How cool is this! I just published a post earlier today about Halloween Family Traditions and I mentioned that I had seen people online talking about the tradition of Getting Booed, but I had never heard of it. Well, I just came home and saw that we were Booed! (So, now I know that someone other than my Mother reads the blog.)
Yeah! Some incredibly nice friend or neighbor left us a Halloween bucket full of candy and an inflatable black cat which my daughter has now adopted and named Meiu. (“Say it with a French accent, Mom.”)
OK, we’re ready to carry on this tradition. I’m off to create the Boo basket we’re going to give and print our Boo signs.
Halloween is so much fun, don’t you think?
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Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. What’s not to love about fun, treats, costumes, parties, and spooky chills. We have a few family traditions we do every year and I’ve seen a few more online that I would love to adopt. Read on and plan some fun for this week.
1. Decorations. If you haven’t decorated the house yet for Halloween – get on it! One of my favorite parts about trick or treating is seeing how everyone spooks out their house. I love the creativity. Whether you prefer fall elegant to grotesque to friendly ghosts and monsters, let’s see your Halloween spirit.
2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Watch it. Love it. Need I say more? It’s on this Thursday night on ABC at 7 p.m. CST. (Scared Shrekless is on at the same time on NBC. I haven’t seen it so can’t recommend it, but I’m going to DVR it.)
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas. I am a huge Jack Skellington fan. The kids still get a little creeped out by this movie so it’s a tradition for my hubbie and I to curl up on the couch and get our annual movie fix. Not all family traditions need to involve the kids. (We made Jack Skellington Cupcakes this year. See how.)
4. Read Halloween Stories before Bedtime. We love to read Halloween stories in anticipation of the big day. Read my post on the Best Halloween Books for Kids (as voted by my kids). I just read about how DesignMom.com and her family have a tradition of reading Halloween stories by candle light. I love it! We’re going to read by the flickering flames tonight.
5. Neighborhood Halloween Procession. Our neighborhood trick or treats together which makes if more fun for kids and parents alike. We’ve got some wagons to pull the younger ones who get tired. We’ve also got some thermos’ with hot chocolate if it’s cold.
6. Boo Your Neighbors. Now, I have never heard of this tradition but I saw a post on it the other day and it sounded pretty cool so I thought I would share. (I’m probably the only one who hasn’t so don’t laugh at me.) Basically, you make up a goodie bag for a friend or neighbor. You then leave the goodie bag at their house with a poem and sign that they have been “Booed.” The neighbor then is supposed to reciprocate and “Boo” someone else. This post explains it pretty well. You can download some very cool Boo signs and instructions for free at TomKat Studios.
7. Day of the Dead Dinner. This is the day after Halloween but every year we celebrate Dia de los Muertos in our house honoring and remembering our loved ones who have passed on. We build a shrine in our house where we display photos of the people and pets we want to remember. To celebrate at dinner, we usually make one of Grandpa Kirchner’s favorite meals and as a family we talk about our favorite memories of Grandpa and our pets who have died. It’s a nice way to keep memories alive and share stories about what we remember and what we liked best about those we miss.
What Halloween traditions do you enjoy with your family?
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This past weekend for our Halloween fun activity, we decorated cupcakes. I had seen so many incredibly cool cupcake designs on other sites that I wanted to see if we could recreate them. The goal was to make them for the kids’ school Halloween parties this Friday, but guess what? They’re gone already.
There are a million cupcake recipes out there to make the cupcakes from scratch (go ahead, Google Cupcake recipes and prepare to be overwhelmed) but we made life a little easier and just chocolate cupcakes from a mix. We were in the mood to decorate, not bake. So, how did we do?
Jack Skellington Cupcakes
I love the movie Nightmare Before Christmas so when I saw these Jack Skellington cupcakes on the Disney Family.com site, I started to drool. I thought it was easy to do and the instructions were very helpful however, my daughter got mad because she couldn’t get the face to come out right. You need fairly good icing control. Her cupcakes looked like a cool ghoul, but not exactly like Jack.
Spooky Owl Cupcakes
Owls are the “it” animal this year! So, my daughter, who was a big fan of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole wanted to make these cupcakes. You can find slightly different versions of these owl cupcakes on a variety of different sites (as I said, owls are hot) but we chose this photo at TheCupcakeBlog.com as inspiration.
We used, chocolate frosting, Oreos, white frosting and M&Ms. These cupcakes were super easy and my kids could put them together like pros. We frosted the cupcake. Split open Oreo cookies for the eyes and “ears.” Once the Oreos are split, take the piece without the white center and break them into “ear” shapes. Then put M&Ms on for eyeballs and an M&M turned sideways for the beak.
The only two issues we had were that the Oreos were hard to break open. I remember as a kid you could just twist them apart so I don’t know what’s in these cookies now but the centers are like super glue. These needed to be pried open with a knife or they would break in pieces. Also, when we did get them to break open cleanly, the white center part had black crumbs all over it from the other side of the cookie. It didn’t look like a nice, clean, white eyeball. So we used white frosting on the inside of the cookies which actually made it easier for the M&M eyeballs to stick. All in all, a great recipe for the kids.
