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Child-Friendly Halloween Haunts And Activities

Halloween. Most people consider it just another commercialized holiday that has spread from America. In fact, it has a long history with its roots likely in Ireland.

Halloween is slowly catching on in Belgium and the rest of Europe. During my research, I was quite surprised at the surge in Halloween events and parties in comparison to last year in Gent. You will find that in addition to theatre performances, cooking workshops and Halloween parties, some neighbourhoods also welcome trick-or-treaters. Should you be ready with a bucket of sweets or treats? The best way to know is to knock on your neighbour’s door and ask. If you haven’t met your neighbours yet this is a great opportunity to do so! Ask what their plans are, or if the local children get together. Ask some of the parents from your school if they’d like to come over to carve pumpkins or decorate cookies after school one day.

Spider's web in the mist

Many of the following events are aimed at Dutch-speakers, but that does not mean you should shy away … besides, at some events language won’t really matter and, in fact, a couple are for English speakers or international families. We will keep adding to this list and updating it as we hear about more events on offer, so check back often.

There are even more events, aimed at young adults and adults alike, including a Halloween Film Night and a Disney Halloween Party. You can find a lot more (in Dutch) here.

Halloween Kinderkookworkshop

In this workshop, organized by Kookanje and held at Mekkerland, participants will prepare spooky sandwiches, soup, and other delicacies. After cooking, there will be a festive table for enjoying the treats together. The animals at Mekkerland will get to enjoy the pumpkin leftovers, too! This cooking workshop is for children from 3 years. Parents can join them.
When: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 from 2pm-4pm.
Location: Mekkerland, Lübeckstraat 1, 9000 Gent.
Price: € 17 per participant (child or adult).
Suitable for children from 3 years. Must register in advance.
Here’s a website for more info & reservations, or visit the Facebook event.

Halloween in the Belfry

Ghent’s belfry opens its creaking gates for a chilling Halloween program on Wednesday, October 31st! Participants will first have the opportunity to get their faces painted, after which they will take their places in the creepy dark tent in the Lakenhalle, where they will listen to a sad episode in the history of the belfry. This is followed by a search through the belfry, but watch out because in the dark rooms of the belfry there may be surprises lurking in any corner! There will be a reward for children who are able to overcome their fears and finish the search.
When: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 a new search will begin on each hour between 1pm and 4pm.
Location: Belfort Gent, Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Gent.
Price: € 5.
Suitable for children 6 to 12 years.
Pre-registration is recommended. Please arrive at least 30 minutes beforehand to be certain of a space and to have time to have your face painted.For more info and to register, send an e-mail to: info@artoria.be and see the Facebook event.

Harvest / Halloween Party / Feest

Come celebrate Autumn and Halloween with Gentse Spruiten! No blood, no gore just good old family fun. This is a very international group of families who meet regularly in Ghent so you’ll be sure to meet or make lots of new friends. Dutch, English and a wide variety of languages will be spoken! This is a POTLUCK event, everyone brings food to share. You can also bring a pumpkin to carve or paint (decoration supplies provided).
When: Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 2pm-6pm.
Location: this * little * farm, Eedstraat 55, 9052 Gent / Zwijnaarde.
Price: children under 3: free, children 3-12: € 3, children over 12 & adults: € 5. Includes warm home-made pumpkin soup served with fresh ‘beer’ bread and a cupcake. Plus activities for everyone!
Suitable for children of all ages.
RSVP required at this link. Reservations via e-mail: gentsespruiten@gmail.com.
More Info in English.

Halloween Nocturne met Pierke

First, Pierke will feature in a crazy scary story and after the show Wim, Christine, Lies and Michael will serve delicious chocolate milk with cake for the little ones and a spicy self-brewed pumpkin soup with bread for adults. You are welcome to come dressed in costume and children will receive a nice Halloween surprise at the end of the evening. More information at this link.
When: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 from 6pm-7:30pm.
Location: Koninklijk Poppentoneel Festival, Moriaanstraat 65, 9050 Ledeberg.
Price: € 7 per person.
Suitable for children 3 years and older.
For Reservations: call 092314488 or send an e-mail to gentbrugspoppentheater@belgacom.net.

Poppentheather – Heksensoep

More puppet theater, Poppentheather Magie presents Heksensoep (Witches Soup) for two shows.
When: Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28, 2018 from 3pm-4:15pm each day.
Location: St-Pietersplein 9, 9000 Gent.
Suitable for children 5 years and older.
More information available on the Facebook event page.

Crazy Halloween Party at LAGO Gent Rozebroeken

Come dressed in costume and maybe win the title of Miss or Mister Halloween! Different activities are on the program including dance initiatives, storytelling, pancakes in the cafe, and other surprises.
When: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 from 2pm-5pm.
Location: LAGO Gent Rozebroeken, Victor Braeckmanlaan 180, 9040 Sint-Amandsberg.
Suitable for children 5 years and older. Hosted by Aqua & Move Gent. Register online.
More information available on the Facebook event page.

De Nacht Wacht at De Wereld Van Kina (de Tuin)

Though not advertised specifically for Halloween, it is hard not to see the connection between the holiday and creepy creatures at night! Visit De Wereld Van Kina (de Tuin) for a special, evening entry to experience their nocturnal animals. Children will have the opportunity to touch spiders and snakes during these special night events.
When: Four nights, Sunday to Wednesday, October 28-31, 2018 from 6pm-9pm each night.
Location: De Wereld Van Kina (de Tuin), Berouw 55, 9000 Gent.
Price: € 3 for children under 12 years, € 5 for 12 years and older.
Suitable for children from 6 years.
Register via kinatuin@stad.gent or 092250542.
More information available on the Facebook event page.

Halloween Tour Marcharius-Heirnis

Join us for a Halloween tour (3km) through the neighbourhood with friends, relatives or neighbours! Do you want a creepy tour with guidance or just go it alone? On the way you can enjoy a Halloween snack and drink.
When: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 from 6pm onwards.
Location: start at Buurtwerk Macharius, Tarbotstraat 61A in Ghent.
Price: under 6 years: free, from 6 to 12 years: € 2.5, from 12 years: € 5.
Register in advance at LDC De Horizon, Ferdinand Lousbergs Bay 12 in Ghent.
More info in Dutch and on the Facebook event page.

Orange pumpkin

And if you want a good laugh and to confuse your Dutch-speaking friends who think English is too difficult, then gather them around on Halloween evening and read them this story.

Oh, and if you live in a neighbourhood that does celebrate Halloween but you don’t want to get caught up in it? Turn off the porch light, close your curtains and read a book by flashlight under your covers … or head to your local pub for a drink.

 

This article was originally authored in 2017 by The Square.Gent contributor, Jovita, and has been updated for 2018 by other contributors and editors.

Guest author
Guest authors are expats and Gentenaars who enjoy spreading the word about Gent to the world. If you'd like to join us, contact us at hello@thesquare.gent.

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