Halloween 2020 in London: The Best Places to Get Your Freak On

Eager to get your freak on this Halloween? From the virtual to the socially distanced, and the family friendly to the gruesomely grown-up, there are plenty of spooky times to be had in London… 

Lead image: Pumpkin carving at City Island 

*Note* Please double check with the venue that the event is still taking part before travelling as these are turbulent times and some events may be changed or cancelled in response to updates in Government guidance on Covid-19  

halloween fun for grown ups

1 The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Clapham Grand
31 October
The Clapham Grand is celebrating Halloween with a number of spook-tacular events in late October. On Halloween itself, the venue will be screening The Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight, in what’s sure to be a fun-filled, costume-garbed night of debauchery. There are also screenings at 3pm, 6pm and 9pm, so if you really dig the cult classic you can go in for the quadruple bill and do the Time Warp again, and again, and again… and again! You can also catch the new Circus of Horrors show, Revamped & Rockin, an amazing amalgamation of acts, driven by a rock ’n’ roll soundtrack, on 18 Oct; and Myra Dubois: It Came From Rotherham, a spine-tingling evening of ghoulish delights by the star of this season’s Britain’s Got Talent, on 21 Oct. Ticket prices vary.
21-25 St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction SW11 1TT; claphamgrand.com

2 London Walks x Discount Suit Company Jack The Ripper Tour
31 October
Discount Suit Company, the acclaimed Spitalfields cocktail bar, is once again partnering with London’s Walks for a spine-tingling Jack The Ripper Tour and Halloween cocktail special. The Halloween Ripper walks will start outside Discount Suit Company, where you can enjoy a complimentary hot punch to warm the blood, before touring Jack The Ripper’s stalking grounds around the backstreets of Whitechapel and Spitalfields. Guided by charismatic London Walks tour guides, who are all Blue Badge holders and mentored by Donald Rumelow – ‘the leading authority on Jack The Ripper’ – you’ll learn all about the notorious killers exploits and the bungled investigations that followed. The tour will conclude at Discount Suit Company, where you’ll get 25% off your final bill if you book a table for the evening. Creepy cocktails include Tailor Two Cities (Victory Gin, Chamberyzette and Cranberry Shrub), Bakers Dozen (Ban Poitin, Baker’s Syrup, El Bandarra Vermut, Citrus and bitters) and Whipping Boy (Ocho Blanco Tequila, Lilies Rose, Citrus Olive Brine and Agave). Tours commence at 12pm, 2.30pm and 5pm, lasting an hour and a half. Tickets are £25 (click here to book)
29a Wentworth Street, Spitalfields E1 7TB; discountsuitcompany.co.uk

3 Halloween Classics at Drive In Film Club, Alexandra Palace
12-31 October
Drive In Film Club at Ally Pally is screening Halloween classics in late October and, if your spook your ride’ – ie. transform your car into the most monstrous, morbid looking motor – you could win £250 and a one-year Rooftop Film Club membership. Halloween screenings include Psycho on 26 Oct, The Shining on 27 Oct, Gremlins on 28 Oct, Ghostbusters on 29 Oct, The Addams Family on 30 Oct and, on All Hallows’ Eve itself, Casper, Hocus Pocus and Relic. The socially distanced drive-in event, delivered by the team behind Rooftop Film Club, has a giant 40-foot LED screen, in-car audio via local FM stereo, concessions like hot dogs, popcorn, chocolate and drinks (ordered online and dropped off outside your car door), and, of course, loos that are cleaned regularly. Tickets from £27.50 per car plus booking fee.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; driveinfilmclub.com

 

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4 Samhain Gong Bath at Beckenham Place Mansion
24 October
Beckenham Place Mansion, a grand old building with an adjoining park right, is celebrating the Pagan festival of Samhain – or Halloween, as it is more commonly known – with a Samhain Gong Bath by Spiritual Hustle on Saturday 24 Oct. Gongs are ancient instruments that have been used for rituals and ceremonies for many centuries. When played, they produce a wide array of harmonics and hauntingly beautiful melodies that can lower our brainwaves into Theta state and aid our healing journey. So let the vibrations of the gong will wash through your body in an evening of relaxing breathing exercises, a guided meditation and a magical gong/sound journey, where you can honour your ancestors and seek their guidance and support. Spaces are limited in order to adhere to social distancing rules, and you’ll need to take your own yoga mat, blanket, cushion, eye pillow and some water. 6pm-7.30pm. Tickets are £25 (click here to book).
Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham BR3 1SY; beckenhamplace.org

