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Sassy Mama’s Guide to Halloween 2014

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It’s almost time for the spookiest day of the year, mamas! Trick or treating, costume competitions and haunted houses have quickly turned Hong Kong into the Halloween capital of Asia! Our go-to guide will help you make planning the day’s festivities easy as pie, whether you’re scouring the city for sweets to fill little jack-o-lanterns or hosting a fun-filled Halloween party at home complete with fang-tastic activities like apple bobbing, pumpkin carving and scary scavenger hunts!

Trick or Treat!

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The Halloween activity that gets the kiddies most excited is – of course – trick or treating! This is quintessential to the Halloween experience, and it is possible to recreate this American tradition here in the ‘Kong if you know where to look. Most apartment blocks get into the spirit of things, and it can be really fun (and a great workout!) to head up and down the stairs looking for floors that are decorated with ghosts, pumpkins and spindly spiders. If you’re not convinced that your building will be the most thrilling trick or treat spot, grab your spookiest costumes and a bag to store your treats, and head over to some of these established trick or treat trails:

  • Mid-Levels monsters should head up to MacDonnell Road where a group of mamas are laying on a “true Halloween experience”… sounds like a spook-tacular evening to us! Mamas who are interested in participating can email [email protected] for more deets!
  • Discovery Bay’s Headland Road is usually decked to the nines in full-on Halloween décor. The whole street offers a traditional trick or treating vibe, with people even decorating their whole garages with monstrous creations!
  • Tai Tam’s Red Hill Road is another trick or treating haven, with tons of treats and decorations aplenty.
  • As a massive 17-tower complex, Parkview has a very organised approach to trick or treating, which offers parents peace of mind when there are large gangs of little ghouls running around together. The sweets and treats are given out at the base of each tower to avoid blocking up the lifts with little monsters!
  • Wandering around the houses on Bisney Road and Consort Rise in Pok Fu Lam also guarantees some trick or treating success.

Sweet Treats

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The other side of trick or treating is, of course, providing the treats! Most supermarkets in Hong Kong will stock Halloween-themed value packs of sweeties and chocolate, with Citysuper, Great, Marks and Spencer’s and Oliver’s all offering a wide range of quality goodies.

For something a bit more special, there are Halloween cupcakes and cookies on offer at Sift Desserts, Sweet SecretsKisses Cupcakes or Cake-a-licious. One of our other favourites is Citrus Sweets, who will make custom cupcakes to order.

DIY Treats

If you’re worried about all the sugar keeping your little ones awake for the rest of the month (and affecting their pearly whites!) perhaps consider opting for healthier treats.

If you fancy your hand at baking, you might want to try creating some of your own spooky Halloween-themed treats. Decorate homemade low-sugar cupcakes (check out our top 5 tips on how to make any baking recipe easier here!) with skeletons, bats and pumpkins, or get little ones to create their own cookies using Halloween cookie cuttersMuji do cat-shaped ones! Of course, it’s important to note when handing out treats that some children may have allergies, so informing their parents if nuts are present (or labelling homemade treats) will ensure that everyone gets to enjoy their spooky snacks!

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Some creative knife skills can transform carrot sticks into eerie carrot fingers, apple slices can turn into little goblin mouths and boiled eggs with sliced black olives resembles eyeballs, little spiders and even mini ghosts! Peeled oranges with a cucumber stalk in the top can be passed off as mini pumpkins, and jelly is always an effective Halloween treat (add some sugar-free gummy worms inside!). You could even create a special ‘cauldron’ punch of fruit juice or a blended healthy green smoothie… again, don’t forget the gummy worms for that extra creepy-crawly feel!

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Getting the kiddies involved in Halloween food is a fun way for them to enjoy Halloween – from cookie cutting to scary pizza toppings, there are a variety of different foodie activities you can try with them… great for a homemade Halloween party! Apple bobbing is another classic Halloween activity (with a stealth healthy spin!) and pumpkin carving will really get you in the spirit of things.

Costumes & Decorations

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The best thing about Halloween is that it’s a good excuse to dress up! From ghosts, zombies and vampires to witches, warlocks and favourite cartoon characters, there’s a whole host of costumes out there. If you really want to get into the festivities then you’d better deck out your home with some horrifying decorations too… you’ve probably already seen Halloween-themed products popping up all over the place, especially in the supermarkets. Check out some of the best places to get your costume and décor fix for this Halloween season!

