Crofton Park

CROFTON COLUMN #45

HALLOWEEN - Round up of all the Spooky events happening in the Area!

                                       

Thought would do a short blog (not sure I do short but here goes!) on everything I’m aware of in the area that is happening regarding Halloween.

Half term is leading up to the big day and so there are lots of family/children activities during the week whilst as Halloween itself is on a Saturday many of the local pubs are holding adult evening events.

Halloween kicks off this Saturday (24th) with two big events. The first is in the afternoon 2-4pm at Sydenham tennis club, SE26 with ‘DiscoFest, Spooktacular’ .This is a family activity and sounds lots of fun with dancing/games/competitions. For further details and to purchase tickets visit www.discofest.ticketsource.co.uk

Into the evening of the 24th our wonderful Rivoli Ballroom hosts ‘Night of the Glamour Ghouls’ from 8-1am. Expect a brilliant Halloween extravaganza with 70s/80s disco and lots of dressing up! The strapline for the event is ‘Don’t come  Alone!’ To buy tickets ahead check out the link http://www.tlon.co.uk/latest-news/halloween-at-the-rivoli-ballroom.html

The National Maritime museum has always been one of my favourite museums and they do lots of great family activities during the holidays. From Monday to the Friday of half term they hold many workshops and ‘Frightening faces’ allows your children to create amazing masks to petrify their friends. For times see http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/events/frightening-faces

What better way to celebrate Halloween with a spooky story and on Wednesday 28th October, late afternoon in Peckham there looks a brilliant FREE event suitable for children 4-11year olds. They can decorate their own lantern, parade through the car park and then listen to a professional storyteller. For details http://bit.ly/1LFW3cA

Meanwhile over in Forest Hill the fabulous sweet shop ‘Sugar Mountain’ and the next door café ‘The Archie Parker’ are holding lantern making workshops for children from the Tuesday to Friday of half term 2-3pm

I’m sure there will be many more children’s activities around the area in the half term and of course there will be lots taking place uptown in our fab free museums/galleries so check out individual websites for details.

The weekend of Halloween itself has lots of things happening.

During the day the National Maritime museum has ‘Ghost Ship’ - 6 hours of ‘spooky fun, activities and stories’ You will need to buy tickets but I’m sure your children will be highly entertained between 10 and 4pm. Buy tickets here http://bit.ly/1Nke67f

Our fantastic local museum ‘The Horniman’ is doing a whole weekend of family Halloween fun. Highlights at the fair are  ‘Wild Fangs Creepy creatures cave’, the Halloween parade through the gardens and then spooky storytelling at the bandstand and a Halloween garden quiz/trail plus much more. Check out the website for timings etc. http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/horniman-halloween-fair

Also over in SE23 the wonderful ‘Devonshire Road Nature Reserve’ is opening specially & holding a ‘Halloween’ event on Saturday 31st October from 5-8pm. There is a nominal charge but expect food and drink, pumpkin carving, paper bat hunt and face painting. If you haven’t been here before pay a visit as it is a hidden gem at 170 Devonshire rd.

Another really interesting place that is staying open late on the day itself is Severndroog Castle that is hosting a ‘Halloween After Dark tours’ from 6.30-9pm. Whilst it is slightly further afield it is only a 20min car journey away from SE4 and looks a great alternative family evening out. Tours, tales and ghostly music are just some of the highlights with the opportunity to climb to the viewing platform and admire the magnificent views of London at night. You need to book http://bit.ly/1PBYO0e

So I now get onto the main evening events of Saturday 31st October which are mostly for adults only.

The fabulous ‘Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet’ team are holding another of their legendry nights in Hither Green. It promises to be a ‘spooktastic night of 70s/80s soul, funk and disco and with the Halloween theme Ghostbuster & Thriller are guaranteed to feature. To book your tickets for this fun night see http://www.wegottickets.com/event/327811

The Honor Oak Pub are joining in the Halloween fun with a ‘Ghouls & Ghost’ party. Cocktails will be £5 all night and complimentary pumpkin soup and toffee apples provided, prize for best costume (£100!), along with games, bobbing apples, Pass it on ghost story, DJ from 9pm and lots more. Sounds like a good night!