5 Dante’s In Furlough at The Vaults, Waterloo
15 Oct-30 Dec
The devil is getting hitched, and given the Covid chaos, there’s no better time to accept an invitation to the underworld… The bottom line of this socially distanced interactive show – inspired by Shel Silverstien’s epic poem, Billy Markham and the Devil, written for PlayBoy in 1977 – is betray or be betrayed. Travel down into the many circles of Hell and navigate your way to the wedding of the millennium. But to prove yourself worthy of a seat at Devil’s table, you’ll need to lie, sin and cheat your way there. Should your morals interfere, your punishment will be to return to the altogether more disappointing plains of Earth and miss out on all the hedonism down below. Covid-secure measures include a limit of six attendees at a time, with ample space to stand two-metres away from those not in your bubble. Face coverings are mandatory. Tickets from £20 (previews), drinks tokens £6. Open Thurs-Sat 5.30pm-8.30pm and Sun 4.30pm-7.30pm.
The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN; thevaults.london

6 Halloween at London City Island & Goodluck Hope, east London
29-31 October
Riverside developments London City Island and Goodluck Hope on Leamouth Peninsula in east London are both hosting an array of spooky activities for families and adults, including an Insta-worthy pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving workshops and spooky walking tours. On London City Island, mixed media sculptor David Bradley (AKA The Curious Confectioner) will be hosting a pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving workshop for kids aged 5+ from 29-31 Oct (tickets are £15 including a Trick or Treat Box). Residents can also pick up a pumpkin and carving kit from the grab-and-go pumpkin patch. Visitors can also stop off at recently opened onsite restaurant Homestead, run by Masterchef The Professionals Winner 2019, Sven-Hanson Britt, to enjoy a Halloween inspired menu. Over at Goodluck Hope you can join in a Walking Ghost Tour in collaboration with Bullshit London. Led by immersive actors, you’ll uncover hidden gems of London’s truly spooky history (tours run from 6pm-10pm at £7pp on Saturday 31 Oct). Government guidelines will be adhered to throughout the activities.
londoncityisland.com / goodluckhope.com

7 Luna Halloween Drive In Cinema at Allianz Park, Hendon
From 23 October
Luna Cinema kicks off it Halloween Drive In special at Allianz Park with screenings of Hocus Pocus (6.15pm) and The Shining (9.30pm) on 23 Oct, followed by Ghostbusters and Silence of the Lambs on 24 Oct, The Addams Family and Get Out on 25 Oct, and plenty more spook-tacular screenings right up until it hits the big thrills on Halloween night itself with The Exorcist. The drive in will then hang around for a bonus day, screening The Greatest Showman and Jaws on 1 Nov. You can either order food and drinks from your phone on the night, with everything prepared freshly on site and delivered to your car bonnet, or pre-order a hamper. Choose from The Spooky Box, full of trick-or-treating favourites like Space Raiders, Fizz Wizz, Chocolate Skulls, Cadbury’s Goo Heads, Bonds Gummy Eyeballs and Bonds Spooky Marshmallow Skewers, or the and The Gourmet Box, with lemon butter shortbread, Green and Blacks Chocolate, Giant Mashmallows, Joe & Steph’s Popcorn and Belvoir Elderflower drinks. Tickets from £35 for a car of two.
Greenlands Lane, Hendon NW4 1RL; lunadriveincinema.com

8 Halloween at the Phoenix Arts Club, West End
20, 30 & 31 October
Phoenix Arts Club is celebrating Halloween with a number of events, culminating in the Séayoncé: Halloween Extravaganza on 31 October. In this spooky Halloween séance, Séayoncé – the baddest bitch in the spirit world – will summon history’s greatest stars to posses the bodies of London’s finest cabaret acts, telling tales of their sordid past and your bleak future. Before that, you can multi-award-winning, international drag creature RhysPieces for a Queefy Phoenix Art Halloween Special – a one-off night that sees some of the most bewildering, surreal, performers of London’s Cabaret scene grace the stage – on 20 October; followed by Trevor Dion Nicholas Presents: West End Dead A Creepy Cabaret, a magical musical evening of singing spooks, crooning creeps and wailing witches, on 30 October. Ticket prices vary.
1 Phoenix Street WC2H 8BU; phoenixartsclub.com