Spider Web Cupcakes
Our inspiration for these easy spider web cupcakes came from Bakerella.com. We did it in reverse with white frosting on the cupcake and a black web. We also used M&Ms for the spider since we had them out anyway.
Finally, we just got out our collection of sprinkles, almond slivers, and other toppings to create our own ideas. Creating bats, cats, tarantulas, and werewolves was a pretty fun afternoon with the family.
Have you made any cool Halloween cupcakes that you’d like to share? Send me a link to your photos and I’ll post them on the blog.
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It’s the weekend before Halloween and all through the house, there wasn’t enough spookiness, not even to scare a mouse. So what are you waiting for …
You’ve still got time to have some Halloween-themed fun with the kids this weekend. Here are 6 ideas to get your fun on.
1. Corn Maze – I never really got into corn mazes until I found out you could do them in the dark. With flashlights! Why didn’t anyone tell me this sooner!?! I wouldn’t recommend that you take toddlers to the corn maze at night but for older kids (and some weird adults like myself), this is a blast. If you are in a group of 4 or more, split into teams. Give each team a flashlight and a compass and see who can get out of the maze first. Look online to find the largest corn maze in your area and make it a night.
2. Pumpkin Farm – Pumpkin Farms are fun for the kids but they are priceless to adults for the photo ops. There is nothing better than photos of your kids standing amidst a field of orange pumpkins. Go now. Don’t forget the cider donuts.
3. Halloween Baking – I have seen so many cute Halloween treat ideas online that I am paralyzed by what to tackle first. We are going to tackle cupcakes this weekend but I am totally into Bakerella’s Halloween Cake Pops. I have to make these Spider Brownie Bites. But wait, look at these Spooky Sweet Pops. Ah! I can’t decide. (BTW, Bakerella has a new Cake Pops cookbook out. I’m going to get it this weekend, because I need more food porn.)
4. Organize a Neighborhood Trick or Treat Procession – My neighborhood rocks. We do such fun things together. When we moved into our first house, the neighbors who lived behind us showed us the fun of a Trick or Treat Procession. You get a bunch of friends and neighbors and go trick or treating together. What was cool about their procession was that they had wagons full of snacks and hot chocolate, wagons to pull the young ones who get tired after 3 blocks, dogs on leashes in costumes, and plenty of cameras and video cameras to capture the fun. While trick or treating as a family is fun … why not multiply that by inviting 3 or 4 families? Now, the adults can have a blast walking around too.
5. Costume Frenzy. You’ve got the school Halloween parties coming up on Friday so this is your weekend to finish the kids’ costumes. Whether you are buying or making, get it all done this weekend so you aren’t panicking at the last minute. If making, have fun working together on the construction. We’re making a gingerbread and gladiator costume this weekend. (For even more fun, go back and look at past Halloween costume pictures for some nostalgia and big laughs.)
6. Day of the Dead - If you live in a town with a large hispanic population, go online and see if there are any Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos exhibits to check out. Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art hosts the largest Day of the Dead exhibit in the country. It’s AWESOME! We go every year to get inspired to make our Day of the Dead shrine even cooler. Never heard of Day of the Dead? Read why I love it and think it is a great Holiday to share with kids.
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Yeah, today is the first official day of Autumn! This is my family’s favorite time of year. The weather is cooler, the trees look beautiful as they say goodbye to the year, we break out the spooky Halloween and Day of the Dead decorations, and we go gaga for Apple Cider Donuts. (Man, I love a good donut.)
We make sure we don’t miss out on a minute of fun by creating a Family Fun Plan. We pick a night and at dinner everyone throws out ideas of what they want to do and we then schedule our activities on the calendar. We now know if we need to buy tickets to anything, get invitations out, or have the house clean by a certain date. (Oh yes, our social calendar dictates when the house gets cleaned.) Once our activities are written in stone (OK, just in the planner – but in PEN!) we have some fun times to look forward to.
Here are some of our ideas for having more family fun this Fall. If you are looking for more ideas check your local park districts, libraries, YMCAs, and Children’s Museums for fall events.
Top 10 Ideas for Fall Family Fun
1. Apple Orchard/ Making Caramel Apples
2. Fall Foliage Drive
3. Visit a Pumpkin Farm
4. Leaf Pile Forts, Mazes & Piles
5. Hiking/ Photo Scavenger Hunt in your local Forest Preserve
6. Creating & Decorating for Halloween
7. Throw a Halloween Party – for kids and/or adults
8. Organize a Neighborhood Trick or Treat Procession
9. Neighborhood Flag Football Party
10. Flashlight Corn Maze Adventures
We found this article at the DomesticCents.com blog on Frugal Fall Family Fun Ideas that we wanted to share. I love their photos and Scarecrow idea.
I hope this list has inspired you to get out your calendar and start some planning. Check back for more ideas and tips on how to have more family fun this fall season. I’d love to hear what you love to do with your family, so leave me a comment.
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