The Gantry in Brockley are holding a best pumpkin carving competition and believe me there were some amazing designs last year so get practising! There is also a prize for the best fancy dress competition and I’m sure there will be other Halloween themed activities on the night.

If you want to escape the madness of Halloween then The Orchard is a good destination as they currently plan a couple of pumpkins and perhaps a special cocktail but otherwise business as normal.

Meanwhile a mile down the road Lesley at The Talbot says to expect blood curdling cocktails, dancing to thriller, and ducking for apples whilst serving some ghoulish delights from the kitchen. Pumpkins will be lit, spiders on display and black cats very welcome!

Birdie Num Nums in New Cross are having a Halloween party on the night with live music from the Milk Stouts and Catrin Vincent. It’s £5 entry with doors opening at 7pm – games and prizes for best costume.

Down at the Golden Anchor in Nunhead Little Nan’s has set up his ‘tropical nightspot’ from now until Xmas. Grandson Tristan is hosting ‘little Nan loves Halloween with a Eastenders Characters theme’ and guests can expect Halloween punch, cocktails in teapots, Caribbean dinners and fancy dress competition. Resident DJ Lippy will be spinning disco anthems and Halloween favourites. Sounds well worth a trip to SE15!

Back in Crofton Park our fab Beer Dispensary is playing it low key but plans to adorn the bar with suitable spooky decorations and special, appropriate Halloween beers will be on offer.

Jam Circus also plans to join in the fun with a special Halloween night featuring past Hollywood greats. I’m not sure of the details but they certainly know how to throw a good party so expect lots of spooky going-ons until the early hours.

The Ladywell Tavern in SE13 is planning to relaunch the kitchen next week with a new team and new menu, This should all hopefully happen in time for Halloween which is deliberately low key with all the changes but they certainly plan a prize for the best fancy dress costume at least. This could be a good night to pop down and check it out.

If people are planning to go along to Halloween themed parties/events then you may need a good outfit and there is nowhere better round here than the fancy dress shop on Lee High Road (No. 254) ‘Harlequin’ If you haven’t been before it is well worth a visit. They have been in business for 24 years supplying wigs/outfits/accessories for children and adults.

If you just want a mask or other accessories then Magi Gifts in Brockley always has a wonderful selection at very reasonable prices. Honeybourne’s  in Ladywell has a few Halloween bits so pop in and say hello to Hannah. Meanwhile Budgen’s in Crofton Park has a huge selection of pumpkins and some of the largest I’ve seen! They also have lots of Halloween stuff like fake blood, hats and of course sweets for trick or treating. Sugar Mountain, the old fashioned sweet shop in Forest Hill is a great place to find sweet treats and Pauline the owner always has a coffin shaped display for Halloween.

Many of the local cafes will have Halloween themed cakes and do special orders. Stacie at Pat-a-Cakes will take specific requests but you need to order quickly to avoid disappointment.

I have now finished my round up of Halloween events in the area and as ever there is lots happening which is no surprise due to our vibrant community. Every year it appears to grow in popularity and this import from America gets bigger and bigger. I’m sure there are many more things that I’ve missed and over half term I would assume there will be increased family activities with a Halloween theme.

A word of caution, whilst children (and many adults) love Halloween there are many vulnerable groups who do not enjoy the annual event and the evening itself is very frightening for the elderly in particular. Trick or treating is growing and my advice is families should only visit houses you know are happy to receive visitors and this is now often indicated with a pumpkin outside inviting children to knock on their door. Anyway hope everyone has lots of fun whatever they are doing – I’m personally going to a family birthday that weekend in Bristol so will be interesting to see Halloween played out in another city.

Expect a round up in the next month of everything happening leading up to Xmas so give me a shout if want to be included.

REMEMBER TO SHOP/USE/EAT/DRINK LOCAL – speaking of which have you seen the Lewisham card that gives you money off lots of local shops/outlets/services? – it’s a great community initiative and encourages us to keep our money in the local economy. I signed up at the weekend and have already made some savings! Check out here http://www.lewishamcard.co.uk/

Bye for now

Jane x

Please follow me on twitter @JaneCanDoSE4