My friends recently started posting very tempting photos on WhatsApp of … would you believe it … mince pies. Now, I’m all for a mince pie, but my pals are ignoring the rule every child knows, which is you don’t start getting excited about Christmas until both Halloween and Bonfire Night are done and dusted.
When I was young, we spent Halloween hoiking apples out of the bath with our teeth, and donning fancy dress to inflict some sort of – usually blood-curdling – song and dance routine on the neighbours. Nowadays, Halloween is a bigger, and better, deal. There’s loads happening for families in Perth on the night itself, and in the run-up to the main event. The question is, what’s on and, more importantly, can it be described without once resorting to the word ‘spooktacular’?
Getting things off to a spine-tingling start is For Art Sake in Scone. This welcoming ceramic studio encourages painters of all ages to try their hand painting pottery or canvas, with no experience necessary. There are workshops for adults and children, or you can simply pop in. To celebrate Halloween, For Art Sake is holding a kids’ event during the school holidays, on October 8 and 15, where children can paint an enchanting haunted house. You can drop your little terrors off at 10.30am and collect them at 12.30pm, and a snack is included. Booking is essential, check out their Directory Listing for all their contact details.
If you’re finding the holidays a bit hair-raising, with a house full of kids bouncing off the walls, look no further than Rollerbeats at Bell’s Sports Centre. Rollerbeats organise roller-skating events with music, lighting and staff guaranteeing everyone the most fun possible on two feet / eight wheels.
On Saturday October 12 Bell’s will host the Rollerbeats Halloween Fancy Dress Disco from 3–4.40pm. The disco is open to all ages and you can hire skates or bring your own. A creepy costume will get you in the Halloween spirit, and you can arrive 35 minutes early to perfect your moves in a sneaky practice session. That’s ideal if, like me, you’ve not skated since the last millennium.
Roller-skating is a great form of aerobic exercise, whether you’re a fit young speed demon or more of a greying ghoul, so book your tickets online and head along to Bell’s to enjoy the ride.
To take your adrenaline down a notch, try getting back in touch with nature with the RSPB at Loch Leven. The RSPB hold many great events for children – my little boy still loves their monthly woodland walks at Quarrymill – and you can find full details on their website. For Halloween, there will be an unearthly treasure trail to follow from October 14–27 – it’s suitable for children of all ages and there is no need to book. Simply collect your treasure sheet from the visitor centre and take off on foot to discover the abundant wonders of the natural world.
Scone Palace is, once again, hosting its Spirits of Scone event from October 25–31 and it promises chills and thrills aplenty. As day turns to night, you can take a tour of the palace grounds, but be prepared for the unexpected. A night-time wander through a graveyard can rack up your tension levels pretty effectivelyWith a zombie maze, evil woods and witch’s cottage, your meanderings may take you into terrifying territory.
There will be ghostly storytelling, a monstrous make-up station, and a selection of hot and tasty food to sustain you. Given the electric atmosphere and jump scares, Spirits of Scone is not suitable for young children, and those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
I ventured along two years ago and can testify that a night-time wander through a graveyard can rack up your tension levels pretty effectively. Thank goodness for those toasted marshmallows to restore a more tranquil frame of mind! Book your tickets here.
Perth’s Halloween Fun Night takes place on Saturday October 26 from 6–9pm. This epic event is suitable for the whole family, so dress up and venture out, if you dare!
If you feed and house a fan of comic books and games, make sure to direct them towards Big Dog Books on Scott Street. This is an independent shop and social space for kids and young adults, stocking graphic novels and board games. A snack bar caters for those bottomless teenage appetites. Big Dog Books is embracing this time of year with ‘Halloweek’, a spooky celebration running from October 29–31.
Apprentice witches and wizards are invited to join St John's Shopping Centre for some Halloween magic and wonder.
Hunt The Wizard Hats - spot the six hats St John's have hidden throughout the centre shop windows to be entered into a free prize draw for £100 of Harry Potter© merchandise from Primark, they will also have a pop up shop in the mall!
You can make your own magical wand in their fun craft workshop and have your face painted - will you go for magical merriment or spooky and scary? See more on Witches, Wizards and Wands.
There is a lot more Halloween entertainment scheduled in and around Perth over the next few weeks. The Pavilion Café at Macrosty Park, Crieff, is holding its Halloween Party on Saturday October 26 from 4–6pm.
Breadalbane Community Library hosts a Halloween Messy Storytime on October 31 for children under five (please book ahead). And Cee Cee Entertainments will be welcoming families to its Halloween Party at The Station Hotel from 6pm on November 1.
With so much going on for families this Halloween even the warmest of spines might feel a little chill. It’s going to be … what’s the word? … oh yes, spooktacular!
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