October 17, 2020
By: Mrinalini Sundar
We are in October which means it's time for the chills and thrills! Halloween is here and this year is special. Not only do we have to adjust because of COVID-19, but it is also my first Halloween in Canada with my two and a half-year-old son. So, what are my options? With no haunted houses, ghost walks or Halloween parties, I had to design a spooky day that would be fun, entertaining and safe for the whole family. Here's an eerie itinerary that you can follow in Oakville for this Halloween.
Spruce Lane Farmhouse
Oakville is said to have a few haunted houses. While not all of them are open for indoor touring, you can still visit the houses and explore their stories from outside. For my weekend, I decided to visit Spruce Lane Farmhouse at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Though the details about who or what is haunting this Victorian house are vague, a report from the Toronto Star stated that the smoking-room door opens and closes on its own, some visitors (during the summer ghost walks) have felt a presence following them, and some have heard whispering sounds, footsteps and children’s laughter in various parts of the house. Even though you cannot take a tour of the house currently, you can explore the ground outside, take pictures, explore the Half Moon Valley trail and take in all the fall colours this gorgeous park has to offer.
St Jude's Cemetery
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Though cemeteries can sometimes seem spooky, they hold a lot of beauty and history. There will not be any tours this year, but you can still explore the grounds yourself and take in all the beauty and atmosphere these locations have to offer. St. Jude’s Cemetery is a can’t-miss for any ghost-lovers, as it is believed that a young girl wanders the graveyard at midnight. According to Town Of Oakville, the cemetery itself was established in 1853 when five acres of land was purchased on the shore of Lake Ontario under the leadership of Reverend Robert Shanklin. You can find both beauty and history at this historic location.
Pizza Skulls at Four Brothers Pizza
I wanted to infuse the holiday spirit into our entire day, so my next stop was lunch at Four Brothers Pizza. Their pizza skulls add a fun twist and a cute Halloween element bound to make the kids “scream” with joy. The pizzas come in cheese and pepperoni, and you can add more toppings such as salami, ground beef, bacon strips, olives, sun-dried tomato, peppers, mushrooms and spinach. You can buy them in six or 12 skulls.
Halloween is incomplete without chocolates. While trick-or-treating might not be possible this year, you can still indulge in the Halloween spirit by purchasing chocolates. I chose to head to Walker's Chocolate and buy some of their Halloween specials. They have chocolates in the form of bats, pumpkins, spiders, witches fingers, vampire lips and skulls. Want something grand, then check out their filled Hallow-skull, haunted house and crossbones - all made in milk and dark chocolate. The pumpkin and skull suckers are also cute and chocolaty, and their hand-painted chocolate pumpkins are perfect for the kids. Go ultra spooky with their yummy mummy Oreos and cute mummies with white and milk chocolate.
Pick a pumpkin and carve it at home
My son loves a good jack-o'-lantern and I wanted to make sure we could fulfill the tradition of carving one at home. Cristan Farms is an adorable marketplace that has some fresh pumpkins you can pick up and bring home to carve. You can also get fresh vegetables, fruits and apples - courtesy of the fresh orchards behind the store. Check out Emilie’s latest post for all the best tips on carving at home.
Halloween events in Oakville:
The Oakville Optimists, Junior Optimists, and Young Professional Optimists are organizing a new outdoor Halloween Trick or Treat experience on October 24 and 25, 2020. Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes and must be accompanied by their parents. This event is for children between the ages of three and nine.
Trunk or Treat & Marketplace
This event is organized by Film.ca and includes fun activities such as a trackless train sponsored by the Kerr Village BIA, free goodies, Halloween-based activities and decorated trunks for kids to go trick-or-treating. If you are looking to watch a movie then check out Hocus Pocus or 100% Wolf.
The Downtown Oakville BIA is organizing a Pumpkin Pop-Up Experience on Saturday, October 31, 2020. Sport your costume and take a walk on the extra-wide sidewalks of Downtown Oakville to check out pumpkins that have been creatively designed by local vendors. While at it, you can also donate a non-perishable food item for the Kerr Street Mission.
Tips on celebrating a safe Halloween:
- Host virtual parties and gatherings
- If you are not feeling well, don't give out treats
- Leave candy outside for kids to pick up
- If you are going trick or treating, then do so only with your household only
- Maintain a physical distance of 6-feet from those outside your household
- Wear a mask at all times
- Hand out chocolates using tongs
- Carry a hand sanitizer and use it often
- Limit the number of houses you visit
- Avoid touching your face