October 31, 2016

Halloween in the UK

I asked my friend Cara (who lives in London) if Halloween was a big deal here and she said it's getting bigger, but not nearly what it is in the US. Typically kids dress up as ghosts or bats or in stereotypically 'Halloween' related costumes whereas in the states kids wear such a wide variety of costumes. When I asked Finn several weeks back what he wanted to be for Halloween he said a Police Officer and fortunately Mary was on board with being a Firefighter (a hand me down costume from a friend that we've used every year for the past three years - score!). Last year Mary wanted nothing to do with her costume, so I was so please when she actually seemed excited about dressing up this year. It helps that she thought she was Marshall from Paw Patrol and said Finn was Chase.

Since the kids were excited about Halloween (it helps that both grandmas sent Halloween care packages ahead of time), I knew we had to do something special even if Halloween isn't as celebrated of a holiday here in England as it is back in the states. So I googled things to do in Oxford and learned that for £5 a child the kids could go trick or treating at the Oxford Castle where they got to walk through the old prison part of the castle and go into different cell blocks and parts of the castle where people in costume told stories of how their historical character ended up in the prison. They did a good job catering to the age group and it wasn't very long so held the kids' attention and was something neat to do (Miles and I probably enjoyed it more than the kids).

On the bus ride back home where they
got their second wind.
 After that we cam home and the bowl of candy I left outside had been untouched so we just assumed that trick or treating probably wasn't something that happened in our little neighborhood and started to get dinner ready when we saw a trick or treater come to the door! We learned that typically only the houses with a lit jack-o'-lantern are the ones that are passing out candy, so I'm glad we had pumpkin and a candy out front. I took the kids around to all the houses we could find in a reasonable walking distance and we hit a whopping six. Had it been the states we easily could have gone to 30 or so homes within that same area. But the kids didn't mind one bit and seemed to be just as excited. I did end up having to put more candy out in our bowl out front so we did get a few more kids.

The kids' collection of candy is so small I would feel guilty raiding it. Finn grabbed toothpaste (in addition to a treat) from one of the houses! I told him I proud of him. Mary, on the other hand, just grabbed two pieces of candy (that's my girl!).

I hope you all had a nice Halloween - no matter how big or small it was!

This kid did next to nothing to help me with this
jack-o'-lantern. He said, "I don't want to touch that nasty stuff."


Halloween 2015 : Batkids/Firefighter/Bootiful
Halloween 2014: Firefighter and his Puppy Dog
Halloween 2013: Basketball Team


  1. Love to read about your first UK Hallowe'en adventure <3

  2. I was hanging with my British friend last night and asking her about Halloween in England! Glad you found some fun things to do. Definitely the cutest Marshall and Chase I've seen yet - and especially that shot of them in front of the jail, how is Mary looking so grown up already?!