Tag Archives: Halloween

Half term fun at Maida Vale Library

Maida Vale Library hosted a full programme of events for children during half term.

There has been an ongoing treasure hunt to find spooky Halloween characters hidden around the library.


On Monday we had two really well attended sessions for our popular rocket making session in the morning and again in the afternoon – more than 80 children and adults came along.


On Tuesday we hosted an Elmer Day event. A bit late I know (or early as they’ll be another on 26 May 2018), but better late than never! The children listened to some stories about the multi-coloured elephant, played a game, then coloured in pictures and elephant ears and made an Elmer model.

On Thursday we were making spooky puppets from felt in the morning and afternoon and again and we were joined by over 100 children and adults! Hopefully everyone had a great time and I was ably supported by volunteers Lisa and Khaleda, so a big thank you to them.

A spooky Dracula!

There was also time for sharing stories, so something for everyone.

Halloween stories!

Simon Williams
Maida Vale Library

PS – if you’re interested in volunteering with us, we have more information here


Halloween party fun at Maida Vale

Hallowe'en at Maida Vale Library 2015

During the half-term week, Maida Vale Library had a number of children’s events taking place, including a ‘Scary Scribbles’ competition – encouraging all ages to draw the scariest monster imaginable, and a ‘Horrid Hunt’ word and picture quiz, featuring hidden Halloween images around the library.  The week concluded with the most fun had at a library ever: The Halloween Party!

Hallowe'en at Maida Vale Library 2015 - Scary Scribbles

Over 70 guests were in attendance, most dressed in colourful costume, there to enjoy games such as ‘Vampire Whispers’,  ‘Pass the pumpkin’ and ‘Poison apple’ –  which was certainly a highlight! As were a few of the jokes that the host ‘Count Dracula’ incorporated throughout the evening. These all had a fair bit of audience participation (the host bellowing the question and attendees shouting out in an elated fashion what they thought were the answers!).

Hallowe'en at Maida Vale Library 2015Example of these witty nuggets:

‘What is a ghost’s favourite ride at the theme park?
The roller-ghoster’

‘What does a ghost use to wash its hair?

The early evening extravaganza also featured the ‘Box of Doom!’ a popular favourite, where children were invited to guess what items were hidden inside the dark, mysterious cavernous container…

Hallowe'en at Maida Vale Library 2015

In addition, the party was host to a face-painting and portrait photo session with Image Thirst, who provided additional entertainment.

“…it’s so nice to have a safe place where children can come and have a fun time at Halloween”

It was said that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves – staff and volunteers overseeing the mayhem, the adults accompanying and of course the children!

Hallowe'en at Maida Vale Library 2015

The party organisers are now looking ahead and have started the planning for the (now hotly anticipated) Christmas bash!

Matt (aka Count Dracula)

Spooky Halloween at Paddington Library

Paddington Library is lucky enough to have two buildings, one for adults and one especially for children. However, the adult library is visited by parents with children and we set up a small children’s section to look after the needs of our younger visitors when they are in the adult library.

As we approached Halloween we decided to give the children’s area a seasonal makeover with a few extra ‘guests’. The new visitors seem quite happy in their new setting, as you can see from the pictures…

Halloween at Paddington Library Halloween at Paddington Library Halloween at Paddington Library



Halloween fun

Halloween Party decorations at Maida Vale Library, October 2013Maida Vale Library had an extremely busy half term with lots of events to keep local children amused. 
Especially popular was our bat hunt aimed at all age groups. This went on all week with children tearing around the library looking for hidden bats of all sizes.

Dinosaur craft at Maida Vale Library, October 2013Monday kicked off with two craft sessions where we went back to the prehistoric era and made an array of colourful cardboard dinosaurs. Both sessions proved very popular and were well attended with the library echoing to the roars of T.Rex and Brontosaurus!

Halloween crafts at Maida Vale Library, October 2013On Tuesday and Friday we added a seasonal touch to our usual Under 5s’ sessions by having separate craft activities around fallen leaves and the colours of autumn.

On Wednesday morning and afternoon families made witches hats which proved quite tricky.However, the children came up with some great results, decorating the hats with stars, moons and pumpkins.

Halloween Party at Maida Vale Library, October 2013The highlight of the week was Thursday when we had our fantastic Halloween party. Simon was joined by one of our Summer Reading Challenge volunteers, Kika, and decorated the children’s library with bats, spiders and skeletons.

40 children and 30 adults turned up to play games like pass the pumpkin. The children ran around screaming with excitement and two lucky (or unlucky?) youngsters were wrapped up as living mummies!

Halloween Party at Maida Vale Library, October 2013The Halloween themed food and drink was  devoured by the ghosts and ghoulies who came along. Mysteriously they then disappeared into the night to terrorise the neighbourhood…

Veronica and her daughter Sylvia make a special point of visiting Maida Vale and Pimlico Libraries when they visit twice a year from their home in France. Veronica told Ben Walsh, Area Manager, that events like this encouraged children to think of libraries as a fun place to be and that these types of events just don’t happen in rural libraries in France. We’ll hope to see Sylvia and lots of other children at Christmas when the fun will start again!


