Celebrating Halloween in London as an Expat

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Back in 2010 my husband and I left the concrete jungle of New York City to move to Sydney, Australia and test it out for a few years.

It was a great experience filled with so much. But it also gave us the opportunity to learn about a new culture and celebrate new holidays.  We always loved Australia Day and playing 2 Up. On the flip side, it was equally as exciting being able to share our own holidays and traditions with Aussie locals that might not be familiar with those of our own. I remember hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner where the majority of our guests were NOT from America. And it was a hit! I mean, how can you not love stuffing your face with tons of delicious food while enjoying time spent with friends?

As Halloween quickly approaches, you may be wondering where in London can I take my kids trick or treating? Keeping in mind that this is not a local holiday celebrated by all. In fact, the British hate Halloween apparently. A survey done way back in 2006 found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween. Yet another reason the United States is happy to be free from British rule. smiley

Here are a few tricks and treats to celebrating Halloween as an expat in London. 

Go early if you’re taking kids trick or treating. Once it gets late it might be a bit too much for the little ones. This year (2019) Halloween falls on a Thursday so consider picking the kids up from school to get a head start. They won’t have off from school (we don’t in the U.S. either) and many of their peers might not be following suit.

Look for houses with a pumpkin or some Halloween decertations outside. That is usually an indicator that they are passing out treats. Please do not go knocking on doors without any decorations.

Consider having your kids say “Happy Halloween” as opposed to the traditional “Trick or Treat.” It’s a bit more welcoming as many locals are put off by the fact that kids come knocking for candy without doing anything for it. Quid Pro Quo.

Put thought into the Halloween costume and consider local sensitivities. In the UK, costumes tend to lean more towards the scary and gory. As opposed to princesses and superheroes.

Places to Trick or Treat in London
Trick or Treating in London 2019

    1. 1. Chiswick
    2. 2. Hampstead (Gayton Road and Hampstead Way, Hampstead Garden
    3. 3. Kensington and Gloucester Road
    4. 4. Notting Hill
    5. 5. Primrose Hill and Chalcott Square
    6. 6. South Ealing
    7. 7. St John’s Wood and Clifton Hill and Loudon Road
    8. 8. Wimbledon

Although in years past, Halloween wasn’t widely celebrated in Britain, it continues to pick up the pace every year. Many of the big grocery stores and retailers on High Streets will join the festivities and decorate.

Halloween Events and Parties (2019)

If pumpkins are your thing, The Londonist pulled together a list of places to go pumpkin picking around London. This is good fun for the whole family.

If you or your kids are a bit too old for trick or treating, then some cool ghost tours and haunted houses might be something to look into. Check out Family Adventure Project, they’ve pulled together a really great list of 2019 Halloween events and activities.

Did we miss something? Email us and drop us a note.

Happy Halloweening from GoodMigrations.

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