Tag Archives: family fun

A Different Halloween Celebration

Contemplating keeping your little ghouls and goblins home this year?  It’s hard to imagine simple things like trick-or-treating in a world where we all wear masks outside the front door everyday just to stay healthy. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t make the most of the holiday.

If you’re planning on staying home for Halloween this year, your family can still enjoy the night with a few simple at-home ideas.

Deck out your space.  If you don’t plan to go outside, bring your carved pumpkins and dangling bats inside.  Dress the room where you plan to spend the evening with candles and black cats, skulls, and anything spooky; either store bought or homemade with the kids.  Turn down the lighting and pull up a playlist of haunting tunes to set the mood.

Let the kids dress up (and join them if you dare.)  Costumes can be fun anytime, and you don’t have to worry about your little princess or pirate being too cold indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

You can make the best of the holiday by spending it together, no matter what you do! Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Plan a scary menu.  Easy-to-make snacks like these can add to the party atmosphere, and there are countless recipes available with a simple search.  Don’t forget to include candy!

These Cresent Mummy Dogs were always favorites at my house: https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/crescent-mummy-dogs/d52a57d7-ab8a-4a1c-8dae-f9f90d03b912

So were these Spider Cookies: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/spooky-spider-cookies/eb21cebc-c130-4715-aa3f-0e607aea3d27

Bring on the entertainment.  When your little goblins are ready to settle down, consider putting on a not-too-scary movie for them to watch.  Here are a few favorites of my family.  (You can always watch something scarier after the little ones are in bed if you wish.)

Ichabod and Mr. Toad-this cartoon classic from 1949 is one I grew up watching every year with my family, and shared with my own children.  This double feature has a group of madcap animals in a grand adventure, followed by a light-hearted but still spooky version of Washington Irving’s classic Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  While there are chilling moments, the animation should not be too scary for children over 7 or 8.  This is currently available on Disney plus.

The Witches.  The original 1990 movie based on a book by Roald Dahl focuses on a young boy who accidentally spies on a convention of witches and overhears plans to turn every child in England into mice.  Angelica Houston plays the head witch in this movie which features Jim Henson monsters and is available on Netflix.

Image from Rotten Tomatoes.

Hocus Pocus.  This movie from 1993, also available on Disney plus, features three witches who are accidentally brought to life in their Salem home, now a museum. They proceed to craft a plot to harvest the life essence out of children to seal their return.  The three who resurrected them must find a way to stop them before dawn following Halloween night.

Monster House.  In this 2006 movie, available on Hulu, three children must battle against disbelieving adults as well as an evil house that is possessed by an evil spirit to save the lives of unwitting trick-or-treaters who dare to knock on its door.

Image from Rotten Tomatoes.

Whatever you choose to do, be safe and have a great night!  Happy Halloween!

Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe While Trick-or-Treating

One of my favorite things about Halloween is seeing all the children, dressed as their favorite characters from make-believe, excitedly collecting treats as they travel door-to-door.  With a few simple rules and precautions, we can ensure that this holiday tradition is a safe and fun time for our kids.

Take your pick
Tomorrow’s the day, and kids big and small are rare’n to go out!  Photo by DaDaAce on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Before you go:

Do your research.

Many communities will establish a certain time frame for kids to trick-or-treat in, so both residents and law enforcement will be aware of when they may be on the streets, and to protect residents from “tricksters” who may try to take advantage of the night.  It’s a good idea to check your local news source or community webpage to see if there are restrictions in your area.  In my community, for example,children are only permitted to be out on Halloween from 6 to 8pm.

It’s also a good idea to plan the route your kids will take, especially if you are not going with them, and make sure they know to stick in areas you know and consider safe.

Alternatively, a number of local shopping centers and even churches offer “trick-or-treating” events, where kids can walk around a well-lit area, sometimes indoors, and collect candy from participating vendors or parishioners.

Costume adjustments.

You’ve purchased your little ones that costume that they just had to have.  Unfortunately, it’s a dark color that will make it hard for them to be seen by any cars on the street while they’re out.  That’s okay, because you can make a last minute addition of reflective tape, found at any craft or hardware store, to their costumes. Or consider a battery-powered light pack, or a flashlight or other light-up accessory such as a lightsaber to make them more visible when they have to cross the street.

Instead of a mask that can make it hard to see, especially in a relatively dark area, consider using makeup on your kids’ faces.  There are all sorts of specialty kits available for Halloween, or you can make use of normal cosmetics you have around the house.

When you’re ready to head out:

Make sure that your little ones are either with you, an adult or older teen you can trust, or at least with a group of friends.  There really is safety in numbers when they are walking in or near dark, with loads of strangers out.

Encourage your kids to follow the courtesy rule-only visit houses where there is someone  waiting out front or an outdoor light lit.  Not everyone chooses or is able to hand out candy on Halloween, so remind your kids to be respectful.  Also, it never hurts to encourage them to say thank you for the treats they receive.

It’s time to go home:

Unless your route out goes by grandma’s or your sister’s house, make sure that your kids don’t eat any treats until you get home and can check it.  Consider counseling your kids to not eat their entire haul in one sitting, or take charge and ration it out to them.  After all, the last thing anyone wants is for them to end their Halloween with a massive tummy ache!

Above all, have a safe and fun Halloween!