This year’s Halloween will be a bit different for everyone.
Some of our local people and community groups are organising alternative outdoor Halloween activities and sharing their crafty ideas so everyone can still enjoy the holiday safely across Falkirk.
Our team has gathered some of them on our website, including costume competitions, spooky recipes, pumpkin trails, crafty ideas and old Scottish traditions that might be worth reviving this strange year.
The full list is available below:
On Saturday 24th October, Scottish Government officially advised families to avoid traditional guising this Halloween, in an effort to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Further advice and information is available on the Parent Club website; adapted guising as described above is acceptable (under “A Fun Alternative to Guising”). They also have a host of other safe activities families can do together, including:
- FREE Online Halloween Family Party: Parent Club and Licketyspit are hosting their Halloween Family Party from 4pm on Saturday 31st October on their Facebook page; everyone is welcome to join in this hair-raising and hilarious virtual event. The party will be available to join at a time that suits you; please have a pencil and paper at the ready. (Twitter and Facebook announcements.)
- tutorials on making spooky decorations from (bio-degrageable) bin bags
- tips on celebrating Halloween at home in style (like spooky discos with monster dance moves and scary stories)
For further information, visit the Parent Club website.
- At Home or With Family
Adapted Guising: Many people have suggested putting pumpkin decorations or drawings (similar to the NHS rainbows earlier in the year) in windows or on doorsteps.
Children can then dress up in their costumes and go for a walk with their family; every time the child spots a pumpkin, their parents put a preferred treat in their bucket or bag. This way, children still have the same fun of walking around their local area, showing off their costumes and receiving treats, while being safe within current guidelines.
Community Pumpkin Trails: Various communities have decided to organise their own adapted guising activities (with some of the local trails listed below); these are slightly different from guising in that the whole community is taking part (and costumes are not required, but welcomed!).
Fearty Fairy Trail and Costume Parade: Instead of their usual party and roller disco, Avonbridge Hall has organised another take on a pumpkin trail, a Fearty Fairy Trail, on Saturday 31st October, 2pm – 4pm, where children can spot various witches, ghosts and ghouls along the way. Once they have completed the trail, children can take their gold completion coin (available from a Halloween bucket filled at the end of the trail) to the hall, which can be traded in for a spooky treat at 5:15pm. The hall would also love to see completion pictures and selfies.
They have also organised a Trick or Treat Costume Parade for local children to show off their costumes (with appropriate social distancing measures in place) on the same day, leaving the hall at 5:30pm and covering Bridgend Road, Back Street, Main Street, and Slammanan Road before returning to the hall. There will be prizes for the best costumes in each age group, and the hall are asking local people who live along the parade route to show their support by watching from their windows and gardens.
They ask that parents please let them know (by commenting on the Facebook post OR messaging the hall page) if they will be attending or walking with kids in the parade, in order for them to plan for social distancing beforehand.
Bonnybridge Halloween Trail: A public Facebook group has been created to organise a Halloween trail placed around Bonnybridge for kids to enjoy; the trail ends on Sunday 1st November.
There are 5 locations (with all 5 being wheelchair accessible, though only 4 have parking close by); each have a numbered stand identifying them, and one of the organisers has posted poems with clues to the locations in the group.
There are also competitions – to enter, participants should paint a rock and take a picture of it at Location 5. The best entry will win a Smyth’s Toys voucher, provided by sponsor Princess Parties Scotland and Superheroes.
For further information, including trail rules and instructions, visit the Facebook group.
ROOTS Helping Hands Competitions: ROOTS is holding different Halloween competitions, including for pet costumes and for the best decorated house, pumpkin, and homemade costume.
All entries must be submitted by Saturday 31st October, and while prizes can be delivered in the Bonnybridge area, winners from other areas will need to collect.
For further information, including how to enter, either open the linked competitions above, or visit the ROOTS competition page.
- Camelon and Falkirk
Dollar Park Garden Ghouls: From Monday 26th October, Cyrenians will be holding a week-long Halloween week, 10am – 3:30pm each day at the Walled Garden in Dollar Park. There will be non-contact games around the garden, secret sweets, “Show Off Your Pumpkin” on the Cyrenians cart, and a chance to say hello to the monsters.
There is also a Garden Ghouls Party on Saturday 31st October, where children can dress up and have fun.
There is no need to book; the event is free, though donations for Cyrenians are welcomed. COVID-19 safety precautions are in place (including no public toilets), in order to make the event as safe and fun as possible.
Halloween Tote Bags: NU2U Furniture Project has provided Halloween Tote Bags filled with goodies and sweet boxes, available in their shop (93 La Porte Precinct, Grangemouth, FK3 8HQ) to raise funds for the local Food Larder; each bag is £4, and are selling out fast!
Halloween Window at KCP: Kersiebank Community Project has organised a Halloween window at their shop (23 La Porte Precinct, Grangemouth, FK3 8AZ), with Trick or Treat buckets of sweets for children, and pumpkins available to take home. Stock is limited, and all donations are welcome. Social distancing will be in place; parents can collect for their children, and don’t have to bring them along.
Hallglen Community Pantry: Through donations, Hallglen Community Pantry has made up over 100 Halloween goodie boxes to give to local children on Friday 30th October; to request a box, please contact the Pantry via Facebook; they request that people do not contact the team or their family members privately.
Polmont Playgroup Community Pumpkin Trail: Polmont Playgroup has organised a COVID-19-friendly Community Pumpkin Trail around Polmont and Brightons.
