If you’ve ever watched any American TV shows or films, then you’ll know they celebrate Halloween in a way that we just don’t. As with so many things it’s bigger over there! From parties to trick or treating, it all looks so colourful, festive and fun.
The odd thing about our lack of interest in Halloween (Hallowe'en or All Hallows' Eve if you prefer) is that it originates from Celtic beliefs so you could almost call it homegrown.
Luckily, this year Norwich is doing its bit to reclaim this spooky holiday.
From Monday 28 October through to Thursday 31 October, The Forum and Norwich Castle are organising a host of events that will get you in the Halloween spirit (pun intended!).
Children are guaranteed a good time at The Forum between 11am and 3pm as they’ll have the chance to bring witches and ghosts alive on the Halloween colouring wall. You can also learn about local myths and legends in the Fusion Gallery (10am - 5pm) and hear the Yarnsmith of Norwich tell horrid historic tales (11am). And who could possibly resist the chance to see what’s billed as 'the biggest pumpkin you've ever seen' (probably!).
Over at the Castle, there is a giant pumpkin that will be carved, as well as scary dungeon tours for the brave. There will also be plenty of arts and crafts for children to enjoy, including the chance to make bats, cats, spiders, witches and skeletons to live in the giant haunted castle.
This year you can also enter the inaugural Norwich Pumpkin Carving Competition and win a great prize. You can find out more information and download an entry form here.
After the pumpkins have been judged then it’s the main event; the Spooky City Parade! Everybody is encouraged to dress up in their scariest costumes (prizes will be awarded!) and join the procession as it snakes its way to The Forum. But be warned; there will be spooky surprises on the way! Once at The Forum, there will be further fun and games as well as food at the Feast on the Street.
Of course if you’re going to join the parade then you’ll need to dig out your best skeleton costume or conjure up your best wizard’s garb.
Gifted in Castle Mall is a great place to start whether you’re looking for something kooky to wear or just need that finishing touch to give your outfit extra scare appeal.
Gifted is located on Level 2 of Castle Mall. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm (8pm on Thursdays) and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays. For more information, call 01603 628228 or click here.
For the smaller skeletons and spirits out there, Kerrison Toys is a must visit. A toy shop with more than 40 years of experience, you’ll be able to kit out your kids ready for trick or treating and the Spooky City Parade.
Kerrison’s Toys can be found at 353 Aylsham Road. It’s open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays. For more information, call 01603 494008. You can also buy online at www.kerrisontoys.co.uk
If you’d rather look your best rather than your most gruesome this Halloween, then Imagine Spa in Blofield Heath has a very special offer for you. You can treat yourself to any 30 minute spa treatment for just £30 or enjoy a luxury 60 minute spa treatment for only £50.
Whichever you choose, you can upgrade to use the Thermal Suite for only £10 on weekdays or £20 at weekends.
Imagine Spa is located at Willow Farm in Blofield Heath. It’s open from 9am to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday and 9am to 9pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For more information, call 01603 712550 quoting "BON" to claim the offer.
Even if you resist the temptation to dress up this Halloween, make sure you get out there and enjoy what promises to be a fantastic - and hopefully annual - event for Norwich.
Member since: 14th May 2012
Lives in Norwich and is constantly amazed when he discovers something fantastic in the city that he should probably have known about before! Works for various media type places and enjoys writing and exploring...