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EAST COAST MOMMY: Prepping for a ‘spooktacular’ Halloween

There are many easy, inexpensive and fun ways to have a good time on Oct. 31.
There are many easy, inexpensive and fun ways to have a good time on Oct. 31. - Gina Bell

Halloween is quickly approaching, and it’s time to start prepping for some spooktacular fun.  

It really is a wonderful holiday because it can be easily celebrated in a variety of ways by people of all ages. You can keep the décor, food, and festivities family-friendly, or you can go with super-scary options. Whatever you decide, there are many easy, inexpensive and fun ways to have a good time on Oct. 31. 

The first thing to do is set the stage with a cohesive theme for your decorations. Depending on your preferences, you can opt for “cute” or “scary”. A traditional orange and black colour scheme is great, but black, green and purple are fantastic too.  

Start by picking up some cheap décor at the dollar store, and then consider crafting some unique items to add to the mix. You can use white streamers and large googly eyes to transform your door into a huge mummy, turn pool noodles into witch legs by covering them with tights and adding shoes, use photo editing software to turn pictures of your family members into pictures of zombies and vampires, and more. Adding some DIY projects to your Halloween décor will make it unique and fun! 

Planning a children’s party, an adult gathering or a family night are all wonderful ways to celebrate Halloween. A children’s party could revolve around crafts and cookie decorating; an adult gathering could consist of a costume contest and pumpkin carving challenge; and a family night could include special treats and a Halloween movie. 

In our house, movie night is a weekly ritual, and I love the idea of planning a special “Halloween Edition”. There are many family-friendly movie options, like Hocus Pocus, Hotel Transylvania, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and Casper. 

This year, I will be serving a special movie night snack tray for my boys to enjoy during our Halloween family movie night. I purchased a silver tray from the dollar store, added a skeleton (also from the dollar store), and I surrounded the skeleton with spooky treats. I think my family is going to love it! 

Halloween really is mostly about the treats, so make sure you bake and purchase plenty of goodies. For unique DIY treats, add vampire teeth and candy eyes to donuts, fill latex gloves with candy, or create “mummy treats” by wrapping packaged treats (like Rice Krispy squares) with gauze and adding googly eyes. A little bit of effort goes a long way in creating original treats that will impress party goers and trick or treaters.  

And don’t forget to have some “non-food” treat options on hand. Many kids struggle with food allergies, and it’s important to include them. Every child should have fun celebrating Halloween. Dollar store trinkets packaged with cute, “punny” notes are fantastic. Consider packages of play doh with “Have a DOH-lightful Halloween!” tags. Funny glasses with “EYE hope you have a SPECtular Halloween!” tags would be cute, too. 

There are many ways to celebrate Oct. 31, but prepping early is key. Get those costumes, treats and décor ready, so when the big day arrives, you can just relax and enjoy it with your favourite ghosts and goblins. Happy Halloween!  

Gina Bell writes the East Coast Mommy column, which runs every second week. Follow her blog at www.EastCoastMommy.com or contact her at eastcoastmommy@gmail.com 

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