The trail covers a buggy and pram-friendly route, a 2.5 mile round route to spot all the pumpkins open from Friday 30th October – Sunday 1st November. Open to everyone of all ages, including families, dogs and those just there for the walk.
Trail Maps can be ordered online, and cost £3 each. All money raised from the maps will go towards funding for the playgroup. Each pumpkin marked on the trail will display a letter; once you find the letter, note it on your map and unscramble the letters to make a spooky phrase. All completed Trail Maps will receive a FREE Pumpkin Goody Bag! (Maps all have a unique reference and duplicates will not be accepted.)
There are also spooky rocks hidden around the trail for people to find, along with a Best Fancy Dress competition, and a special prize for the winner.
Everyone taking part should follow all current social distancing guidelines, and wear a mask if entering any of the local businesses. Participants are asked not to knock at any of the decorated houses along the trail.
For further information, please view the Facebook event.
- Ochils area
Ochils Halloween Rock Hunt: Gault Electrical Solutions Ltd has organised a hidden rock hunt, with Halloween-themed painted rocks hidden throughout Clackmannanshire.
A map has been made with the general locations of the rocks throughout Clackmannanshire. Gault Electrical Solutions Ltd is offering prizes for found rocks – only one prize per household, and winners must be Primary 7 or under.
A contact phone number is on the back of each rock or you can message the team via Facebook (linked above). Unlike with other hidden rock trails, please take the rock away with you, as you won’t be able to claim your prize without it.
(We know this one is a bit further afield for some of our Falkirk area residents, but we love the idea, and hope you will too. Maybe you and your family, or local community, could organise something similar?)
For further information, visit the original Facebook post.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt: Forth Valley Sensory Centre (FVSC) is holding a Halloween Scavenger Hunt on Thursday 29th October, from 6:30pm, for D/deaf, blind, partially sighted and hard of hearing young people (aged 12 – 18 years old). Participants can find items around their home, online or on their phone, and win prizes.
To take part, please contact Linsey Stocks by email: email@example.com
Pumpkin Window Decorations: An individual has posted to the Braes Blether Facebook group with instructions on how best to cut out pumpkin outlines for decoration. They have also included a short video tutorial in the comments, along with an offer of paper for anyone in the Braes area who needs it.
Other comments also include a range of crafty ideas for Halloween.
To view the post, please visit the Braes Blether post, or click on any of the links above.
Disney Apples: TV channel Chefclub Network Kids last year uploaded a video on how to make Mickey and Minnie Mouse shaped treats, in a different take on the traditional toffee apples. The recipe uses apples, marshmallows, melted chocolate, and different sweets.
Themed Recipes from Falkirk Food Connections: To help people have fun and reduce their food waste, Falkirk Food Connections has published a range of Halloween themed recipes on their Facebook page, including:
Recipes also aim to be cost-effective, filling and nutritious. So you can have fun with the kids and eat healthy!
Falkirk Food Connections will continue to post themed recipes in the run-up to Halloween, along with other recipes; for further information, visit their Facebook page.
Pumpkin Muffins: Did you know that pumpkins are highly nutritious and particularly high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C? All especially important for boosting everyone’s immune system over the winter months.
Forth Environment Link (FEL) is hosting a Facebook Live baking session at 11am on Friday 30th October for their Foodie Friday feature, encouraging people to reduce waste and making sure you use up the fleshy part of your gourds this Halloween.
Booking isn’t required, and if you don’t have the time to cook along during the session, you can feel free to just watch and get involved in the chat. The video will be available on the FEL Falkirk homepage for people to tune in to at their convenience:
Halloween Chocolate Making Kit: Local social enterprise Grace Chocolates (part of Making Positive Changes) has launched their Halloween chocolate making kits, and anyone who shares a picture of their creation on social media (tagging Grace Chocolates) is entered into a prize draw to win one of their Christmas kits!
Grace Chocolates supports women who have been through the Scottish criminal justice system and are keen to make positive steps towards finding a job. The programme helps support them on their way to employment, meet new people and widen their support network, have some fun while learning new skills and qualifications, and building their confidence as they learn what they can do. They are involved in every stage of making the chocolate, and receive on the job training, gain certificates and qualifications through courses and training. They are supported throughout allowing them to progress to different tasks gaining and building their skills, learning, confidence and resilience as they go.
Zero Waste Scotland Craft Ideas and Competition: Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has posted lots of different crafty Halloween decoration ideas, from Toilet Roll Tube Bats and Monstrous Milk Bottles to Witch’s Hats.
It’s all part of their #WasteLessHalloween campaign, aiming to reduce the number of non-recyclable decorations that end up being thrown in the bin after use each year.
People can share their Homemade Halloween decorations with ZWS via Instagram of Facebook for the chance to win a goodie bag worth over £40; the deadline for entries is 3pm on Thursday 29th October.
For further information (including how to enter and for craft instructions), visit the ZWS website for details.
Scottish Halloween Traditions: The National Trust for Scotland has posted information online on old Scottish Halloween traditions – did you know that in Scotland, we used to carve neeps (turnips), and that pumpkins are an American influence? Or that Halloween dates all the way back to the 16th century?
The name Halloween actually comes from a Scottish shortening of All-Hallows Eve and has its roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain!
To view the full list, please visit the National Trust for Scotland website.
If you think we missed anything going on your community, please contact our team by email: