Halloween fun for little monsters

Our neighborhood is big on Halloween. Which suits us fine. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. In fact, I have this week off so I can be around to carve pumpkins, get the kids ready for trick-or-treat and watch scary movies. I also plan to do some cooking. More on that later this week.

Earlier this month, we had the annual Halloween Cookout and Haunted Trail. This past Friday, a small group of us did a progressive Halloween party for the kids.

Starting at 6pm, the kids went to a house for a craft, games and treats. At 6:30pm, they come flying out of that house like a swarm of bats — screaming and hooting and running like they just saw a ghost — and into the neighbor’s for another half-hour of activities and treats. It goes on like that until 8:30 or 9, depending on how many host families we have. This year, we had the 7pm slot.

It’s our 3rd year participating. The first year, we did a haunted trail through the wooded easement in our backyard. Last year, we set up a tent in the living room, painted pumpkins, then read scary stories in the tent, like the one about the voice who kept saying as it came up the stairs, ‘Where’s my toooooeeeeee?’

This year, we played Halloween bingo — winner gets to pick a prize from the cauldron — and had whoopie pie ‘spiders.’ I got this great idea from my sister, and they’re so cute.

Whoopie Pie Spiders

I got the decorating kit from Target. It comes with candy eyeballs and a bundled rope of black licorice for the spider legs. It also comes with a mix for making whoopie pies but on my sister’s advice, we bought a package of ‘gobs’ in the bakery at Giant Eagle. I guess they’re a Philly thing and Giant Eagle is based there. So only Giant Eagle has them. Gobs are whoopie pies. Finkle IS Einhorn. It made the whole affair so much easier – especially since I had about 30 minutes to put them together on Friday night.

Pumpkin Hunt

On Saturday, we went to my mom’s for the Ohio State game and a pumpkin hunt. My mom hid three pumpkins for each kid in her woods. It was really fun for the kids. Thank heaven for my mom and all her energy. All four grandkids rubbed her feet at the end of the night. They worship her.

Boo at the Zoo

On Sunday, we went to Boo at the Zoo. What a letdown! It was so lame. We went into the little kiddie area toward the front, where they had “Little Boo Village.” They had a totally amateur haunted mansion and a hay bale maze. Mag, who’s 3, liked it. Greta, who’s 6, said ‘boring.’ It just felt so commercial. All the ‘treat’ booths were manned by companies like The Basement Doctor and Gutter Rx. Just to get a pixie sugar straw, you had to give your personal information to them so they could hound you for the rest of your life. The best part was that the kids could dress up, and see other dressed-up kids.

Anyway, we’ve been driving around town for the past three weeks listening to the theme from Halloween and Psycho, at the kids’ request. We’re into it.

For the annual progressive Halloween party, the kids gathered at the first of 5 houses. The parents ended up hanging out here for a few drinks after their turn hosting.

For the annual progressive Halloween party, the kids gathered at the Manley residence — the first of 5 houses. All of us grown-ups ended up hanging out at the Manley’s for a few drinks after our turn hosting.

The whoopee pie spiders - made with 'gobs,' candy eyes and black licorice legs. Thanks for the idea, Bran!

The whoopie pie spiders – made with ‘gobs,’ candy eyes and black licorice legs. Thanks for the idea, Bran!

We decorated our dining room with creepy haunted mansion portraits. Thanks Target.

We decorated our dining room with creepy haunted mansion portraits. Thanks Target.

Halloween bingo was the activity at our house. Barrak had to take a break to go check on the ghost that lives in our attic. That sufficiently freaked them out.

Halloween bingo was the activity at our house. Barrak had to take a break to go check on the ghost that lives in our attic. That sufficiently freaked them out.

Spiderman (aka Magnus) enjoyed his spider gob.

Spiderman (aka Magnus) enjoyed his spider gob.

Triumph at grandma's pumpkin hunt!

Triumph at Grandma’s pumpkin hunt!

Pumpkins looking for pumpkins...

Pumpkins looking for pumpkins…

That blue blur is Magnus jumping in leaves that Grandma had raked into a pile.

That blue blur is Magnus jumping in leaves that Grandma had raked into a pile.

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