It’s amazing how all of a sudden one day you wake up and its fall! The leaves start falling and the weather shifts and changes to brisk mornings and cooler afternoons. You can even almost smell the difference in the air. The coming of fall also brings one of my kid’s favorite holidays — Halloween. Ever since my son was little we have made a special trip to the pumpkin patch a week or so before Halloween. It is a great time to get out in the cool autumn weather and share some wonderful moments with our kids. Riding the tractors, picking out their perfect pumpkins and enjoying the fall harvest festivals is something that we all will cherish for many years. Halloween has become an event not just focused around trick-or-treating, but a time to enjoy special moments with our family. Our lives are so busy these days — sometimes we need to just slow down and spend some quality time with each other and relish in the kid that exists within each one of us. Here are some fun ideas to make your Halloween unforgettable:
Plan a trip to the pumpkin patch:
Check your papers for fall festivals and pumpkin patches open to the public. Often there is much more to do at these farms then just pick out your pumpkins. The farms we have found have had tractor rides, music, pony rides, games, corn mazes and so much more. Make sure you bring lots of film!
Pumpkin carving night:
Choose a night a week or so before Halloween and plan a pumpkin carving party for friends and family. Kids too young to carve can use tempera paint and create their own crazy faces and/or give your young child glow in the dark stickers they can apply to their pumpkins. Make goofy pumpkins by attaching small gourds as ears or noses.
Pumpkin carving safety tips:
- Don’t let children under 5 handle knives
- Keep seeds away from younger children — possible choking hazards
- Choose a flat, sturdy surface for carving
- Don’t let younger children handle lit candles
- Don’t place lit jack-o’-lanterns near curtains or other flammable material
- Don’t leave a lit jack-o’-lantern unattended
And don’t forget the food. A pumpkin carving party would just not be a party without great food. Here are some great ideas for Halloween party fare:
Make sure your children get a good balanced meal before they go out trick-or-treating. They will be less apt to eat tons and tons of candy and they will feel better all around. On the morning of Halloween start a stew like our Country Beef Stew and some delicious cornbread (try our Perfect Cornbread). No need for dessert — they’ll get plenty of that with all the candy.
Once your child brings home the candy, make sure to inspect the candy. Discard any candy that appears to have been tampered with or unwrapped or look suspicious in any way. Throw away treats that aren’t commercially wrapped or are known to contain gluten (unless you know the giver — and you trust that the treat is gluten-free). Call the manufacturers to verify that the candy is gluten-free. Keep in mind that manufacturers can change their processes at any time, so it is always a good idea to double check.
We hope you and your family have a safe and memorable Halloween!