For more details and to book, click here.

2. Trick or treat the Covid way

Just because we cannot knock on our neighbours’ doors doesn’t mean the littlest members of the household should miss out on their annual sweet hunting festivities. For smallies wanting to show off their costumes and creep around the estate, walk them through your neighbourhood and whenever they spot a house decorated for Halloween, they get a treat (from you!). Just be sure to stock up on their favourite sweet and savoury treats (at least they can’t complain when they get treats in their bags they don’t like!). If there are a few older children and adults in the household, they can each wait behind different doors in the house and little ones can knock on doors to find a masked relative handing out goodies. Trick or treating sorted!

3. Break out the old favourites

Bobbing for apples, pin the tail on the monster or black cat, Halloween treasure/scavenger hunts, making toffee apples, pumpkin carving, sharing ghost stories round the fire… This year, a lot of families are turning to long abandoned traditions now that trick or treating is off the cards, so join in the fun and get creative (you may well hear kids begging to do them again next year). Older kids may also enjoy a good old-fashioned game of Cluedo (by candlelight, naturally).

4. Take part in one of the many online arts events planned

This year’s Halloween festivals and haunted gatherings have of course been affected by Level 5 restrictions, but many events have been planned way ahead in anticipation of such circumstances, one of which is the Spleodar Halloween Arts Festival now in its 20th year. The only dedicated children’s art festival in Tipperary takes place this year from October 24 to 31 with online events consisting of workshops, ghost stories, a treasure hunt, and trick or treat theatre. For details, visit spleodar.ie. Dublin’s EPIC Museum will be running a number of interactive virtual events for families, including a Trick or Treat: Halloween Around the World online workshop on October 29th and 30th, which will look at the evolution of Halloween around the world, from the ancient traditions of Samhain to those of today; tickets from €7.50. On October 26, EPIC will also host Samhain – Ireland’s Family Halloween Festival Online, with creative workshops from 12pm-4pm via Zoom and streamed via Facebook Live, free of charge, with limited tickets available for the interactive portion via Eventbrite. For details and to book, visit epicchq.com/news-events/halloween-at-epic/. Finally, this year’s annual Bram Stoker Festival will take place online from October 30 to November 2. Visit bramstokerfestival.com and keep an eye on their social channels for more details.

5. Huddle up on the sofa to enjoy something scary together

We know you’ve probably watched a lot of telly over the last six months, but Halloween is really one of the best times to gather together to watch something as a family, especially as it means you’re not sitting alone during those scary moments. If you’re unsure what to watch on Saturday night, may we offer the following recommendations… For really small children, you can’t go wrong with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, or Hotel Transylvania 1, 2 or 3. For slightly older children, try ParaNorman, Coraline and Monster House. Finally, for tweens, teens and grown-ups alike, Mike Flanagan’s series The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, both on Netflix, offer the perfect jump-out-of-your-skin creepy frights without the gore of a horror film. And of course, Netflix series Stranger Things has been massively popular worldwide, and for good reason, so if you’ve yet to sit through all three previously aired seasons, now’s a great time to find out what you’ve been missing before season four lands sometime next year, as it offers lots and lots of those jumpy moments that make Halloween so special. Looking for something brand new? Robert Zemeckis’s reimagined Roald Dahl’s The Witches will be available to rent on Premium Video On Demand (PVOD) from October 26. Dahl’s darkly humorous and heart-warming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his grandmother in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis only to encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches is reimagined for modern audiences and stars Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth, Chris Rock, Jahzir Kadeem Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick. It promises to be a visually stunning adventure for all the family.

 

From all of us at Unislim, have a very happy and safe Halloween.

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