Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Halloween annoys me

Halloween really, really annoys me. Why do we have it? What is it about? I really don't remember it being as big and all pervasive when I was younger.  Just ignore it, I hear you say.  This is the worst thing, I can't just ignore it - I have primary school-aged young children. And you know what that means - they 'do Halloween' at school, with well-meaning relatives, with cub scouts, with friends, in the shops and all over the media.  What Halloween actually is, is another device to keep the capitalist machine turning. It is another excuse for a consumer spend-fest, nicely spaced for retailers between summer hols and Christmas, where maximum guilt power can be exerted if you insist on your kids opting-out. Loads orange and black plastic junk being marketed everywhere.

Now I wouldn't mind the pagan roots of Halloween being acknowledged, just as I wouldn't mind the true meaning/history of Christmas being acknowledged (despite my being an atheist). But when everything is reduced to some vacuous ritual performed by bored individuals, it annoys me. What a bah-humbug I am today. But of course our kids have the costumes, the face paints and glow-in-the-dark fangs at the ready. And I'm sure hubby will even carve a lovely pumpkin as he did last year (photo above)....

Anyways, if you have kids who are really excited by it, or you just can't get enough, here's some local stuff going on (sorry for strange formatting which I don't have time to perfect!):

23 - 31 October
Halloween Skies, Royal Observatory, Greenwich
12.45 and 4.15pm. Go along and find out what the night sky has to off
er this Halloween in this live planetarium show, presented by an astronomer. Charges apply. Booking is required. For more information go to or call 020 8312 6632. 
29 - 31 October
Halloween Costume Workshop, Greenwich Market
11am – 5pm. Take part in this Halloween costume making workshop where you can be a witch, Dracula, goblin, fairy or zombie. There will also be face painting to complete your look and you will have the chance to take part in a scary fashion show and win a prize. There will also be a chance to take part in a cup cake decorating workshop. For information go to
Avery Hill Park cafe
Saturday 30 October, 2pm to 4pm
Halloweeny-witchy activities, face-painting (£2 I kid you not) but 'free' colouring (that's kind). Avery Hill Park, Bexley Road, London SE9

Conjure up spells and potions at magical events at the National Maritime Museum.

Witches Hallowe'en Star Party
Friday 29 October - Saturday 30 October,
various times.

The Observatory and Queen’s House are open to all budding wizards and witches. Dress in your finest robes for an enchanting day out.



Saturday 30 October, 7.30pm 

A walk on the dark side

batsHear terrible tales of grim ghosts, ghastly murders, sinister events and other dark deeds as Greenwich Tour Guides present a special Halloween walk.  Greenwich
Get more information about A Walk on the Dark Side on the Visit Greenwich website.

Charity Hallowe'en Ball

pumpkinStrut your stuff at the Tudor Barn in Eltham and help support the Demelza House Charity.

Tickets cost £15 and include a buffet, live band and disco.

Friday 29 October,  7.30pm - 1am
Tudor Barn, Eltham

Find out more about the Charity Ball, including booking information, at the Tudor Barn website.


Charlton's House of Lost Souls

Meet Charlton House's ghost and former residents at The House of Lost Souls  - a 90 minute tour that allows groups to walk around the house on a specifically designed route.

GhostSaturday 30 and Sunday 31 October
7pm - 9pm
Charlton House

Adults £10, children (aged 12 upwards) £7.

Family ticket £26 (two adults, two children).

Book tickets for The House of Lost Souls on the Greenwich Theatre website.

You can also buy tickets from Greenwich Tourist Information Centre.

Children's Hallowe'en Workshop (free)

maskDiscover the true meaning of Hallowe'en at this FREE drop-in workshop where you can make mysterious masks and puppets.

Saturday 30 October
10am - 11.30am and 12 noon - 1.30pm
Charlton House

Suitable for children of all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult
Sunday 31 October, 10am to 4pm
Tour and crafts at Eltham Palace
castleTake a ghostly tour of Eltham Palace and then get messy with a craft session just for kids. Wear fancy dress and you could win a prize!
Eltham Palace.
Find out more about Hallowe'en Crafts, including ticket prices, at the English Heritage website.


Plummy Mummy said...

Know what you mean. Went to Bexleyheath Mall yesterday and were bombarded with halloween tat. Useful in that we need to find a dress for a pirate party soon but crap in that the dress we bought was quite plastic when we got home.
I am tempted to buy a very strong water pistol for any trick or treaters who visit us.

Raven said...

You could do that if you're brave, or just turn the lights out and hide! Just wait till your little one is older - she'll be wanting you to take her trick or treating, just as mine are nagging us now. I'll be leaving that to hubby. I tell him it's a cultural thing - I just can't go around knocking on strangers doors..

On costumes, we managed to find a royal soldier's outfit last month for my son at an unlikely place: the Dancers Box (231, Bexley Rd, Erith, Kent DA8 3EU, Tel: 01322 336443), and I noticed that M&S had loads of costumes in, though more pricey than others they're good quality.

Plummy Mummy said...

Cultural thing... I'm going to try that one too.
Thanks for the shop tip.

I was really impressed with M&S' offerings which for the quality were quite cheap. Unfortunately, for some odd reason they don't do costumes sized 2-3 (they go 1.5-2, or 3-4 with a huge size difference) I'm rather tempted to complain to them for being size-ist.