Halloween may look a little different for some this year, while others prefer their alternative events.
Some churches in Paeroa and Waihi are running family-friendly events as a preference to Halloween and its ghoulish reputation. In other places, events have been toned down post-Covid-19.
Paeroa Baptist Church and combined churches in the area have been running their ''Halloween alternative'' for 10 years. Bob Turlington from Paeroa Baptist Church says Halloween traditionally is about monsters and the dead.
''Many parents don't like Halloween because of this fact. An 'alternative' allows the kids to still dress up but in non-scary costumes.''
''Secondly, it keeps the kids off the streets and bothering people who don't want to open their doors to strangers.''
The event is safe, fun and is something for the whole community, he says.
Waihi Baptist Church has its annual event on Halloween night — The Light Party. It is pegged as a positive alternative to Halloween. Parents and kids are encouraged to dress up in a costume, or shiny costume and it requests ''no scary costumes please''.
Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. It later incorporated All Saints Day (honouring saints) and over time evolved into a day of scary costumes, trick-or-treating, candy and festive gatherings.
Whangamata RSA manager Geoff March says kids don't understand the stories behind it, they just want to dress up and have fun.
''It's fun for kids, it's another excuse really to have a good time.''
However, their usual fun night celebrating Halloween will be toned down due to Covid-19. Just members and their families are coming on October 31.
''We decided this year to trim it back a wee bit, there will still be dress-up and prizes but it's for members and their families. We just want to the lessen that risk for our members.''
The public event will return next year, he says.
Sunny's Whangamata had previously provided a list of Halloween-friendly homes for customers in past years.
''We decided not to do it this year,'' says manager Andy Hodgson. ''We thought people might not appreciate random people coming up to their door this year because of Covid.''
But they're offering black and orange balloons for people to attach to letterboxes signalling they are Halloween-friendly.
The list will return next year, he says.
■ Wild West Halloween Alternative. Includes games for the whole family, prizes and food. Paeroa War Memorial Hall on October 31 from 4-7pm. $2.
■ Light Party: Fun for the whole family. Fun dress-up. Laser strike, bouncy castle, games, face painting, boxing, cafe and more. Waihi Baptist Church on October 31 from 4-7pm.
■ Halloween Disco — Coromandel Area School: Years 1-4 5.30-7pm and Years 5-8 7.30-9pm. $2 entry.
■ Halloween — Thames Haunted House 2020: A fun and safe way for kids to enjoy Halloween without trick or treating. Thames War Memorial Civic Centre, 200 Mary St, October 30-31.
■ Halloween at the Mercury Bay Library: Dress up for Halloween. There are plenty of crafts and activities at Mercury Bay Library. October 30 from 4-5pm.