How to Enjoy Halloween in Lockdown

Halloween may be shaping up to look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the time of year and indulge in the many traditions. Here are some of our suggestions for adapting Halloween to be lockdown-friendly, while still getting to have some fun!

Atlas Language School Halloween Decoration in front of the door

Host a Zoom party

Who says Zoom is just for classes? Why not get together with some of your friends and classmates and do all of the things you would normally enjoy at Halloween through the safety of your computer screen? You could dress up and put on some spooky makeup together, decorate your background, play some Halloween themed games or even share some spooky stories!

Zoom meeting during lockdown

Scary Films and Shows

Nothing makes it feel like Halloween more than watching something spooky! If you’re stuck for what to watch, RTE has compiled a list of suggestions on Netflix.

Whether you’re a seasoned horror fan or just looking for some family-friendly fun, you should be able to find something to suit your taste. If you’re worried about watching on your own, Netflix now has a feature called Teleparty which allows you to connect with friends to watch films and shows together in real time. (Don’t forget the snacks…)

Enjoy an Autumnal Walk

The Level 5 restrictions mean that we can travel up to 5km to exercise, and fortunately Dublin is filled with plenty of parks and green spaces. Check out what you have near you in your Maps app, and enjoy the beautiful autumn colours before winter sets in!

Carve a Pumpkin

We’re no strangers* to the pumpkin carving tradition at Atlas, and just because we aren’t able to do it together in person won’t stop us from sharing some tips with you! 

You will need:

  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin
  • Paper to protect your workspace or table
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker or pen that will show up on the pumpkin skin
  • Carving tools including a large spoon and a suitable knife (serrated knives are particularly good)
  • Two medium bowls (one for seeds, one for pumpkin flesh)
  • Kitchen towel
  • Tea light candle and long match or lighter with extended nozzle
  1. Line your table or workspace with paper and set your tools and bowls up nearby.
  2. Decide which side of your pumpkin will be best for your face and draw your design with your marker: eyes, a nose and a toothy grin is a classic choice!
  3. Use your marker to draw a lid around the pumpkin stem – it can be any shape you like but a circle is easiest. The lid should be around 5-6 inches in diameter.
  4. Cut out your lid! Use your knife to cut out the lid you just drew. Cutting at a slight angle can make your lid more secure and ensures that it won’t fall in.
  5. Remove the pumpkin seeds – this should be easy enough to do with your hands but use your spoon if you would rather not touch them. If you feel like using them for a festive snack, place them in a separate bowl to clean later and check out this recipe!
  6. Using your metal spoon, scoop out the pumpkin flesh until the pumpkin is hollow and place the insides into your nearby bowl.
  7. Wipe off the outside of your pumpkin with your kitchen towel so that it will be easier and safer to carve.
  8. Cut out your design by cutting straight with your knife and discard the refuse
  9. Place your tea light inside the pumpkin and light it by going through either the top or the mouth with your match/lighter (whichever is safest and easiest!)
  10. Display your creation! You could place it in the window for passers-by to enjoy, or use it as an indoor decoration!

We’d love to see your designs – tag us on Instagram and Facebook to show us how your pumpkins turned out!

Students carving pumpkins in the school

Students with carved pumpkins in front of the school

Bonus! Celtic Halloween tradition: try peeling an apple (perhaps the one you’ll need for this pumpkin soup recipe!) in one go and toss the peel over your shoulder. The Celts** believed that the shape the peel landed in would reveal the initials of their future spouse!

*To be no stranger to [something] – (idiom) to be familiar with, to have done it before.
**An ancient civilisation that lived in Ireland, Scotland and Northern France.

written by Amy Quinn

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