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Jackie's five tips for a safe AND fun Halloween!

2020 has seemed like a horror show so far hasn’t it? Typically, Autumn would be the start of festivities leading up to the big C (see I didn’t say it!).  Now it all seems a bit uncertain, and we can’t plan ahead. I love planning ahead, so feeling like I can’t, makes me more miserable than I care to admit. So, I am determined to lift spirits over the next few months, with ideas to help you and yours make the most of the season and still support your local businesses.

So first up… Halloween! Many will be nervous about trick and treating on Halloween – knocking on doors and travelling around the neighbourhood in groups does not seem like an option for the foreseeable and has been banned in some areas already.  If you have been shielding, it has not been an option for a while. But have lots of fear, we have ideas to make Halloween indoors truly Spooktacular! But just one tip, for all the ideas below, it is important you shop local, as whilst it is fun to get all ghostly once a year, no one wants to live in a ghost town - spend closer to home this Halloween!

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Now for some tips.... TIP 1 - Dressing up is a must!

witches hat silver earrings

Well we have all got used to wearing masks, but now the show is really on. In your household or if you live on your own, commit to making a plan for your costume (little ones can get some extra help). Challenge yourself or each other to come up with the best idea and see what you can buy or even borrow from your local stores. You can’t knock a good fancy dress shop if you are lucky to have one like Mascarade in Hull  right here or Arty Party in Thirsk - But if you haven’t got one,  it’s amazing what you can create with some cardboard, paint, coloured paper or fabrics. Local craft shops will be happy to oblige and here are some to check out right here – just give them a call if you can’t see any specific Halloween bits as they are sure to have some in stock to help.

Fay’s sewing Box in Kendal, It started with a stitch in Cleethorpes, Crafts of Thirsk in Thirsk, Stitch! In Enfield, The Artery in Banbury, Material Moves in Scarborough

For extra glam, check out these beautiful earrings from Lola Rossa in Harrogate and for décor- have a browse of some tantalising candle choices at Betty Loves Candles in Wakefield or create a Halloween balloon display with this fabulous professional balloon-modelling kit from Banbury’s Come to My Party in Banbury.

Once you (and your home) are dressed up, video call your friends / relatives and let them judge the winner. You are sure to find a great gift as a prize from one of your local gift shops too, check what’s available where you are right here


TIP 2 - Halloween treasure trail

Wham original sweets

No matter how big or small your home, there are always nooks and crannies to hide a treat or two. Hide six treats around the house and on each place a clue. If there are a few of you, you can even take on characters to play in the story. I always opt to be Mummy, because there is no dressing up required! Rhyme your clues for extra fun and challenge… example… “Well done you found me but feeling blue…. The next treat can be found where you go to the…… “ , “The moon has risen, no need to slouch, there is a horrible treat behind the couch” Kids and immature grown-ups will love it, and the more effort you put in, the better it will be.  Sweet shops are obviously a must for this – here are a few of our favourites Choc Moose in Todmorden, a great sweet range can be found in Saltaire here, for a retro take try Sweet Memories in Kirkcaldy but if you want to just browse your areas, click here


TIP 3 - Frankenstein foods

watermelon as horror face

Ditch the usual fare and think about what you can serve with a twist this year… bake together for extra fun and excitement in the run up to the day. Spidery muffins? Jumpy jellies? He Crocked Monsieur? Even just naming the food differently and cooking the same things will ensure some good entertainment and antics. Kids love food with a ‘scary twist’ Our new Halloween blog includes some of ShopAppy team’s favourite Halloween recipes with useful links – ingredients all bought from local shops too.  Click on

In the meantime – consider commissioning a Halloween cake – how about the divine Café Reves in Putney as a good starting point in your search for the perfect cake...


TIP 4 - Trick or treat game