Dracula is coming to town!

Open Book Theatre rehearsing Dracula, October 2013
An excellent and terrifying adaptation of the greatest vampire story ever told is soon to be performed in two of Westminster’s libraries.

The Open Book Theatre Company presents an immersive, site-specific production of Dracula that remains true to Bram Stoker’s gothic masterpiece.  An ensemble cast (seen rehearsing above) uses inventive performance and original music to create a haunting theatrical work that will transform some of London’s most beautiful libraries this Halloween…

Dracula, by the Open Book TheatreOpen Book is a unique, non-profit theatre company.
Their mission statement is to stage theatrical interpretations of classic novels in library spaces, strengthening links between libraries and their communities and inspiring a new generation of readers and theatre-goers.

Not to be missed and do not worry, “there are kisses for us ALL.”

Not suitable for young children OR the faint hearted.

Performances: Saturday 26 October and Saturday 2 November at Westminster Reference Library; Monday 28 October at Victoria Library. For tickets and further information: http://openbooktheatre.ticketsource.co.uk


Victoria Library blog

Victoria LibraryWe have been busy little bees at Victoria Library recently – there’s been so much happening we haven’t had time to post about each event, so we thought it was about time we did a big summary of what we’ve been up to!

Over the past few months, the library has been humming with activity. In addition to numerous health activities organised by Kate the health information worker, we have had a fair few authors visiting to tell us all about their work.

We kicked off the autumn library season with a writing session led by Sharon Kendrick, a Mills and Boon author keen to share her experiences of writing.

Immediately after, we had a talk on the little-known Victorian gentleman archaeologist Alexander Hardcastle by Alexandra Richardson.  The talk was extremely informative and gave a hint of the amount of work an author has to put in to gain such a thorough understanding of a little known subject.

Bringing them up Royal, by David CohenThen we had David Cohen (a writer, psychologist and journalist) come in and talk about the childhoods of the royals since 1066, including the erratic, negligent or even cruel parenting that was sometimes involved.
As you might imagine, this hidden aspect of the life of royalty drew quite a crowd of interested participants. I imagine it might be an even more popular talk if we hosted it again, given its relevance to this week’s news…

We next had the Roehampton University Writing Society giving readings from their latest anthology. Consisting of a mixture of poetry and prose, the crowd was mostly keen students but included some intrigued members of the public.

Chocolate cakes at Victoria Library

Subsequently, we had two authors come in to talk about their upcoming works and about how to get published: Sunita Pattani and Sweta Srivastava Vikram (authors of My Secret Affair with Chocolate Cake and Mouth Full respectively). One of them was so happy with the library that she decided she’d like to hold her book launch here too. Without so much as a break for fresh air, we then had Sunita come in to deliver her talk to a full house (so full in fact that we had to close off the study room just for the event). Given the nature of the talk – how you can eat chocolate and still be healthy – we managed to persuade Starbucks to supply us with a chocolate cake. Needless to say the launch was a massive success with over 40 attendees (and just enough chocolate left over to keep the staff happy).

Open University Open Day at Victoria LibraryIn between all of these events, we also had the Open University come in to deliver information sessions, weekly Healthy Westminster sessions, ESOL classes, our regular book groups, employment workshops and of course, keeping the library running smoothly!

We also held quite a few events for children:

Our Halloween Party was a great success, with more than 20 children attending in fancy dress. We played themed games, awarded prizes for the best costumes, and received many compliments from parents and carers  – plus the children all took home a skeleton and some sweets!

This Christmas sees us joining forces with Westminster Music Library for a children’s Christmas Extravaganza on 13 December. We will be singing carols, giving out mince pies, have a lucky ticket draw for the parents and carers and a special visit from Santa Claus.

Author Sunita Pattani and Victoria Library Manager Ann FarrellThank you to all our customers for your continued support – we look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks, borrowing books to read and music to play or listen to at Christmas.

[Nick and Georgina]

Sampling the treats, and the tricks

Children's activities at Victoria LibraryHallowe’en events at Victoria Library started early in the half-term week with ‘Ghostly Stories by candlelight’. The events room was decked out with cobwebs, spiders and a witch. Several children came along, some with parents, and chose which stories they wanted from scrolls in the witch’s box. They also had the chance to taste, if they were brave enough, either ‘Dracula’s Blood’* or ‘Bat Squash’*. One little boy tried both and has not been seen in the library since…

On Wednesday we had over 27 children making mobile spiders with Jenny (assisted by Georgina). Hairy legs, googly eyes and glitter everywhere – and that was just the members of staff!

Hallowe'en mask making at Victoria LibraryOn the Friday we made more than 25 Hallowe’en masks and headdresses, some of which are in the photograph. The templates proved popular enough that several parents took home extras for their other children.

This is just a sample of the things that are on offer in the children’s libraries throughout the borough during holiday periods – there’ll be even more happening at Christmas, so come along and get stuck in at your local library! And you don’t need to wait for the school holidays – there are sessions for under 5s, book groups, homework clubs and more throughout the year.

* Tomato Juice or Cranberry juice