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Shop Local: New approach to Halloween for businesses and families

PUBLISHED: 11:05 31 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:08 31 October 2020

Jojo as a Pokemon, Bobby as Iron Man and Thomas as a Viking warrior. Picture: Melissa Reiter Birge

Jojo as a Pokemon, Bobby as Iron Man and Thomas as a Viking warrior. Picture: Melissa Reiter Birge

Melissa Reiter Birge

With coronavirus restrictions in place, the events industry has found innovative ways to keep children entertained this Halloween.

Chloe the Good Witch. Picture: Once Upon a FairytaleChloe the Good Witch. Picture: Once Upon a Fairytale

Chloe the Good Witch will be whizzing around North West London this weekend, visiting children on their doorstep and teaching them spells.

Gemma Korda, owner of Once Upon A Fairytale, told the Ham&High: “We want to bring some atmosphere at this difficult time, because parents are worn out.

“It’s a limbo of wanting to be sensible, but also doing lovely things for your children, because you only have them once.”

Art workshop leader Felicity Jolly, 31, has also found a safe alternative for Halloween, by sending boxes to children at home, filled with spooky activities for the whole family.

Her Zoom mask-making events have replaced regular group workshops at Hampstead’s Cass Art and one-on-one sessions at clients’ houses, for her clientele of over 500 Hampstead mums.

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Felicity said: “When lockdown started I obviously felt a bit deflated, it’s just not the same really via Zoom, but we still get a nice atmosphere, even through the screen!”

Cooking teacher Vittoria Veltri has also turned to Zoom this year, creating a Halloween menu including Mummies’ Pizzas and Plack Worm Pasta, which she said look slimy but taste delicious.

The Italian mother-of-two quit her job as a tax-adviser in 2017 to teach children cooking full-time, and said moving classes online had worked well.

She said: “This year children will be missing out on trick-or-treat, which can’t really be replaced, but they can do fun things like cooking instead.”

But for mother-of-three Melissa Reiter Birge, 51, Halloween is all about getting dressed up and being out after dark.

She has planned a scavenger hunt for her sons around Primrose Hill, as many mums she had spoken to didn’t feel safe trick-or-treating this year.

This is the family’s first Halloween in London, after moving from Connecticut, in the United States, and Melissa said her and husband Robert will try to make it festive.

She said: “Hopefully we’ll see some other kids out and about in costume, and we’ll make the best of it.”


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