9 Halloween Villains’ Night at The Lost Alhambra, Leicester Square
30 & 31 October
The theatres may still be dark but, The Lost Alhambra cocktail bar in Leicester Square is delivering twice the drama with a series of intimate, immersive evenings starring food, drink and show tunes from West End stars. The Show Must Go On experiences take place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 October – each hosted by London’s sassiest drag queens – with a Halloween Villains Night special over the last weekend in October. Taking place on Friday 30 Oct and Saturday 31 Oct, the Halloween Villains Night will offer scarily good performances from Matthew Croke (Aladdin in West End’s Aladdin), Gemma Sutton (Kate in Girl From The North Country), Oliver Tompsett and Emma Lindars. In addition to three hours of performance, the evening will include a two-course meal with vegan options, bubbles and cocktails, all in a Covid-secure environment. , and for every ticket sold, £1.50 will go to the Acting For Others group of charities which help theatre workers with financial and emotional support throughout the pandemic. Tickets from £50.
28a Leicester Square WC2H 7LE; thelostalhambra.co.uk

10 The London Cabaret Club’s Halloween Spooktacular, Bloomsbury
30-31 October
The London Cabaret Club present’s a decadent Halloween spooktacular themed around Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations. The age old tradition sees families unite to remember those close to them who have moved into the spirit world with a vibrant fiesta. Taking place at The Bloomsbury Ballroom, a beautiful art deco auditorium transformed into a supernatural space, the immersive cabaret experience will also feature a specially designed menu that will reflect the textures and tastes of this awesome Mexican celebration (for those who opt in). Fancy dress is encouraged, with special prizes and ghostly surprises for those with the best costumes. Tickets from £50 for the show only, increasing to £165 for a VIP experience with a five-course meal.
Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Holborn WC1B 4DA; thelondoncabaretclub.com

11 Pop-Up Screens’ Forbidden Forest Cinema, Peckham
23 Oct-8 Nov
The spooky season also features screenings of The Lost Boys, The Blair Witch Project, Scream, The Invisible Man, Us, Hereditary, Get Out and, of course, Halloween. Tickets from £19.50. Find it at Copeland Park (next to The Bussey Building). Pop Up Screens returns this winter, taking over Peckham’s popular Bussey Building and kicking off with a series of Halloween screenings in an immersive forbidden forest. Make your way through the indoor forbidden forest before discovering an eerie woodland cinema, where you can watch horror favourites like A Nightmare on Elm Street (23 & 29 Oct), Beetlejuice (1 & 7 Nov) and The Blair Witch Project (24 Oct & 2 Nov), as well as recent rippers like The Invisible Man (28 Oct), Hereditary (3 Nov) and Us (25 Oct). The scare-fest peaks on Halloween itself with a screening of It, but if all-out-terror is not your thing, you can also catch nostalgic films like Labyrinth (25 Oct), The Lost Boys (24 Oct) and Ghostbusters (5 Nov). Tickets from £19.50.
Unit 8, Copeland Park, Peckham SE15 3SN; popupscreens.co.uk

12 Paint Starry Night with The Scream, London Bridge
31 October
Unleash your fiendish creativity – wine glass in one hand and paint brush in the other – courtesy of PopUp Painting. Taking place at The Horniman at Hays in London Bridge, the event will be themed around Annie Dalton‘s Starry Night Scream. Fill your painting with dramatic swirls as you dive into the expressive worlds of Vincent and Edvard. Your experience will include all art supplies (paint, brushes, canvas and apron), guidance from a practicing artist, a themed playlist, a small glass of prosecco (drinks are available to buy from the bar), and your canvas is yours to keep. Tickets £39.99. 7pm-9.15pm.
Hays Galleria, London Bridge SE1 2HD; popuppainting.com

13 Halloween Late at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
30 & 31 October 
The Old Royal Naval College is getting spooky with its first ever Halloween Late. A spine-tingling evening awaits those who enter the Painted Hall after dark, with haunting ghost stories, live music, and sinfully delicious snacks and drinks from the Painted Hall Café and the Old Brewery. As the fog rolls in off the river Thames, historical performance collective History Riot will weave terrifying yarns of strange occurrences, vengeful spectres and colossal sea monsters as sailors, nurses and long-dead inhabitants of Greenwich past gather to swap ghost stories from across the seas. Tickets are £20, including a free mulled wine at the Old Brewery and an annual pass to the Old Royal Naval College. The ORNC kickstarts its new visitor scheme, First Sundays, from 1 November, where visitors can enjoy the rich history of the ORNC and the beautiful Painted Hall for just £5 (ages 16 and under free), on the first Sunday of every month. The Halloween Late at the Painted Hall runs 6pm-8.30pm & 7.30pm-10pm on Fri 30 Oct and Sat 31 Oct.
Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9NN; ornc.org

