How to celebrate Halloween this year

Pumpkin sweets for Halloween
Sophie Davis,-Contributing Editor

From ghoulish recipes to spooky decorations, here’s how to make the most of Halloween 2020

While things are definitely less trick this year, that doesn’t mean kids should miss out on all the treats. With a few fiendishly good recipes, spooky decorations and fearsome costumes, Halloween can still be a fun and frightful event at home. Here’s how.

Halloween decorations for the home

The devil is in the detail

Less time spent traipsing around trick or treating means more time to be creative at home. But how to amp up the theme? Go to town on spooky trimmings. If you are feeling crafty then get that Pinterest board started. To help, we have a gruesomely good selection of Halloween decorations including bat fairy lightsHalloween baubles and a bat backdrop which is perfect for pictures. Get that Halloween Zoom party booked.

Halloween fancy dress costumes

Cue the creepy costumes

Dressing up is what Halloween is all about and just because you’re staying at home this year doesn’t mean you can’t go for it when it comes to the costumes. Kids usually like to pick their character and can have lots of fun creating their own outfit, but if that sounds like too much time and effort, we have a range of spooky outfits and dressing up costumes to get them in the spirit. And yes, this is your chance to dress up baby as a tiny bat. Enjoy the opportunity.

Le Creuset pots for Halloween cooking

Cook up a spooky feast

When it comes to food, keep it simple so you can concentrate on enjoying the games and activities. Cook up jacket potatoes and serve with a homemade chilli or beans in a cast-iron pot, then serve with sour cream and cheese to top. If you’re planning on carving pumpkins, be resourceful and use the flesh for a soup, risotto or pie. See Waitrose for a selection of pumpkin recipes.

If you fancy a bit of Halloween baking in advance, try these delicious Halloween biscuits by Waitrose.

Halloween biscuits

Preparation time: 15 minutes plus chilling

Cooking time: 12 to 15 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes plus chilling 15 minutes

Makes: 20-24 biscuits


For the biscuits:

125g Stork Original Baking Block

75g Waitrose Golden Caster Sugar

1 medium Essential Waitrose Egg yolk

200g plain flour

2 tsp mixed spice


Dr Oetker Chocolate Chips

To decorate:

Icing sugar

Cocoa powder

Dr Oetker Fruity Writing Icing, in green and orange


1. Preheat oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

2. Whisk the Stork with the sugar until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the egg yolk. Gradually whisk in the flour and mixed spice and bind to a dough. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

3. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using Waitrose Halloween Creepy Cookie Cutters including ghosts and pumpkins, cut out about 20-24 biscuits and place on the baking trays.

4. Cut the raisins into quarters and use as eyes for the ghosts, use the chocolate chips as eyes for the bats and bake for 12-15 minutes until just golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

5. To decorate, dust the ghosts with icing sugar and the bats with cocoa powder. For the pumpkins, use the green icing for stalks and the orange icing to outline the pumpkin shapes.

Halloween skeleton biscuits

Fun and games

For younger kids who spook easily, keep it lighthearted. No one wants a meltdown followed by a sleepless night. Read some stories – Room On The Broom or Meg And Mog are perennial favourites – or adapt some party games to give them a Halloween twist: think musical statues to a soundtrack of the Monster Mash, pin the tail on the werewolf, or pass the parcel with a cute bat toy as the prize. This year family-favourite Dobble has a special Harry Potter-themed edition too.

Halloween skeleton biscuits

Sweet treats

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a haul of sweets. Happily, the range on offer this year is more fearsome than ever with pumpkin-shaped chocolates and sweet cocktails in lab bottles. If the children are still keen to make use of their trick or treat buckets, arrange a spooky sweet hunt (like an Easter egg hunt) around the house. This is sure to appeal to little ones as much as older kids.

Halloween skeleton biscuits

Terrifying trimmings

It’s amazing the fun to be had with a box of face paints. With a few YouTube tutorials, you’ll be a master of skeletons, witches and ghouls. Add a few choice accessories and your kids will be ready for the obligatory spooky snap to share with friends and family. Happy Halloween!

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