Friday, October 17, 2008

Tips for a Happy Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner this year. Most of us think of Halloween as a one night holiday that comes and goes quickly. I am actually not a big fan of the trick or treating on Halloween night, but I do enjoy all the many other fun things you can do leading up to the big night.

When I was younger, Halloween in my family was never really that popular. We carved pumpkins and went out trick or treating, but other than that we didn’t decorate much and didn’t do any other activities. As I have started my own family, and found that my wife grew up in a family that loves Halloween, I have found that there is a lot that you can do in the days leading up to Halloween. I have a list of 6 fun activities that you
may not have thought of, that you could do this year during the pretty autumn days leading up to the 31st.

1. Find a local farmer that is doing a hay ride to go into a pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins. Over the past 3 years we have gone to the Red Barn in Santaquin, Utah to go on their annual pumpkin patch hay ride to pick out our pumpkins. The kids love the ride and are amazed at all the pumpkins in their large patch. It is a fun family night idea and after the ride you can buy a treat to enjoy. Watch for similar ideas in the area where you live.

2. Decorate your whole house in Halloween decorations with your kids. As I mentioned earlier I grew up in a house that didn’t decorate much for Halloween. My wife has now converted me to Halloween decorating because she brought to our marriage a bunch of different decorations that have been a lot of fun to take out every year and have the kids put around the house. This year we put spider webs all over the outside of our house. We also have an 8 foot Halloween Mickey Mouse in our front yard. The kids love all of it.

3. Go to a Halloween party. Every year there are certain places that have Halloween parties. Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah has all different kinds of fun activities for kids, parents, and even a Halloween dance for teenagers. Another good place for a fun Halloween party is at Young Living Farms in Mona, Utah. This year they are having their “Fall Festival” on October 25th from 4-8pm

4. Buy some Halloween books and read one every night during October. Kids love to be read to, and probably haven’t read many Halloween books. This will really get them excited for Halloween and will also provide good quality time for parents to be with their children every night.

5. Don’t just carve pumpkins, paint faces and even buy plastic eyes, noses, and parts for younger children to put on. Carving pumpkins with your family is fun, but when you have younger kids, it can be difficult for them to be involved very much. This year I saw a little package of plastic eyes, noses, ears, and mouths that could be put on pumpkins to make faces. Our kids have really enjoyed making different faces this year on the pumpkins we got at the pumpkin patch on our hay ride.

6. Make home-made treats to give kids that are trick or treating. When I was younger and went trick or treating it was an annual tradition to go to my older neighbors, who would always give us a rice puff ball. We would then go to another neighbor who gave us decorated Halloween cookies. The times like this are long gone, but we could try doing this one year and see how the kids react to a fresh homemade Halloween treat rather than the average piece of store bought candy. My wife and I tried making Halloween cookies a few years back and had wonderful compliments and enjoyed sharing our cooking with the parents as well as the kids.

Whatever you decide to do for Halloween, make sure that you remember that you are making memories for your kids. Remember you are making fun and enjoyable memories for your kids to think of during the rest of their lives. The things you do for and with them today will be with them forever.

Happy Halloween!

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