14 The Year That Halloween Died at Ealing Trailfinders Sports Club
31 October
The Beautiful Magicians’ Club is delivering a fully Covid-compliant cabaret at the home of the London Broncos RLFC, Ealing Trailfinders Sports Club. The event features burlesque by Miss Sugar Rush, Lady May and Missy Phillips, a shockadelic sideshow and comedy from Johnny Macaulay, and the cheeky twin tricksters of magic, Kane & Abel, with magician and compere Samuel Hurst. Complimentary Halloween Punch will be served to your table and a selection of burgers, bites and sharers will be available to order on the night. Tickets are priced per seat but attendees must purchase all six seats at the table to maintain Covid-compliant social distancing. 7pm-10pm. Tickets from £20pp.
Vallis Way, Ealing W13 0DD; eventbrite.co.uk

15 Pumpkin Carving Party at The Prince, West Brompton
28 October
Pumpkin carving isn’t just for little monsters – adults are welcome too at The Prince’s Pumpkin Carving Party. You’ll be provided with your very own pumpkin and carving kit to craft fang-tastic creations, with a Halloween cocktail (or mocktail for kids) and pumpkin spiced popcorn. Experts will be on hand to help first-timers create a pumpkin masterpiece, with prizes for the best ghoulish creations. Fancy dress is encouraged and a spooky song or two will be thrown onto the playlist, while on-site restaurants Wildcard, Jack’s Sprat and Utter Waffle will be offering up pumpkin and Halloween-inspired food specials. Children are also welcome. Tickets are £10 for kids and £15 for adults.
14 Lillie Road, West Brompton SW6 1TT; theprincelondon.com

16 Halloween Icing Lates at Biscuiteers, Notting Hill and Battersea
Throughout October
Biscuiteers has given its two Icing Cafes in Notting Hill and Battersea a spooky makeover for Halloween. As well as the biscuit gurus’ famous hand-iced biscuits available to buy in spooky new shapes, their icing experiences have also been given a fiendish twist. The Halloween Icing Lates for adults run from 21-31 October. Great with a friend or a date, the classes last 90 minutes and include prosecco (tickets £55). There’s also the School of Icing classes, a two-hour extended sessions for those wanting to perfect their biscuit decorating skills (£85). For a more informal experience, choose the Halloween DIY Icing sessions where you’re on your own after a five-minute tutorial (every day throughout October, booked like a normal café table, walk-ins accepted, priced £18). Prefer to stay at home? There’s also a DIY Sugar Skulls Biscuit Tin, so you can ice your own biscuit collection at home.
13 Northcote Road, Battersea SW11 1NG & 194 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill W11 2ES; biscuiteers.com

17 Fore’s Festival of Fear, King’s Cross
31 October
From petrifying pikes to supernatural sprints, ghoulish glute bridges and bloodcurdling burpees, The Fore’s first wicked workout will be a creepy candle-lit class to make your hamstrings howl! For one night only, screaming Skillmills, Torturous TRX and revolting RIP trainers will be awaiting the brave, complete with spooky studio vibes, Halloween-themed playlists and slime shakes to help get you through the nightmare! The Fore has developed a trailblazing new group class concept where an expert trainer will never be far from your side to perfect your form and technique. Designed to help build strength, speed, endurance and mobility, it’s one of the most dynamic and safest workouts in the market today. 6.30pm. Tickets £20 (click here to book)
R7 Building, 14-18 Handyside Street, King’s Cross N1C 4DN; the-fore.co.uk


family friendly halloween fun

1 The Royal Parks Virtual Discovery Week: Hair-Raising Halloween
26-30 October

The Royal Parks Discovery Days are going online this Halloween, with a programme of interactive activities exploring the spookier side of The Royal Parks. The free virtual events include underground bug hunts, creepy crawly storytelling and live themed craft-alongs. Plus, for those who do not scare easily, there will also be virtual walking tours and live expert discussions on creepy histories from rituals and symbolism in Victorian mourning in Brompton Cemetery to the Victorian Pet Cemetery, where over 1,000 pets have been buried. All activities will be in the form of videos, live recordings and downloadable pdfs, with further instructions provided more before each activity.
The LookOut, Hyde Park W2; royalparks.org.uk

2 Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search at The Postal Museum
From 29 October
The Postal Museum reopens from Thursday 29 October with a special Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search. This Halloween, Wally, the world’s favourite children’s book character – wearing a red-and-white striped shirt and black-rimmed specs – will be travelling the country, appearing in museums, including The Postal Museum. The activity, organised by Walker Books and Kids in Museums, will run from 29 October till 1 November, with families able to join the search for Wally at The Postal Museum. The search is included in the general admission price, which includes a ride on Mail Rail on your first visit and unlimited entry to The Postal Museum’s galleries and exhibitions for one year from the date of your first visit. Adults £16, young person (16-24) £11, kids (3-15) £9 (online prices).
15-20 Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell WC1X 0DA; postalmuseum.org

