Happy Halloween month! In celebration, check out these amazing pumpkins we saw at a wonderful pumpkin demonstration at Hippo Playground in NYC’s Riverside Park last weekend. We try to go to this event every year, and it’s always a treat!
Because October is in full swing, I also wanted to take some time to share a few of my favorite Fall articles with you. As you plan fun activities with your family for October 31st and preparing for colder weather, I hope they’ll give you some bright ideas and help you get organized so you can spend more quality time enjoying the season. I know I’m going to try to keep them in mind as I go through this very busy month!
While cleaning up and getting your house and your life organized definitely feels great once it’s done, it’s not always easy to make time for it – especially when you’re a crazy-busy parent! I read a life-saving article in Good Housekeeping magazine called “Neat Tricks” about ways to de-clutter without having to spend hours and days doing it.
The article went through every room of the house and offered some little things you can do in just minutes per day to start to get a handle on even the biggest messes. For example, if you have 5 minutes, even something small like setting up automatic bill pay for some of your important bills on the computer or doing a quick toss of expired spices in your spice rack can clear up some space in your schedule and house and save your sanity both now and later. And if you have 15 minutes, you can think a little bigger by doing a quick pick-up in one entire room or cleaning out the junk in your junk drawer.
By breaking tasks to 5- or 15-minute jobs, I was able to check everything off my list. The process of getting everything together took a little longer than it would if I had done everything at once, but it helped me from getting stuck and frustrated and abandoning a project altogether. And eventually, hours and days of organizing were checked off my list!
You can check out some of the organizing tips from the article on the Good Housekeeping website.
Fun NYC Spooky Celebrations
If you’re in NYC, there are thankfully a lot of options when it comes to family-friendly Halloween events. Read this month’s New York Family magazine to get a long list. Our own special favorites are listed below. We hope you’ll go and enjoy them as much as we have!
- The Museum of Natural History holds a big Halloween event on October 31st where they set aside 30 halls to crafts, trick-or-treating and more. Registration is only open through October 13th, so check it out at www.amnh.org
- Boo at the Zoo is held on weekends, October 6 – 28 at the Bronx Zoo and features a ton of activities, including the Haunted Habitat for ghosts and extinct animals and a hayride through an animated town as well as a lot of other goodies for the whole family. Find out more information at www.bronxzoo.com
- The New York Botanical Garden hosts an annual Pumpkin Garden which features a spooky parade, puppet shows and lessons for your kids on “creatures of the night.” It runs Tuesdays – Fridays, October 6-31. But if you go the third week of the month, you’ll also get to see the incredible pumpkin carver Ray Vilafane: www.nybg.org
Inexpensive Costume Ideas
Every year, kids look forward to figuring out what they want to be for Halloween and getting creative with great costumes. But it’s hard to think about spending a ton of money on things that might only get worn once! I found something that helps with this dilemma in Family Fun magazine: an article dedicated to Halloween costumes that will make your kids stand out, but are also easy and inexpensive to make. My personal favorite is the idea of using the karate outfit your kid already wears to class and then attaching a headband with ears on it to make it look like a rabbit. You can see some of these ideas from this “Quick & Clever Costumes” piece here.
Three Decorating Ideas
Last year I posted some fun October craft ideas on the blog to get your house all decked out for a Halloween party … or just for you and your family to enjoy. (You can read that here!)
- Lunchbag Brooms. A concept I particularly like that I also saw last year is making brooms out of lunch bags. You make your own by following the instructions here.
- Egg-cellent treats. I would’ve never thought of dying a hardboiled egg orange with food coloring to make for a great Halloween-themed snack that can double as a party decoration. If you want another easy egg idea, you can also make bloodshot eyes! You just need eggs, red food coloring and sliced olives. Boil eggs, then crack them but don’t peel them. PU them in a large bowl of water with red food coloring and leave them there for one hour. Peel eggs (they should look “bloodshot”). Cut them in half short wise, then set them down on the cut side so you are looking at the rounded side. Set one sliced olive on top for the pupil.
- “Creepy Cubbies.” This idea is a little more involved, but still a pretty easy way to turn a simple tabletop into a Halloween “exhibit” in your own home. And this can be a really fun activity to do with your whole family too! Paint papier-mâché boxes inside and out with either self-priming acrylic paint or black chalkboard paint. Stack the boxes on their side on top of each other in whichever arrangement you’d like on a table. (You can glue them together if you’re worried about them falling over.) Then, fill the boxes with Halloween or Fall items like birds’ nests, a framed scorpion, dried seedpods, twigs and moss … or even mini pumpkins.
I hope you found something above that will inspire you as you go through October. Because time moves so fast (just look at how quickly Halloween came again this year!), we need to make every minute with our kids and families count and enjoy all the milestones. As another special “treat,” please enjoy a performance of our song “It’s Your Kid,” below. Also, tell us what you’ll be doing for Halloween in the comments section. We’d love to know! We’ll be having a great time at the Museum of Natural History!