Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

How to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic

While spooky season is normally characterised among students by terrifying fright nights, outrageous house parties, adventurous costumes and nights out at Kasbah, Neon or Smack – this year’s Halloween is likely to look a little bit different. We may not be able to enjoy some of the usual Halloween festivities but this doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy Halloween all the same. Here are some of the best ways to celebrate Halloween with your housemates during the pandemic: 

Spooky party with housemates

Due to the rule of six, house parties and clubbing are out of the question this year. To make the best out of a bad situation, you and your housemates could have a small party with each other. For some Halloween drinking games, you could try alcoholic apple bobbing and trick or treat shots, here are some examples. Scary music is also a must and you can find many spooky Spotify playlists, fit for the occasion. For a less alcohol-induced game, a Halloween quiz could be great fun.

Bake with housemates

Toffee apples and trick-or-treat sweets are a Halloween must-have, but if you want to get creative, and do something therapeutic, baking could be great.  For some inspiration, lots of Halloween-themed recipes can be found online. If you’re not the biggest baker, you could always buy some plain cookies and decorate – a perfect snack for a spooky film.

Bar crawl

Halloween could be the perfect excuse for a socially distanced drink with friends. As classic Kasbah and Neon night-outs are not an option this year, a bar crawl is the next best thing. If you’re looking for an affordable drink, The Old Library and Wetherspoons in Leamington are a perfect option. Or, if you’re on campus, there’s the Dirty Duck. Coventry also has some excellent bars, including the incredibly affordable place pub The Castle Grounds. For a higher price tag, but great for a bar crawl in Leamington, there’s the Clarendon, the White Horse, Fizzy Moon, Las Iguanas, and even an all-year-round spooky bar called Haunted to name a few.

Restaurant outing

If you’re living in Leamington, or fancy an evening out, Temperance bar and café, partnered with The Garden Shed, are hosting a Vegan Halloween night. The café has a unique atmosphere, filled with vintage trinkets and art. Booking is essential, but if you cannot get a place, the café is lovely for an afternoon, spooky-themed coffee.

If you want to save some pennies, why not host your own Halloween style meal with your housemates? Student food-blogger Melody Moxham has put together a three-course meal perfect for this time of year. The meals range from beetroot bat wing soup, petrifying pumpkin risotto (perfect for leftover pumpkin after carving), and pickled brains.

Decorate the house

No Halloween décor is complete without a carved pumpkin, and shops such as Tiger and your local supermarket offer a budget-friendly array. You can also make your bunting or hang up a few extra fairy lights.

Film night

If you fancy a cosy night in, a film night is always a good option. Films like The Corpse Bride, Halloween, and Truth or Dare are available on Netflix. For a night of indulgence, film snacks can be provided.

Festive cocktails

For a range of spine-tingling cocktail and mocktail recipes, check out websites like BBC Good Food. A personal favourite for me is a Grasshopper – it’s bright green and tastes just like mint chocolate. If you don’t feel like making your own, Las Iguanas are planning on having a Halloween-themed cocktail menu, which is two for the price of one so an even better deal.

A trip to Warwick, Kenilworth or Coventry

From 19 October to 3 November, Warwick Castle is offering fright nights, with witches and Horrible Histories themed attractions as well as a variety of spooky-themed events.

Kenilworth Castle from 25-31 October is also hosting a fright night and is named one of the most haunted sites by English Heritage. Kenilworth is also home to a pumpkin farm which allows visitors to pick their own pumpkin.

Just a short drive from Coventry, a brand-new Halloween fright-night is happening this year. Visitors stay in their car the whole time and drive through a spooky forest.

Halloween will undoubtedly look incredibly different this year but this doesn’t mean that we can’t still enjoy the festivities and celebrate it with our friends. I hope these suggestions have provided you with some simple, fun and cost-effective ways to enjoy this time of year. Whatever you do, stay safe and have a spooky Halloween.

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