It’s no secret that Halloween has its haters here in Australia. Growing up, we never participated in it and rarely had people knocking at our door. We asked our parents if we could do it – costumes and lollies, what’s not to love about that?! But the answer was always a flat out no to this “crap American tradition”.

Thirty years on the haters still exist. But slowly, year by year, the Halloween movement gains a little more momentum as increasing numbers of Aussies embrace this occasion – or maybe it’s more a case of their kids have worn them down with incessant nagging! Of course it has always been pretty popular with uni students as the young ladies get the opportunity to dress in some skanky outfit (and yes, we’ve done this at some stage too!) and the blokes love the opportunity to gender bender.

But based on the chatter in the Hills District Mums Facebook group over the last couple of years, pockets of the Hills are really embracing it and having a fabulous time trick or treating.

Unlike certain suburbs known for their lights at Christmas time, there’s no particular street renowned for their awesome Halloween set up or the best treats going – it’s more about neighbours getting together so the kids can have a bit of fun. Well that seems to be the Aussie interpretation anyway. We’re sure some American purists are horrified!

One of the best ideas we’ve seen is this note that parents with trick or treaters were giving to neighbours in their street with a balloon attached if they were wanting to participate.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

There’s also a Facebook group set up for Halloween in Kellyville Ridge, The Ponds and Stanhope Gardens. You can find it here.
If you do decide to go trick or treating, The Hills Local Area Command has the tips below on staying safe and they’re good ones to discuss with your kids. The key message from Police for parents is to supervise your children.

NSW Police recommend you do not participate in this activity. However, if you choose to participate, here are some things you should consider:

• Is it safe to take lollies or chocolate from strangers?

• Do I know the person whose door I am knocking on?

• Will I get into trouble from police if I play a ‘prank’ or damage property?

• What if a stranger talks to me?

 

Remember your safety tips from the NSW Police ‘Keeping Me Safe’ initiative:

• Safety in numbers! Walk in a group. Never walk alone. Ensure you have adult supervision.

• Hold hands and cross roads at safe locations such as marked crossings and/or traffic light intersections. Don’t forget to ‘Stop, Look, Listen and Think.’

• Do not talk to strangers other than the people nominated as ‘Safe people’ from ‘Safe places’.

• If you feel unsafe or unsure, remember to tell a stranger ‘No’ ‘Stop’ and/or ‘Go away’.

 

If you would still like to celebrate the occasion, perhaps you could consider celebrating at home.

Police will not tolerate poor behaviour, particularly in public, so remember your manners just like every other day of the year.

Call 000 if you require immediate assistance or 9680 5399 for Castle Hill Police.

If you think the trick or treating sounds all too hard but you still want to participate in the occasion, there are some great Halloween-themed special events on in and around the Hills:

Halloween Kids Day at Lynwood Country Club. Thursday 24 October from 11am to 2pm.

 

Halloween party & kids’ disco. The Galston Club. Saturday 26 October. 4pm – 6pm.

Little Monsters Halloween Breakfast at Winston Hills Mall. Sunday 27 October. 8am to 10am.

It’s time to get spooky and have a great time with a delicious breakfast, live entertainment with a show, face painting and disco PLUS a gift for each child! Buy your tickets from the Centre Management Office at Winston Hills Mall. Only $15 per child. Suitable for ages 3 to 12 years old.

Spooky Storytime at the libraries. Dress up and join the fun at our annual Spooky Storytime. Stories and games to delight not fright! Create your own mini trick or treating bag to take home. Suitable for children in school years K-2.

Halloween Kids Day at Castle Hill RSL. Celebrate from 11am to 2pm in the Courtyard on Tuesday 29 October.

Halloween Kids Disco at Castle Hill RSL. Thursday 31 October. 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

Spooktacular Halloween Party. Chipmunks Macquarie Centre. Thursday 31 October. 6pm to 8pm. More info here.

Halloween at the Hills Super Centre. Thursday 31 October. Four session times from 5pm – 8pm. Come and scare cancer and raise valuable funds for Kids with Cancer Foundation. They’ve organised an afternoon of spectacular fun for families which raises money for kids who have cancer, as well as supporting kids with a disability and their families. Your tickets give you access to loads of fun activities. Eat delicious Halloween treats (and we’ll have yummy treats for mum and dad too!) and go trick or treating with participating retailers. Tickets can be purchased here.

Count Crocula’s Halloween Party at Croc’s Castle Hill. Thursday 31 October. 4pm to 7pm.

Glenorie RSL’s Halloween Bop till you drop! Thursday 31 October 5pm. $5 entry per child.

Halloween at Stanhope Village. Thursday 31 October. 3.30pm to 6pm. Trick or treat hunt, kids craft, face painting and balloon twisting! Come dressed in your best Halloween outfit.