  • The quintessential Hong Kong costume destination is Pottinger Street in Central. Scamper up the old, wobbly steps that will be lined with gruesome masks, hats, broomsticks, cloaks, wands and pumpkin paraphernalia. You’ll be sure to find an array of costumes and wigs at this Hong Kong dress-up institution.
  • Similar to Pottinger Street on the Island, check out Ladies Market in Mong Kok. There are a huge variety of masks, accessories and more on offer, and all reasonably priced, too!
  • Yep, there’s another market you could head to – Stanley! The tiny shops, where you’ll probably find similar accessories that are a little more expensive. But, also a great one-stop shop for all your costume needs.
  • Matteo Party has over 2,000 different costumes available at their shop in Causeway Bay, so you’re sure to find something that will everyone will love!
  • Toys R Us is sure to stock the perfect outfit for your little one, with plenty of cartoon and character-themed ones. A surefire place to find decorations galore too.
  • Hobby Horse – although on the smaller side – will have some standard Halloween decorations worth checking out if you don’t want the hassle of going to the huge Toys R Us store. Great for table decorations (think pumpkin confetti, fake cobwebs and spiders) and balloons (helium too!).
  • Cosplay also has a huge range of costumes and accessories especially for kids, including a very cute pumpkin jacket!
  • Eezy Peezy Parties have got a handful of Halloween-themed collections if you’re planning to decorate the house. Items include party bags, banners and paper napkins with spooky skulls and zombies on them. Check out the collections here, here and here.

If you’re still short on inspiration, check out the Sassy Mama ultimate kids party guides parts one and two… plenty of great ideas for both ghoulish and genteel gatherings!

DIY Costumes

Another option is to make your own Halloween costumes! If you’ve got the time, this is a great opportunity to be creative with your kid and make their costume more personal to their interests. It can also be a cheaper and more environmentally friendly option as you can reuse old t-shirts, dresses and shirts to create something new – and guaranteed to fit! You can’t go wrong with a plain black t-shirt, a couple of metres of black netting and a few black sparkly stars from Pottinger Street or ‘The Lanes’ in Central. With the creative use of pinking shears, you can whip up an original witch or bat costume without spending hours on the sewing machine!

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Don’t forget that face-paint can be a whole costume in itself, and with YouTube, you can access some great make-up and face-paint tutorials at the click of a button… transform your child’s face into a cat, Dracula or a cheeky little devil (although the Mamas here tell me that may not require quite as much face-paint!). Remember… if you’re really down to the last minute, a white t-shirt and spare roll of toilet paper can be instantly transformed into a miniature zombie costume!

Events

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There’s a huge range of Halloween events this month, with Hong Kong fast becoming one of Asia’s hotspots for this terrifyingly fun night! The classic Hong Kong Halloween events include our favourite theme parks…

  • Ocean Park’s Halloween Fest 2014 will have the entire family frightened to the core with everything they have in store. From the haunted houses which would be more appropriate for older kids to the Doreamon Halloween Party. The theme park also has trick or treat trucks around the park handing out candy to the little ones, as well as a Runway Contest on the weekend for the best costumes.
  • Hong Kong’s other amusement park, Disneyland, has got a very haunted Halloween planned! Join Mickey, Minnie and the gang at the Fantasyland Masquerade Ball, or head over to Grizzly Gulch for the Autumn Festival and join in the fun and games. Check out Disneyland’s costume tips here. How brave are you, mama?
  • Head over to Umami Concepts on Saturday, 25 October for an afternoon of wicked fun. Carve a creepy pumpkin with your ghouls and girls and take it home after! There’ll be complimentary witches brew and soft drinks, as well as some treats for the kids to take home. It’s $350 for one adult and one child. Reserve your spot by emailing [email protected].
  • Frites in Quarry Bay will be turning into a ghoulish ghost house to celebrate Halloween. Pop over on Sunday, 2 November with the kids, where they’ll get to enjoy a magic show and a costume competition. Activities are free of charge if you’re having lunch at the restaurant.
  • Head to Café Deco at the Peak to check out their Bloodcurling Delights Dinner Menu, available until the end of October. There’ll be creepy delicacies on offer, including a trio of foie gras, soft shell crab and unagi, as well as bacon-wrapped shrimp and BBQ back ribs. It’s all for $468.
  • Check out the Haunted House at Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill, Amaroni’s or LUCQUES on 31 October itself. Go in costume and you’ll get 10% off your dinner bill! Those who win the best dressed competition will get a $100 gift certificate and an instant photo. Kids can indulge in the complimentary mini sundae.

