We all know how it goes. It’s the same thing every single year.
Halloween draws near and you inevitably find yourself in one of two camps: those who know exactly what they’re dressing up as (and rather smugly have done so for months), or those who could care less and throw on a sheet, or a pair of cats ears, five minutes before going out.
In the end, though, it doesn't really matter. The novelty wears off fast, and by the end of the night Catwoman looks like Batman and all the fake blood that you thought was such a good idea at the time has stained your face an unsightly shade of beetroot that stays there for days afterwards.
But if the thought of another Halloween spent holding Cinderella’s hair back, or talking to the uber-nerd in the corner about his robot costume made from reclaimed cardboard boxes and 15 yards of chicken wire, there are alternatives.
This year why not bypass the hectic house party and subsequent hangover and try out one of these fresh new family-friendly Halloween events taking place in Belfast this October? Or let us know what's happening in your area by commenting below.
October 27 - 28
Bring your own pumpkin along to The MAC on Saturday or Sunday to take part in one of their wonderfully creative carving workshops. Sessions run from 11am to 12pm and 2pm to 3pm, with tickets costing £5 per child, and accompanying adults get in for free. Book your tickets for Petrified Pumpkins here. Be sure to dress up and get in the Halloween spirit, as prizes will be awarded.
The First Horror Picture Show
The Hudson Bar
There’s not usually too much going on in the days leading up to Halloween, never mind the Sunday before the day itself. So why not satiate your lust for all things ghostly and goullish with a ghostly and goullish film of the highest order. PastieBap.com, in association with Bad Haven, are holding a night of horror at the Hudson Bar with screenings of the Psychoville Halloween Special from 7pm, Halloween 3 from 8pm and Halloween (what else?) from 9.30pm. It’s completely free, so be sure to get there early to steal a comfy seat.
Belfast Ghost Bus Halloween Tour
Until October 31
Running every evening from October 20, the Belfast Ghost Bus Halloween Tour is sure to get you in the mood for fright night. Tours run at 6.30pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm each night and start at Jurys Inn on Fisherwick Place. This 1 hour 45 minute tour will take you through Belfast’s haunted history, where you’re sure to meet ghosts, body snatchers and spirits as your theatrical guide shows you the way. Tours cost £16 per adult, £8 per child, £12 student/senior. Book tickets here.
Metro Monster Mash
Odyssey Car Park
The Metro Monster Mash really is fun for all the family. The free festivities begin at 2pm, with street theatre, face painting, music and dance performances, then headlining magicians Brynolf and Ljung (stars of Britain’s Got Talent) will wow young and old alike. Local band Silhouette will also be supporting the duo. The Monster Mash ends at 6pm, culminating in Northern Ireland’s largest fireworks display. Translink Metro have also organized free ‘ghost buses’ to take you to and from the event.
It’s hard to break the habit of a lifetime, so we threw in an option for those die-hard Halloween fans who just love to dress up and dance the night away. Auntie Annie's will host a raft of upcoming indie and rock bands for a night of music and ghoulish antics featuring Mental Deficiency, Pigs As People, Little Miss Stakes, Filthy Angels and Co Kane, followed by DJ Tramp Corpse. Doors open at 9pm with entry costing £6 on the door.