Balance is key for Halloween events in store

Halloween events can fill your coffee shop and sell Christmas event tickets but can be frightening, Woodcote Green Garden Centre general manager Phil Barnden has said.

He toned down his Spooky Zoo idea this year after the event brought in 1,200-1,500 children in October half term 2013, which Barnden said was "getting scary". He added: "You only have a week for Halloween and you don't want to turn it into a monster. You need to look after your regulars."

With gardening sales generally over, Christmas sales yet to begin and half term on, Halloween is a good opportunity to promote Christmas events, sell grotto tickets and fill the coffee shop. But Barnden said Halloween product sales are not high.

Woodcote Green shows are bookable online at £2.50 a child and it runs a "find the golden pumpkin" competition in store.

Spooky Zoo is on at Chessington Garden Centre from 25 October to 2 November. The event gives children a chance to see, handle and have their photo taken with lizards, snakes, spiders and crocodiles. The cost is £2 per child for a 45-minute session and games with the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity.

Other Halloween events include Spooky Films, face painting, a slime tombola, Thriller flash mob, skull skittles and fancy dress.


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