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  • Fright Dome has been brought over from Las Vegas to the shores of Hong Kong – well, shall we say the Peak of Hong Kong. The haunted attraction has got two houses, a Ride-A-Zombie, a Bury-Me-Alive simulator, frightening photo ops and more. It’s open from Friday, 17 October until Sunday, 2 November. Tickets are $199 if you’re going in the early afternoon or $299 if you plan to go any other time. For $399, you get to go in the evenings and on weekends as well as have Fast Pass entry. Mamas, just keep in mind that this is for kids ages 12 and up.
  • Pop over to SPRING Learning’s Halloween Party on Sunday, 26 October. This year, the theme is the Magic Broom, and they’ll take you on a spooktacular journey which includes making cheesecakes, to crafting your own Halloween accessories. Kids will leave with special treats! For more details and to RSVP, contact their reception on 3465 5000 or email them at [email protected] with your guest names, children’s ages, and contact number. Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis only. Suitable for kids ages between 8 months and 6 years. It’s $300 for members and $380 for non-members, which is the fee for one adult and one child.
  • One of our fave froyo joints, Yo Mama, has got a limited edition Halloween treat until the end of October. The eye-popping Halloween Witch has got googly gumballs for eyes, gummy worms and a cookie in the shape of a witch’s hat. Check out their branches here for a sweet treat with the little one! We heard on the grapevine that their Wan Chai branch will be decked out in some suitably scary decorations!
  • Head over to Kids 21 to celebrate at a fun-filled Halloween party on 18 October. The little ones can enjoy face painting, balloon twisting, mask DIYs and photo opps! RSVP here.
  • Ralph Lauren are also celebrating Halloween with a fun in-store event on 25 October! Grab the littlies and head on over to their Prince’s Building location for ghoulish good times including face-painting, shopping, a take-home gift and plenty of yummy Halloween-themed snacks to get your munchkins energised! RSVP here.
  • Pop over to The Pulse in Repulse Bay for a Hot Tub Halloween Carnival by Miles ELP International Academy on 26 October! There’ll be a clown, a magician, face painting, balloon twisting and lots more. Email [email protected] for ticket information. More details here.

Just for Mama

Need a little break? Halloween is a great excuse to have a fun night out with some friends… and everyone, no matter what age, loves to get dressed up!

Lan Kwai Fong will have their annual outdoor Halloween Street Party, transforming the whole area in a crazy, monster-filled asylum! This year, the theme is “love you to death”, so put on a scruffy old wedding dress doused in blood stains and join in the with the other Halloween revellers! There’ll also be a professional face painter at No. 1 Lan Kwai Fong for you to touch up your look.

Homemade Halloween!

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Fancy getting your creative on, mama? Be the coolest (and scariest!) mama in town and host a fantastic Halloween themed-party in your own home! This is a great option if you’re worried your little munchkins might be too scared by some of the sights at the big Halloween events.

You can’t go wrong with a black tablecloth strewn with fake cobwebs that stretch for miles as well as some Halloween confetti, a spread of scary finger food and to top it all off, a cauldron punch! Head out to grab some decorations from one of the suggested places above, or simply make your own by cutting out pumpkin or ghost-shaped bunting from white or orange paper.

As mentioned throughout this roundup, there are various ways you can have a homemade Halloween… from making your own costumes to baking your own Halloween treats. Organise a couple of games with a Halloween spin, such as ‘Musical Tombstones’ instead of Musical Chairs, ‘What’s the Time Mr. Frankenstein’ (instead of Mr. Wolf!), ‘Pass the Parcel’ (with some scary treats inside!), and grab some orange balloons for a game of ‘Pop Goes the Pumpkin’! The Martha Stewart website has some inspired ideas to help you get creative with games.

Arts and crafts activities are a great way to keep the kiddos busy, and guests can take home their finished products too! From pumpkin carving, to making ‘flapping bats’ or lolly-stick mini zombies, there are tons of ideas you can whip up with some simple craft materials. Take a look at Spoonful and Country Living for some more online inspiration.

To create that party atmosphere, you’ve got to have a spooky soundtrack to play along to!

Music

Some good songs to get the kiddies in a menacing mood are:

  • Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt Kickers’ Monster Mash
  • Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusterswho ya gonna call?!
  • Richard O’Brien’s Time Warp will get everyone taking a jump to the left, and then a step to the right…
  • Vic Mizzy’s Addams Family Theme Song
  • Nina Simone’s I Put A Spell On You
  • And of course… Michael Jackson’s Thriller!

Movies

After all the games, activities and freaky-looking party food, why not pop on a Halloween-themed film to settle the children down? Here some options – both classic and recent – that won’t give them nightmares!

  • Casper the Friendly Ghost
  • The Addams Family
  • Scooby Doo
  • E.T.
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Paranorman
  • Frankenweenie
  • Monsters vs. Aliens

There are plenty of different options for you and the kids this Halloween and plenty of opportunities for homemade Halloween fun! Get inspired and get into the horrifyingly fun festivities… look out Hong Kong because we’ve got some super-scary (and Sassy!) spooks coming your way!

Lead image sourced from Pinterest, Image #2 taken from Pinterest, Images in #3 sourced from Pinterest here and here, Image #4 sourced from Pinterest, Image #5 sourced from Pinterest, Image #6 sourced from Pinterest, Image #8 sourced from Pinterest, Image #9 sourced from Pinterest

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