HARD TO BELIEVE, but some adults loathe Halloween and its idea of encouraging gangs of children to come aggressively begging at the door.
At Loving Dalston, we revel in it.
So frightening have our front-hall display, resident ghoul and spooky musical accompaniment become over the years that toddlers have often burst into tears and run screaming down the steps.
Rewarding, eh – the ultimate result – although the pleasure is sometimes lessened by finger-wagging parents waiting at the gate. Dullards! Mollycoddlers! Spoilsports!
Not everyone, however, wants to put such effort into terrorising neighbours’ offspring, and prefer to party. If your local pub is not in the mood, some ideas follow here. Warning: some of the prices for the events are frightening.
* Carnival Of Carnage, Pond restaurant, Stamford Works, NW end of Gillett Square, Dalston N16 8JH, Saturday 31 October 2015. Live performances, DJs, voodoo doll-making. Tickets £45, £18 in advance. Option of Halloween banquet beforehand.
* Halloween Special, Limehouse Basin, Stepney E14 7JZ. Weird and wet paddle along the canals up to the Crate Brewery bar in Hackney Wick for a Halloween party. Meet at canoe shed under railway arches at Limehouse Basin at 7pm. Saturday 31 October 2015, 7pm, £36. At the other end of town, Richmond, on the same day, Secret Adventures is also laying on paddle-boarding on the Thames, £50.
* Big Fish Little Fish, Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square, Stratford E15 1BX, Sunday 1 November 2015. DJs include Andy Smith (Portishead) and Will Nicol (Northern Soul Rave Patrol) playing to a multi-sensory dance floor. Bubble machines, glitter cannon, balloons, giant parachute dance, craft area and chillout space with ball pools, tents and tunnels for little would-be ravers (and they better — Mummy and Daddy are paying). Food and licensed bar, glowsticks, transfer tattoos, take-home goody bag. Tickets adult £10; child £6.
* Teenie Halloweenie, Hackney City Farm, 1a Goldsmiths Row, Haggerston E2 8QA, Friday 30 October 2015. Riverside Cares and Mumsnet Hackney promise a morning of activities for the wee uns and a chance to meet other local parents. Optional fancy dress, costume parade, monster mash, dancing. Crafts include making paper pumpkins and Halloween bookmarks. Short parenting sessions with a childcare expert.
* Pumpkin rescue, 3 Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington N16 6PA. A day of fun in a Stokey kitchen, using local, seasonal, organic and plant-based ingredients that would otherwise have been thrown away. Take the family for a meal, take-home samples and recipes. Fancy dress and pimped pumpkins welcome. Children must be over eight and with a parent. Session 1 booking, 10am-noon; Session 2 booking, 6pm-8pm. Classes £5.50.
* Pumpkin Party, Angel central shopping centre, 21 Parkfield Street, Islington N1 0PS, Saturday 31 October 2015, 11am-4pm. Pumpkin soup, recipe cards, pumpkin-themed games, as well as tips on how toways to cut your food waste. Both of the above are organised by the North London Waste Authority, a big outfit that should be better known.
* Halloween cook-up, Fount London, The Arches, Westgate Street, London Fields E8 3RN, workshops with Kerryann Dunlop: decorating cake pops, Thursday 29 October 2015, 2pm-4pm; apple monster teeth and gruesome granola bars, Friday October 2015, 2pm-4pm; strawberry ghosts and chocolate apples, Saturday October 2015, 2pm-4pm. Free
* Beyond Hackney, supposedly the best Halloween parties in London can be found here.
* Part of the fun on All Souls’ Night, to give the thing its other title, is making yourself look awful, which some of us find easy. If you’re too beautiful for that, Butchers Salon, 63 Hackney Road, Shoreditch E2 7NX will scar, face paint and Halloween-hair you. Or an African shops in the wonderful Ridley Road might be able to bright you up. It’s your money.
David Altheer 251015