3 Halloween at ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park
24 Oct-1 Nov
Halloween is descending on ZSL London Zoo with a week of frightful fun over October half-term. Kids are encouraged to dress up to visit the nearly 200-year-old zoo, where they can prowl Tiger Territory, slither through the Reptile House (where Harry Potter famously practised his parseltongue), or step into the eight-legged world of In with the Spiders. Download an activity pack at home before following a creepy trail through the Zoo, discovering the weird and wonderful costumes of the animal kingdom (why are poison dart frogs are so brightly coloured?). Plus, zookeepers will be telling gruesome stories on how nature bites back at Halloween-themed pop-up talks throughout the day. ZSL London Zoo is now open to limited numbers only to comply with social distancing measures, and as such, ZSL, the international conservation charity behind the zoo, is calling on the public to help ensure they stay open by booking a ticket this Halloween, joining as a member or donating to ZSL. Entry from £26 for adults and £16.09 for kids.
Outer Circle, Regent’s Park NW1 4RY; zsl.org

4 Pop-Up Screens’ Forbidden Forest Cinema, Peckham
26 Oct-1 Nov
Pop Up Screens returns this winter, taking over Peckham’s popular Bussey Building with a series of Halloween screenings in an immersive forbidden forest, including screenings of family friendly films during October half term. See the likes of Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Onward, Moana, Minions and Toy Story 4, coupled with a family friendly magical adventure through the mysterious forest.
Unit 8, Copeland Park, Peckham SE15 3SN; popupscreens.co.uk

5 Pumpkin Carving at London City Island, east London
29-31 October
Riverside developments London City Island and Goodluck Hope on Leamouth Peninsula in east London are both hosting an array of spooky activities for families and adults. On London City Island, mixed media sculptor David Bradley (AKA The Curious Confectioner) will be hosting a pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving workshop for kids aged 5+ from 29-31 Oct (tickets are £15 including a Trick or Treat Box). Residents can also pick up a pumpkin and carving kit from the grab-and-go pumpkin patch.
londoncityisland.com / goodluckhope.com

6 Love Wimbledon’s Ultimate Halloween Pumpkin Hunt
17 Oct-1 Nov
Love Wimbledon is hosting the Ultimate Halloween Pumpkin Hunt around Wimbledon Town Centre this October half term. The free event, suitable for over 5s, takes place outdoors and features great prizes local businesses. Teams of no more than six are invited to take on the challenges and compete for prizes including a £50 voucher at Fielders Art Shop, dinner for four at The Old Frizzle, a £25 voucher to spend at Mai Thai Wimbledon, a dinner for four at 601 Queen’s Rd and two gift cards worth £25 to spend in Elys Wimbledon. To play, download the Mobile Adventures app, visit the pumpkin hotspots and complete the tasks. Play in your own time and as often as you like – fancy dress is optional but encouraged.
lovewimbledon.org

7 Halloween Icing Club at Biscuiteers, Notting Hill and Battersea
27 & 28 October
Biscuiteers has given its two Icing Cafes in Notting Hill and Battersea a spooky makeover for Halloween. As well as the biscuit gurus’ famous hand-iced biscuits available to buy in spooky new shapes, their icing experiences have also been given a fiendish twist. Halloween Icing Club classes for children aged 5+ run during half term (27 & 28 October), priced £25, and one adult can accompany each child and sit elsewhere in the café. For a more informal experience, choose the Halloween DIY Icing sessions where you’re on your own after a five-minute tutorial (every day throughout October, booked like a normal café table, walk-ins accepted, priced £18). There’s also a DIY Sugar Skulls Biscuit Tin, so you can ice your own biscuit collection at home.
13 Northcote Road, Battersea SW11 1NG & 194 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill W11 2ES; biscuiteers.com

8 Pumpkin Carving Party at The Prince, West Brompton
28 October
At The Prince’s Pumpkin Carving Party, kids and grown ups too will be provided with their very own pumpkin and carving kit to craft fang-tastic creations, with a Halloween cocktail (or mocktail for kids) and pumpkin spiced popcorn. Experts will be on hand to help first-timers create a pumpkin masterpiece, with prizes for the best ghoulish creations. Fancy dress is encouraged and a spooky song or two will be thrown onto the playlist, while on-site restaurants Wildcard, Jack’s Sprat and Utter Waffle will be offering up pumpkin and Halloween-inspired food specials. Kids £10, adults £15.
14 Lillie Road, West Brompton SW6 1TT; theprincelondon.com



 

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