Tips for Halloween Weekend Family Fun
plus where to find last-minute costumes
If you don't have a plan for the upcoming Halloween weekend, here are a few ideas for family-style Halloween fun. Options run the gamut from outdoor lantern parades to black light miniature golf or pumpkin carving at the zoo. If you haven't participated in a candle-lit lantern parade, it's a Czech autumn tradition that I'd recommend seeing.
If your children are like mine, they're begging to dress up and get treats. They may be less concerned about where they're going on Halloween night and more worried about what they're wearing. Read below for tips on where to find store-bought costumes or to purchase spooky accessories to accompany hand-made costumes.
Halloween at the Botanical Gardens in Troja, Prague – October 31 from 15:00 - 19:00
Combine pumpkin carving, a candle-lit pumpkin parade and fun for children and adults. Visit Prague’s Botanical Gardens on Saturday afternoon for their annual Halloween outdoor party. It's not traditional trick-or-treating, but the outdoor community event has become a Halloween staple in Prague. Bring a knife and a change of clothes to carve your own pumpkin to carry in the parade which starts at 18:00. There will also be face-painting, a creative workshop making sand pictures and plenty of games and contests for children. Have your children come in costume or bring a costume along to change into for the parade. Afterword, enjoy roasting sausages on an open fire and sharing spooky stories.
Garden opening hours: October 9:00-17:00, November 9:00-16:00
Garden admission: 50 CZK individual, 125 CZK family
Halloween at Black Light Adventure Mini Golf – October 6 - November 16
If you’re not in the mood for a traditional Halloween costumed event, but you’d like your children to have an autumn treat, how about golfing in the dark? Pay a visit to the Black Light Adventure Golf located in Prague 1 to try out your golfing skills in a spooky, black light atmosphere. It’s the first black light course in the Czech Republic and promises excitement for children and parents alike.
During the Halloween season, the 18-hole course will be entirely dark, illuminated by UV lamps reflecting on neon-colored decorations, which add to the Halloween feel. On site, there are also billiards, darts, Foosball and snooker for gaming fun after golf.
At the same location, for adult only fun, there is a new Real Life Escape Game: Czech Trap. Play a live escape game where you find keys, solve puzzles and find secret traps to escape before time runs out. See the website for more details.
Golf opening hours: Monday - Friday 12:00 – 10:00, Saturday - Sunday 10:00 – 10:00
Golf Admission: Adult 200 CZK, Students 150 CZK, Child 120 CZK, Child (under 50cm) 50 CZK, Family 500 CZK
All Saints’ Day at Hvězda Park, Prague – November 1 from 14:00-19:30
Spend the post-Halloween night afternoon of November 1, traditionally All-Saints' Day, in the Brevnov neighborhood at Hvězda Park enjoying some scary family fun. From 14:00-18:00, join a Halloween workshop with games and contests for children. The workshop will be held outdoors in front of the park’s summer castle. From 17:30-19:30, there will be a parade of masks. Come dressed as a ghost or a goblin (or in any other Halloween costume) and receive a lantern to light for the parade (offer applies to children only). At the close of the evening, the Hvězda castle will be lit up in non-traditional Halloween style. The activity is sponsored by Prague 6 and free to the public. See the Prague 6 website for details.
Halloween at the Zoo in Dvůr Králové – October 24 – November 1
For a day trip outside of Prague visit the safari zoo in Dvůr Králové to see exotic African animals in their autumn surroundings. For the special Halloween week, the zoo is decorated with hundreds of pumpkins which will be lit up at night. There will be pumpkins on site for those who’d like to carve a pumpkin and add to the scary atmosphere. See your favorite animals eat and play with pumpkins.
The zoo spans an area of 6.5 hectares and hosts a breeding program of rhinos, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes and many antelope species. Although the African Safari Park is closed in the fall, most of the animals can still be viewed in their summer enclosures. The zoo’s Lemur restaurant is open for meals and the miniature train will be running from the meerkat house to the lion exhibit.
Opening hours: 9:00-17:00
Admission: Adult entrance: 170 CZK, Child entrance: 50 CZK, Family ticket 510 CZK
Halloween Costumes for Children
If you've decided at the last-minute to join a Halloween event, there are a few options around Prague to pick up a costume for your child.
The H&M Department Store offers full-scale costumes and numerous Halloween accessories if you want just a touch of Halloween spook. For girls, H&M carries princess dresses and gauzy black spider web skirts as well as an assortment of accessories, including bat wings, and a headband with cats' ears. For boys, choose from the super heroes Spider Man or the Incredible Hulk. The store also has an astronaut, a dragon and even a circus ring man costume. For a traditional scary costume, they have a two-piece skeleton costume that doubles as a warm-up suit and “Boo!” tee-shirts galore. Various locations in shopping malls around Prague. The store in Smichov has plenty of costumes still available.
The Czech chain toy store Sparkys carries a wide selection of decent quality dress-up costumes year-round. My personal favorites include the knight, the musketeer and the sultan. They have boy/girl versions of the pirate, vampire and Latin dancer costumes. It's a good place to look for princess and fairy costumes as well as characters from fairy tales like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. Hip costumes for boys include a police officer and a sailor. They even have an elephant and a Minnie Mouse. Check their online site at www.sparkys.cz and search under “kostym” to see the selections.
Sparkys also carries spooky Halloween paraphernalia such as wide-brimmed witches' hats and traditional Czech paper lanterns for the candle-lit Halloween night walk.
Your neighborhood papernictvi
If you are short on time, or if you don't want to invest in a head-to-toe costume, try your local papernictvi (stationery shop) for Halloween accessories. During the Halloween season most shops carry paper lanterns, witches' hats (some even come with attached witch hair), and other scary masks, like mummies, vampires or ghosts. Stationery shops also sell washable face paint sticks or make-up for a do-your-own Halloween night look.
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